Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept. 9: William Smith Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass," died on this day in 1996.

He was 84 when he died five months after having a stroke.

Monroe helped develop the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys." Born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children his performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader.

Press links below to view You Tube videos:
-- "Southern Flavor" (With Marty Stuart)

Bill liked to recruit promising young musicians who served an apprenticeship with him before becoming accomplished artists in their own right, including singer/guitarists Clyde Moody, Lester Flatt, Jack Cook, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Roland White, Roland Dunn and Doug Green; banjo players Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, Sonny Osborne, and Bill Keith; and fiddlers Tommy Magness, Chubby Wise, Vassar Clements, Byron Berline, Kenny Baker, Bobby Hicks, Gordon Terry, and Glen Duncan.

-- "Roanoke"
-- "Blue Moon of Kentucky"     

"Bill" was made an honorary Kentucky colonel in 1966. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as an "early influence") in 1997.

As the "Father of Bluegrass," he was also an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991.

In 1993, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1995. He kept up with a hectic working schedule well into the 1990s until his stroke curtailed his activities.

AnthologyAll the Classic Releases 1937-1949

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