Bill Monroe

Date: 1993 December 09
Length: 47 min.
Call Number: OHC193


Pioneer bluegrass performer. Born September 13, 1911. Died September 9, 1996. Full name: William Smith Monroe. Career active 1920s-1990s. Known as the Father of Bluegrass. Recognized as a leading force in establishing bluegrass as a country music style. During 1920s-1930s performed with his brother, Charlie Monroe, as the Monroe Brothers. Late 1930 began career with his new band, the Blue Grass Boys. Recorded for RCA, Columbia, and Decca/MCA. Member, International Bluegrass Hall of Honor. Member, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Member, Country Music Hall of Fame®.

Interview Summary

1993 December 9
(47 minutes)
Legendary bluegrass performer Bill Monroe recalls highlights of his career from the 1950s and early 1960s. Discussion includes the story behind instrumentals he recorded during these years followed by his solo performance of some of these tunes, including “Roanoke,” “Evening Prayer Blues,” and “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz”; the impact of rock & roll on his career; working with Owen Bradley; his popularity in the Midwest; his first album, Knee Deep in Bluegrass; his first gospel album, I Saw the Light; performing at Carnegie Hall in 1962; and his recordings during the early 1960s.