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Bill Monroe

bluegrass musician
Born: 9/13/1911
Birthplace: Rosine, Kentucky

The father of bluegrass, Monroe created the genre with his mandolin playing, high, lonesome tenor and nostalgic songs. Bluegrass was named after his band, the Blue Grass Boys, and their music has influenced Elvis Presley, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, the Grateful Dead, and many other artists. Using only stringed instruments, with an emphasis on the previously overlooked mandolin, Monroe fused gospel, folk, and his own original sound to create a cornerstone of today's country music. Members of his band have included Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Stringbean, and Sonny Osborne. Monroe's songs include “What Would You Give in Exchange,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Uncle Pen.”

Died: 9/9/1996

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