October 9, 1988 |
At 77, Bill Monroe, known as the father of bluegrass music, has become the object of retirement talk. But Monroe, while conceding that he "would like to slow down" his traveling some, firmly nixes the idea of retirement. "I've got too many fans from all over the world," he explains. "It would be bad not to ever get to see 'em again. " There may have been talk about Monroe retiring from the road because earlier this year he opened a Nashville, Tenn., nightclub, Monroe's Bluegrass Country, where he performs every Tuesday and Thursday night when he is in town.
May 28, 1994 |
Talk about your great band leaders. Like Bob Wills or Muddy Waters or Sun Ra, Bill Monroe's life's work has been to front an ever-changing ensemble that upholds a standard of excellence and constantly stretches and redefines its musical genre. And in Monroe's case, it's a genre he invented. On Thursday night, the 82-year-old Emperor of Bluegrass made an ultra-rare Philadelphia appearance when he brought the latest edition of his Bluegrass Boys to the Theater of Living Arts.
September 10, 1996 |
Bill Monroe, 84, the "high lonesome" singer, mandolinist and uncompromising bandleader who invented bluegrass music and remained its preeminient figure for more than 50 years, died yesterday. Mr. Monroe died at the Northcrest Home and Hospice Center in Springfield, Tenn. He was admitted to the facility following a stroke in March and surgery in April to have a pacemaker installed. Mr. Monroe's impact on bluegrass cannot be overstated. No other musical genre has been so completely shaped by the vision of one artist.
May 31, 1993 |
Like Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe is one of the giants of country music. But he enjoys a distinction they do not: He created a specialized form of country music all by himself. Monroe's creation, bluegrass, is country's equivalent of chamber music. Tightly organized, played with pointillistic precision, often delivered at hyper-speed, it is the most instrumentally demanding of country's several musical branches. Rugged and strong, stern and uncompromising, Monroe began creating bluegrass during the Depression and perfected it during the Truman era. With enough accumulated laurels to comfort him like a feather bed, he chooses to remain active at age 81, presenting his specialty at 100 to 150 concerts per year.
September 17, 1989 |
TO HELP SUNSET PARK celebrate its 50th year of offering country music, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys performed last Sunday. Monroe, who coined the phrase "bluegrass" and is known as the father of the genre, sang "Blue Moon of Kentucky," which he wrote, left. He also played along with his band. Monroe was to turn 78 yesterday.
August 6, 1995 |
Garth Brooks' sales figures sound like McDonald's (over 50 million copies sold!). Twang-free hat acts make it to the top of the pop charts. Nashville assembly-line singers play factory-like showplaces where giant video screens project their images to the rafters. Yes, country music in the '90s has grown hopelessly slick and corporate. Then there's Sunset Park. Just south of U.S. 1 in Jennersville, Pa., it is stuck in a time warp in the Chester County countryside. Since 1940, when it struck "Uncle" Roy Waltman that a country-music park would be a nice sideline to his dairy farm operation, Sunset Park has been presenting shows on summer Sunday afternoons in a picnic-table and cotton-candy environment.
September 30, 1996 |
I'm not ready to pick on David Hornbeck or Norma Shapiro or even The Inquirer today. Maybe it's because I just came off a long and soothing vacation in the woods. Or because I came home to find that Bill Monroe had died. If Elvis gave rock and roll its jumpstart, it probably says something that the tune he recorded during his first studio session on July 4, 1954, was "Blue Moon of Kentucky. " Written by Bill Monroe. Monroe was born in 1911 on a 600-acre farm just north of Bowling Green, Ky. He died in Tennessee on Sept.
August 4, 2011
Kenny Baker, 85, an influential bluegrass fiddler whose melodic, fluid style became a signature of Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, with whom he performed and recorded off and on for more than 25 years, died July 8 in Gallatin, Tenn. The cause was complications of a stroke. Mr. Baker, who recorded more than 230 songs with Monroe between 1968 and 1984, played with a melodic longbow style that reflected his enthusiasm for Texas swing and jazz, especially that of the French violinist Stephane Grappelli.
August 29, 1986 |
Fourteen years after its founding, the Delaware Bluegrass Festival is holding a reunion of sorts. The weekend event, which begins tonight in Glasgow, Del., features two of the principal performers of the genre - the venerable Bill Monroe and the nearly as venerable Ralph Stanley. Back in 1972, when the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music initiated the festival, the headliners were Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. Monroe was 60 at the time, and the form of country music that he pioneered in the 1930s and '40s finally was beginning to enjoy a modest revival after being pushed aside for almost two decades by rock-and-roll and the commercial country sound.
July 18, 1986 |
For those more comfortable with Grand Ole Opry than American Bandstand, the city can be a barren place. Bluegrass, classic country, old-time and authentic folk music may be as scarce in town as a sky awash with stars. The 1960s gave rise to massive rock festivals. But that era also spawned less massive bluegrass and old-time music festivals, which have become an enduring part of summer life in small-town and rural America. Crowds tend to be smaller at these events than at city concerts.