Bluegrass 1959-1969

Bluegrass 1959-1969

by Bill Monroe
     
 
For starters, the only reason this four-CD box didn't garner a perfect score was that the band Monroe led in the early '50s is a tough one to beat -- especially since it contained Jimmy Martin. Musically, the songs Bill Monroe recorded during this very difficult period for bluegrass music -- rock & roll was killing off country, as well as a host of pop music, and had

Overview

For starters, the only reason this four-CD box didn't garner a perfect score was that the band Monroe led in the early '50s is a tough one to beat -- especially since it contained Jimmy Martin. Musically, the songs Bill Monroe recorded during this very difficult period for bluegrass music -- rock & roll was killing off country, as well as a host of pop music, and had all but finished off Western swing -- were every bit as compelling as the earlier ones and moved into the gorgeous, grainy space that offered a pure view of his commitment to the music. As the liner notes attest, the early '60s were very difficult for the Bluegrass Boys on the concert circuit. They often traveled days at a time to make one gig, and musicians got paid for the time they actually worked rather than a steady salary. Recordings, too, were fewer and farther between, but each of them seemed to count for so much more. These were the years that Monroe hooked up with Owen Bradley -- who produced the majority of these sessions (Harry Silverstein did the rest), the man who would finally put Monroe back on the charts chasing his arch rivals Flatt & Scruggs -- who had embraced the folk revival movement in its entirety and were in turn embraced by it; they never lacked for a place to play and charted no less than 13 times in the same period. This is also the time Monroe met and befriended Ralph Rinzler from New York, who ran a group called "The Friends of Old Time music." Rinzler became involved with booking Monroe and his recording session with Bradley. The first real fruit of the association came with "Gotta Travel On," which charted number 15 with Billboard, and was followed up with "Come Go With Me" a full year before Marty Robbins recorded it. It also landed in the Top 50. This box tells that story, and tracks the confounding path of the complete sessions of those years as much of that the music found here never made it onto domestic LPs or CDs. For starters, there are songs such as "Dark as the Night, Blue as the Day," which ranks among one of Monroe's finest vocal performances. Of the 111 performances found here, among many alternate takes, unissued tracks, and domestically unissued sides, there are none left wanting. There is no substandard Bill Monroe material during these leaner years at all. As a plus, many of the music's most well-known performers today began with Monroe at this time, and many of the newgrass revival types were short- or long-term members of the Bluegrass Boys and appear here, including Vassar Clements, Peter Rowan, Buddy Spicher, Roland White, Vic Jordan, Richard Greene, Jackie Phelps, Joe Stuart, and many others. While influenced deeply by Monroe, they were also able, in small ways, sometimes intangibly, to influence his evolving sound. But it is the sound that matters here. While Flatt & Scruggs and others were embracing new trends in pop, folk, and country music, Monroe refused to integrate his music; though the '60s were tumultuous times, Monroe stayed close to the heart of his original bluegrass and old-time music and put it in anybody's face that would book him. As a result, many of the sides here are timeless, and with the possible exception of recording technology and studio sound, they could have been recorded at the time of the Carter Family. There is something that enters Monroe's voice about 1965, which is a permanent moan toward the past. In all these four CDs represent the second part of a long story that the folks at Bear Family are hell bent on telling, or letting it be told through the music. Their packaging as always is superb, and the liner notes by Charles Wolfe and Neil Rosenberg are flawlessly researched and written, as are the session notes taken from the master tapes themselves and the session notes by Bradley or Silverman. Truly inspiring is what this is.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/13/1994
Label:
Bear Family
UPC:
4000127155290
catalogNumber:
15529
Rank:
127643

