Bill Monroe

Born: September 13, 1911
Rosine, KT, USA
Died: September 9, 1996

Bill Monroe was born in Rosine, Kentucky in 1911. His earliest influences included his Uncle Pen Vandiver and a black blues guitarist named Arnold Schultz. He later heard country and blues radio stations and soaked up many diverse artists such as Leadbelly, Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican, Charlie Poole and Roy Acuff. He teamed up with his brother, Charlie, as the Monroe Brothers and recorded many appalachian and gospel songs from 1936-1939. In 1940, Bill split from his brother and continued recording appalachian, gospel and also blues & western swing songs for RCA. However, it was not until his Columbia recordings that he truly came into his own. "Rocky road blues", "Come back to me in my dreams", "Blue moon of Kentucky" and "Kentucky waltz" were the first true recordings of bluegrass music (even though it was not known as such at the time).

By the 1950s, bluegrass became far more wellknown and Monroe was its father and main singer and musician. Monroe's music was a mix of Appalachian, Western swing, blues and gospel that had never been done before. During the years, Monroe's band gave career starts to many other top bluegrass names such as Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Mac Wiseman. Other artists, such as The Stanley Brothers, based their music on Monroe's.

Monroe stuck strictly with bluegrass until the end - even when many of his contemporaries added elements of rock, pop and commercial country to their mix. By the time Monroe died in 1996, he was a true legend and - along with The Stanley Brothers - the most recognized of pure bluegrass artists.

Thanks to Pat for the biography on Bill Monroe.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Guitar Vocals Songwriter Mandolin

Conventional Country Bluegrass

Bill Monroe Has Worked With:
Benny Martin

Bill Monroe Was Influenced By:
Leadbelly Cliff Bruner Mississippi John Hurt Blind Lemon Jefferson Moon Mullican Charlie Poole Jimmie Rodgers Ernest Tubb Bob Wills

Artists That Were Influenced By Bill Monroe:
Jerry Lee Lewis Elvis Presley
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