Bill Monroe

From ArticleWorld

Bill Monroe is known as the "Father of Bluegrass," and was a singer that began the genre of country music known as bluegrass. "Bluegrass" gets its name from "Blue Grass Boys," which was named after Kentucky, Monroe’s home state. Monroe had an extremely long musical career; he performed for nearly sixty years as a singer, composer, bandleader, and instrumentalist.

Monroe was born on September 13, 1911, in Rosine, Kentucky and began his music career in the 1930’s when he began performing with his brother, Charlie Monroe. They became known as simply the Monroe Brothers. In 1939, Bill and Charlie parted company and Bill started up the "Blue Grass Boys" band. He started playing regularly on the Grand Ole Opry that same year.

Monroe played the mandolin, bringing country sounds from an instrument that had never been known to play country music before. He began playing with Earl Scruggs, a banjo player, in 1945. This grouping of the "Blue Grass Boys" also had guitarist and singer Lester Flatt, fiddler Chubby Wise, and Cedric Rainwater on bass. Together, these gentlemen made the first recording featuring the instruments and sounds of bluegrass.

The "Blue Grass Boys" was a popular band and over 150 musicians played in it at one time or another over the years. Many reached fame and success through later solo performances, such as Del McCoury, Randall Franks, Mac Wiseman, Sonny Osborne, Jimmy Martin, Don Reno, and others.

Bill Monroe has received many honors in his lengthy career and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1971, the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991 (he was the first ever inducted here), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named him an "early influence." He is the only performer to be named and honored in all three. Monroe is further honored by his signature song, Blue Moon of Kentucky, being re-recorded by artists in many different genres. Bill Monroe died in September 9, 1996.