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Bill Monroe

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1988 | By Jack Hurst, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
May 28, 1994 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
September 10, 1996 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 1993 | By Lee Winfrey, INQUIRER TV WRITER
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.
NEWS
September 17, 1989 | Special to The Inquirer / LAURENCE KESTERSON
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 1995 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
September 30, 1996 | BY ZACHARY STALBERG
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.
NEWS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 1986 | By Ron Wolf, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 1986 | By Ron Wolf, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2016 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Whether on his own or as part of the long-running rock-soul soap opera that is the J. Geils Band, singer-songwriter-harmonicat Peter Wolf is legendary for his roots. Not tonsorial roots (though he does have good rock-guy hair, especially for a 70-year-old), but his formation in the firmament of classic, ragged R&B, blues and - from the sound of his new album, A Cure for Loneliness - bluegrass. Wolf will be in Philadelphia Saturday to play WXPN-FM's Big Night Out fund-raiser at World Cafe Live.
NEWS
October 5, 2012 | By Howard Gensler
IT'S THAT TIME of year again: When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its new nominees and Tattle goes "Huh?" First-time nominees this go-around are Rush , Deep Purple , Public Enemy and N.W.A . They join returnees Heart , Joan Jett and the Blackhearts , Randy Newman , Donna Summer , Chic , the Meters , Albert King , the Marvelettes, Procol Harum, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and ...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2012
Jeff the Brotherhood The hairy Nashville dudes in Jeff the Brotherhood are indeed brothers, but neither of them is named Jeff. They're Jake and Jamin Orrall, and together the sons of songwriter-producer Robert Ellis Orrall (who's worked with Taylor Swift and Lindsay Lohan) make up a two-man band of impressive dexterity. The proof of the Orrall brothers' aplomb is We Are the Champions, their second album on their own Infinity Cat label, which is a diverse platter packed with surprisingly, tightly constructed punk-pop and garage-rock.
NEWS
September 8, 2011 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Over sushi, Drew Podolski and Steve Kessler cooked up a concept. The young lawyers imagined a place where they could share the sort of music that plays second fiddle in the highly amplified soundtrack of popular culture. Their 2009 lunch helped launch the South Jersey Acoustic Roots Music Society, whose unplugged gatherings at the Medford Arts Center are connecting a community and making a joyful noise. "Roots music historically has been passed on through social gatherings," says Podolski, 34, a guitarist from Medford who practices law in Princeton.
NEWS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2008 | By Steve Klinge FOR THE INQUIRER
As will be evident throughout this weekend's 37th annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival, bluegrass is an expansive but deeply traditional genre. Del McCoury, who plays tonight, is as deeply rooted in the bluegrass tradition as they come. He got his start playing and singing with the legendary Bill Monroe in the '60s. His band, which includes his sons Ronnie and Rob, still harmonizes around a single microphone when it performs. He's also bluegrass' greatest ambassador, relentlessly touring, beloved by Phish-heads and other jam band fans.
NEWS
August 11, 2008 | By Nicole Pensiero FOR THE INQUIRER
There's a good reason alt-country violinist/vocalist Carrie Rodriguez isn't playing second fiddle - pun intended - to mentor Chip Taylor anymore. As the musically diverse Rodriguez proved at the Tin Angel Friday night, she's more than ready for her own spotlight. The Austin-bred, Brooklyn-based Rodriguez - backed by a four-member band that included her husband, Spanish saxophonist/keyboard player Javier Vercher - charmed the nearly sold-out crowd with a solid mix of ramped-up rockers and tender ballads.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2004 | By Steve Klinge FOR THE INQUIRER
Del McCoury is the great ambassador of bluegrass. He's a conservator of what he calls "the hard-core traditional sound" that stretches back to Bill Monroe, in whose band he played in the early '60s. He feels as much at home playing with younger "new grass" artists and jam bands as with the hard-core bluegrass groups appearing at this weekend's Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival in Salem County, N.J. McCoury will play two sets on Saturday. "I think about when I first heard this music and how it excited me, and that just a few years later there was Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis," McCoury says with a laugh on the phone after a show in Baltimore.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2001 | By Steve Klinge FOR THE INQUIRER
The voice of death comes to the Philadelphia area this weekend. Ralph Stanley, the bluegrass pioneer, leads the impressive list of performers at the 30th annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival in Woodstown, N.J. Within the last 1 1/2 years, the 74-year-old Stanley has officially become a living legend (as designated by the Library of Congress in April 2000) and bluegrass' most recognizable patriarch. His a cappella recording of "O Death" provided the most disturbing moment in the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
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