Bill Monroe

September 13, 1911 ā€“ September 9, 1996

William Smith Monroe was a hugely influential country musician. Born into a musical family in the “Bluegrass State” of Kentucky, young Bill took up playing the mandolin since his older brothers had already learned guitar and fiddle. They formed a family band, the Monroe Brothers, to play local dances and other shows and Bill (along with brother, Charley) eventually landed spots on regional and national radio programs and a recording contract with RCA Victor. Over the next several years, Bill gathered a stable of talented musicians and eventually formed the Blue Grass Boys where he leaned heavily on his Scottish roots and the music he grew up with. By the time Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys had found and fine-tuned their unique sound, an entire new genre of country music was born.

With lightning fast tempos, stunning musicianship, and high, complex vocal harmonies, “bluegrass” became an incredibly popular form of the already popular country music. Monroe played with a cavalcade of soon-to-be legends like Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Clyde Moody. The initial fervor over bluegrass waned in the late 1950’s but has had many resurgences, including the “folk revival” of the 1960’s. Throughout the ebbs and flows, Monroe – now dubbed the “Father of Bluegrass” – remained an integral player and a sought-after fixture at the Grand Ole Opry and bluegrass festivals around the country. Ever the collaborator, he famously gave his full blessing to Elvis Presley’s rock-and-roll cover of “Blue Moon of Kentucky”. Monroe aged well into a respected elder and influenced and continued to work with new generations of artists like Waylon Jennings, EmmyLou Harris and Ricky Skaggs. Bill Monroe is one of just a handful of artists to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The genre which he spawned remains to this day one of the most popular forms of music in the United States. Bill Monroe died after suffering a stroke just a few days shy of his 85th birthday.

Burial

Rosine Cemetery – Rosine, KY

Specific Location

Section A; Just look for the large obelisk monument on the southern side of the cemetery.

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