Bill Monroe Bluegrass Music Story

Life of Bill Monroe

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Life of Bill Monroe
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 The beginning of a dream in bluegrass music

 William Smith Monroe was born on a farm in Rosine, Ky on Jerusalem Ridge to James & Melissa Monroe."Buck" his father was employed in several different occupations, including, logging, mining and farming, Buck cut the ties from the virgin timber on the place to build the home.  Before Bill was born, his mother played the mandolin to help releive the pain. Bill had three brothers who played, Birch, Charlie & Speed, his sister was Bertha who also played guitar.
Bill parents passed away and his uncle Pen Vandiver raised him and taught him how to play fiddle and mandolin.  Bill and his brothers formed their group,
The Monroe Brothers, later Bill formed his own group The Bluegrass Boys, the name came from the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.  Bill Joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1939.  In 1945 he had Lester Flatt as his lead singer and the same year he hired the young banjo player (who used the three finger style) in his band and they became the premier group on the Grand Ole Opry. A few years later Lester and Earl left Bill and formed their group, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain   Boys.  Bill found the mandolin he played until his death in 1986 in a barbershop and said "It cut through the sound better that any he had heard" and he purchased it.  He played the famous mandolin for about 50 years.  Bill played his last time at the Rosine Barn Jamboree, which he played at on many occasions shortly before he had a stroke and had to enter the nursing home where he passed away.  His funeral was at the Rosine Methodist church where he attended as a boy and the song "Little community church" was written about that church. He had a neice, Rosetta, and the song "My rose of old Kentucky" was written in memory of her.  His uncle Pen raised him and taught him to play and from this the song "Uncle Pen" was written.

House Bill was raised in
House before it was restored

The house Bill Monroe lived in
The house after it was completely restored

The Rosine General Store
The store is next to the Rosine Barn

Bill's F5 Gibson Mandolin
This is the prized mandolin that Bill played for 50 years

Ryman Auditorium click on picture for website
Birth place of bluegrass music


Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs
Begining of Bluegrass Music as we know it

George D. Hay, founder of the Grand Ole Opry
Hired Bill in 1939 Click on picture for website

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