25 Facts About Bill Monroe


William Smith Monroe was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter, who created the bluegrass music genre.


Bill Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa Bill Monroe.


Bill Monroe recalled that his brothers insisted that he remove four of the mandolin's eight strings so he would not play too loudly.


Bill Monroe's mother died when he was ten, and his father died six years later.


On that album, Bill Monroe recorded a number of traditional fiddle tunes he had often heard performed by Vandiver.


In 1929, Bill Monroe moved to Indiana to work at an oil refinery with his brothers Birch and Charlie, and childhood friend and guitarist William "Old Hickory" Hardin.


Bill Monroe had wanted William Hardin to become one of the original members of his Blue Grass Boys; however, he had to decline.


In October 1939, Monroe successfully auditioned for a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry, impressing Opry founder George D Hay with his energetic performance of Jimmie Rodgers's "Mule Skinner Blues".


Bill Monroe seldom sang lead vocals on his Victor recordings, often preferring to contribute high tenor harmonies as he had in the Monroe Brothers.


Bill Monroe gave his blessing to Presley's rock and roll cover of the song, originally a slow ballad in waltz time, and re-recorded it himself with a faster arrangement after Presley's version became a hit.


On January 16,1953, Bill Monroe was critically injured in a two-car wreck.


Bill Monroe, who had suffered injuries to his back, left arm and nose, was rushed to General Hospital in Nashville.


Bill Monroe's fortunes began to improve during the American folk music revival of the early 1960s.


Many college students and other young people were beginning to discover Bill Monroe, associating his style more with traditional folk music than with the country-and-western genre with which it had previously been identified.


Accordingly, at the first bluegrass festival organized by Carlton Haney at Roanoke, Virginia in 1965, Bill Monroe was the central figure.


In 1967, Bill Monroe himself founded an annual bluegrass festival at Bean Blossom in southern Indiana, a park he had purchased in 1951, which routinely attracted a crowd of thousands; a double LP from the festival featuring Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt, and Jim and Jesse was released in 1973.


Bill Monroe recorded two albums of duets in the 1980s; the first featured collaborations with country stars such as Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, and The Oak Ridge Boys, while the second paired him with other prominent bluegrass musicians.


Bill Monroe died on September 9,1996, in Springfield, Tennessee, four days before his 85th birthday.


Bill Monroe was made an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1966.


Bill Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.


Bill Monroe was a recipient of a 1982 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.


Bill Monroe always considered himself the father and caretaker of bluegrass.


Bill Monroe tended to recruit promising young musicians who served an apprenticeship with him before becoming accomplished artists in their own right.


Bill Monroe was so influential: I think he's probably the only musician that had a whole style of music named after his band.


In 1999, the portion of Indiana State Road 135 running from Morgantown through to Nashville, Indiana was dedicated to Bill Monroe and is known as the Bill Monroe Memorial Highway.