I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #76

From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.

December 15, 1921 Mitchell Burt ‘Bea’ Lilly was born at Clear Creek, West Virginia. Lilly is featured as a special guest on a 1963 show at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts. He joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in singing the Monroe Brothers’ favorite What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul? *

December 15, 1957 Recording session – Bill Monroe recorded Sally-Jo, Brand New Shoes and A Lonesome Road (To Travel) during an afternoon session at Bradley Film & Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, in Nashville. He was assisted by Doug Kershaw [guitar], Jimmy Elrod [banjo], Bessie Lee Mauldin [bass], and Kenny Baker and Joe Stuart [both playing fiddle].  **

December 15, 1983 Silver Eagle Cross Country Music Show recording for a radio program – Two shows by Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys at the Bottom Line club in New York City were recorded for the Silver Eagle radio program.

*  The concert, with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, the Lilly Brothers, Grandpa Jones and Melissa Monroe, took place on November 16, 1963, and that part featuring Bill Monroe was recorded by a young David Grisman, who played mandolin with the New York Ramblers at the time.

Towards the end of Monroe’s set he invited ‘Bea’ Lilly back onto the stage to accompany him with his guitar. The Blue Grass Boys were Del McCoury, Bill Keith, Joe Stuart and Bessie Lee Maudlin.

‘Bea’ Lilly and his brother Everett were credited with bringing bluegrass to New England and with influencing Bill Keith, Peter Rowan and the late Joe Val.

**  The material from this recording was released on the CD Bill Monroe – Lookin’ Back (Silver Eagle SEA-CD-70007). In addition to Monroe the band consisted of Wayne Lewis [guitar], Kenny Baker [fiddle], Blake Williams [banjo] and Mark Hembree [bass].

The CD consists of 13 numbers  ……

On My Way To The Old Home, I’ve Lived A Lot In My Time, Footprints In The Snow, The Old, Old House, Old Ebenezer Scrooge, Wayfaring Stranger, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Close By, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Shuckin’ The Corn, Rocky Road Blues, Mule Skinner Blues and Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms.

The radio show was broadcast on January 28, 1984.

“On the morning of December 15, 1957, Bill Monroe gave me one of the greatest memories from one of my favourite entertainer (sic) of all time.”

Doug Kershaw

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.