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Bill Monroe

November 11, 1993 OHC191 59 min.


Pioneer bluegrass performer. Born September 13, 1911. Died September 9, 1996. Full name: William Smith Monroe. Career active 1920s-1990s. Known as the Father of Bluegrass. Recognized as a leading force in establishing bluegrass as a country music style. During 1920s-1930s performed with his brother, Charlie Monroe, as the Monroe Brothers. Late 1930 began career with his new band, the Blue Grass Boys. Recorded for RCA, Columbia, and Decca/MCA. Member, International Bluegrass Hall of Honor. Member, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Member, Country Music Hall of Fame®.

Interview Summary

1993 November 11
(59 minutes)
Legendary bluegrass performer Bill Monroe recalls the early years of his career. Discussion includes his family background and the development of his musical interest; early musical influences, including his uncle Pendleton Vandiver (Uncle Pen); his early performances; songs he performed with his brothers; experiences as a traveling musician; comments on early band members; memories of influential musicians; his Grand Ole Opry audition and early Opry appearances; his early recordings, including “Muleskinner Blues,” and “Crying Holy Unto the Lord”; and experiences traveling as a tent show performer.

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