|  Share | Cite

Bill Monroe

Monroe, Bill (William Smith Monroe), 1911–96, country singer, musician, and songwriter, often called the "father of bluegrass," b. Rosine, Ky. A mandolin and guitar player, Monroe founded the Blue Grass Boys in 1938, and the group began playing country and western music that mixed rural string-playing, folk ballads, blues, and white gospel–a style later known as bluegrass. Featuring Monroe's high tenor voice and virtuoso mandolin along with the fiddle, bass, guitar, and banjo, the band became known for its beautiful harmonies and driving rhythms. From 1945 on the group made a series of popular recordings, including New Muleskinner Blues and Kentucky Waltz. Monroe's own songs include Blue Moon of Kentucky and I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

See biography by R. D. Smith (2000); N. V. Rosenberg, Bluegrass: A History (1985); Rooney, J., Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters (1991); T. Ewing, ed., The Bill Monroe Reader (2000); The Music of Bill Monroe: From 1936 to 1994 (4 CDs, 1994); High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music (documentary film, 1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Bill Monroe from Infoplease:

  • Bill Monroe - Bill Monroe bluegrass musician Born: 9/13/1911 Birthplace: Rosine, Kentucky The father of ...
  • Bill Monroe - Biography of Bill Monroe, Kentuckian called "The Father of Bluegrass Music"
  • Vassar Clements - Clements, Vassar Clements, Vassar, 1928–2005, American virtuoso fiddle player, b. Kinards, ...
  • Muddy Waters - Waters, Muddy Waters, Muddy, 1915–83, African-American blues singer and guitarist, b. Rolling ...
  • September 13 Birthdays: Walter Reed - September 13 birthdays: Walter Reed, Arnold Schoenberg, Claudette Colbert, J. B. Priestley, Sherwood Anderson, John J. Pershing, Milton Hershey , Roald Dahl, Bill Monroe

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies