January 11th, 2006
Happy Hump Day!
I’m continuing today with the creator of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Bill became a full-time musician with his brothers Birch & Charlie at the age of 23 back in 1934 when they were hired by WLS in Chicago. They broke up 4 years later which prompted Monroe to move to Atlanta and radio station KARK. It was at this time that he formed his famous Blue Grass Boys. His band’s traditional sound started to change with Monroe stepping up to the mic to sing as well as with his mandolin solos. 1945 proved to be the turning point. Earl Scruggs & his manic banjo playing were added to the Blue Grass Boys joining Lester Flatt on guitar, Chubby Wise on fiddle, and Cedric Rainwater playing the bass. It was this line-up that first recorded bluegrass.
The show at hand was recorded on 13 February 1967 right here in Madison at the Memorial Union Theater. I’ve culled the first three songs of the second set to keep in line with this week’s theme. The Blue Grass Boys this time around were:
When the Golden Leaves Begin to Fall
When My Blue Moon Turns Gold
Orange Blossom Special