Release Date: 09/15/09
By 1950, when this collection opens, Bill Monroe was a longterm star. He had thrived in the Depression and had enhanced his reputation during and after WW2. His great claim to fame was as the creator of Bluegrass. Our earlier set of Bill Monroe material (JSP 7712) featured his recordings up to late 1949. This second volume covers the era when he met the threat of rock 'n' roll. The mature star is featured here - all his virtuosity and vigor evident. His band members include masters like Rudy Lyle and Jimmy Martin and stars of the quality of Carter Stanley (briefly separated from Ralph) and Don Stover. Included too, are the sides that Monroe recorded as a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers. They divide opinion - some regard them as an aberration, others as a pointer to the future of Bluegrass. Cutting records was just part of the Monroe schedule. He was almost permanently on tour. Like most of his peers, he travelled between dates by car. In January 1953 he, and his companion, Bessie Lee Mauldin, were on the road to Nashville. At around 3 am an oncoming vehicle hit them. Bessie Lee received minor injuries but Bill had around nineteen broken bones. Incredibly he got out of the car, pulled Bessie free and got them both off the road. Bill was in hospital for three months. By May he was back on tour. His life then took a turn for the better. Elvis Presley's version of Blue Moon Of Kentucky rode high on the charts. Songwriting royalties were the result. And he still had a regular Opry spot. With the 1960s came new interest in folk roots and an upward surge in Bill's career. He continued to record and perform up until shortly before his death in 1996. By then he'd performed for four American presidents. It's no surprise that he was a national treasure.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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