Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Music of Bill Monroe - Part 4 (1967-78)

Bill Monroe - Part 4

1) Roll On Buddy, Roll On – 1967/Bluegrass Time - Decca
It Makes No Difference Now – 1967/Bluegrass Time - Decca

Cold Rain & Snow – Univ. of WI/Madison, WI – 2/13/67

The Walls of Time – Univ. of WI/Madison, WI – 2/13/67

Heavy Traffic Ahead – Univ. of MI/Ann Arbor, MI – 3/25/67

Jimmy Brown the Newsboy – Univ. of MI/Ann Arbor, MI – 3/25/67

Used to Be – Univ. of MI/Ann Arbor, MI – 3/25/67

Crossin’ the Cumberland – UCSB/Santa Barbara, CA – 5/15/67

Cotton-Eyed Joe – Osaka, Japan – 12/13/74

Footprints in the Snow – Grand Opera House/Wilmington, DE – 3/6/75

Get Up, John – Grand Opera House/Wilmington, DE – 3/6/75

Mary Jane, Won’t You Be Mine – Nuggets Studio/Nashville, TN – 5/4/76

Jerusalem Ridge – Nuggets Studio/Nashville, TN – 5/4/76

You Won’t Be Satisfied that Way – Eugene, OR - 1977

Y’all Come!Eugene, OR - 1977

The Road to Columbus – Jonathon Swift’s/Cambridge, MA – 3/23/77

Meet Me in the Moonlight Alone (the Prisoner’s Song) – Jonathon Swift’s/Cambridge, MA – 3/23/77

Sunset Trail – Great American Music Hall/San Francisco, CA – 10/78

Swing Low> I’ll Fly Away> I Saw the Light – Great American Music Hall/San Francisco, CA – 10/78

This is the last of the great 'Folk Boom' era in Bill Monroe's bands' history, churning out a class of Bluegrass Boys that went on to further the art of Bluegrass after Bill's time on earth had ended, and even while he was still here. Bill found himself with some financial problems towards the late 50's, country radio hits were less frequent as Nashville changed. It was around this time that audiences of young boomers starting taking great interest in all things folk, gaining Bill a steady audience that stayed with him until the end. Members of his band had been changing since very early on but now new members were very much connected to this new audience and Bill took to the college circuit for the first time in the early 60's, taking with him the young talents of Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Bill Keith and fiddlers Kenny Baker, Richard Greene and Byron Berline (who later recorded with the Stones), amongst others, ushering in a new era for the bluegrass Boys. Representative of this era is the album 'Bluegrass Time' originally issued on Decca records in early 1967 but recorded with many of the different members since a few years before that. One of Del McCoury's first recording sessions with Bill on 1/28/64 resulted in the first song of today's show, Roll On Buddy, Roll On.
Today we also heard a healthy sampling of some dates from the college circuit as well as a visit to Osaka, Japan and the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE in the mid 70's.
We also heard two cuts from an in-studio performance Bill and the Boys did in Nashville in 1976, broadcast later on the CBC in Canada and released on vinyl up north, now out-of-print: the new instrumental Jerusalem Ridge and Mary, Won't You Be Mine, otherwise known as My Little Sweetheart of the Mountains. Rounding out the 70's on today's show were a few different cuts from a show with little information, recorded in Eugene, OR sometime in 1977, and a visit to the infamous Jonathon Swift's in Cambridge Massachusetts also in 1977. We ended things today at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA in October of 1978 with Bill Monroe's famous spiritual medley that he often ended his show with.


Bill Monroe inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.
Photos of Bean Blossom in 1978
Gene Lowinger's photography

Portrait of a Bluegrass Fiddler

Interview with Wayne Lewis

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