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. When the Phone Rang
  2. Tomorrow I'll Be Gone
  3. Dark as the Night, Blue as the Day
  4. Stoney Lonesome
  5. Lonesome Wind Blues
  6. Thinking About You
  7. Come Go with Me
  8. Sold Down the River
  9. Linda Lou
  10. You Live in a World All Your Own
  11. Little Joe
  12. Put My Rubber Doll Away
  13. Seven Year Blues
  14. Time Changes Everything
  15. Lonesome Road Blues
  16. Big River
  17. Flowers of Love
  18. It's Mighty Dark to Travel
  19. Bluegrass, Pt. 1 (Bluegrass Twist)
  20. Little Maggie
  21. I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky
  22. Toy Heart
  23. Shady Grove
  24. Nine Pound Hammer
  25. Live and Let Live
  26. Danny Boy
  27. Cotton Fields
  28. Journey's End
  29. John Hardy
  30. Bugle Call Rag
  31. Old Joe Clark

Disc 2

  1. There Was Nothing We Could Do
  2. I Was Left on the Street
  3. Cheap Love Affair
  4. When the Bees Are in the Hive
  5. Big Ball in Brooklyn
  6. Columbus Stockade Blues
  7. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues
  8. How Will I Explain About You?
  9. Foggy River
  10. The Old Country Baptising
  11. I Found the Way
  12. This World Is Not My Home
  13. Way Down Deep in My Soul
  14. Drifting Too Far from the Shore
  15. Going Home
  16. On the Jericho Road
  17. We'll Understand It Better
  18. Somebody Touched Me
  19. Careless Love
  20. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  21. Jimmy Brown the Newsboy
  22. Pass Me Not
  23. Gloryland Way
  24. Farther Along
  25. Big Sandy River
  26. Baker's Breakdown
  27. Darling Corey
  28. Cindy
  29. Master Builder
  30. Let Me Rest at the End of the Day

Disc 3

  1. Salt Creek
  2. Devil's Dream
  3. Sailor's Hornpipe
  4. Were You There When They Crucified My Lord
  5. Pike County Breakdown
  6. Shenandoah Breakdown
  7. Santa Claus
  8. I'll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning
  9. Mary at the Home Place
  10. Highway of Sorrow
  11. One of God's Sheep
  12. Roll on Buddy, Roll On
  13. Legend of the Blue Ridge Mountains
  14. Last Old Dollar
  15. Bill's Dream
  16. Louisville Breakdown
  17. Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door)
  18. Just over in the Gloryland
  19. Fire on the Mountain
  20. Long Black Veil
  21. I Live in the Past
  22. There's an Old, Old House
  23. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again
  24. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
  25. Turkey in the Straw
  26. Pretty Fair Maiden in the Garden
  27. Log Cabin in the Lane
  28. Paddy on the Turnpike
  29. That's All Right
  30. It Makes No Difference Now
  31. Dusty Miller

Disc 4

  1. Midnight on the Stormy Deep
  2. All the Good Times Are Passed and Gone
  3. Soldier's Joy
  4. Blue Night
  5. Grey Eagle
  6. The Gold Rush
  7. Sally Goodin
  8. Virginia Darlin'
  9. Is the Blue Moon Still Shining?
  10. Train 45 (Heading South)
  11. Kentucky Mandolin
  12. I Want to Go with You
  13. Crossing the Cumberlands
  14. Walls of Time
  15. I Haven't Seen Mary in Years
  16. Fireball Mail
  17. The Dead March
  18. Cripple Creek
  19. What About You?
  20. With Body and Soul
  21. Methodist Preacher
  22. Walk Softly on My Heart
  23. Tall Pines
  24. Candy Gal
  25. Going up Caney
  26. The Lee Weddin' Tune
  27. Bonny
  28. Sweet Mary and the Miles in Between

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Monroe   Primary Artist,Mandolin,Leader,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Peter Rowan   Bass,Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Benny Martin   Fiddle
Buddy Spicher   Fiddle
Richard Greene & The Greene String Quartet   Fiddle
Kenny Baker   Fiddle,Overdubs
Carl Butler   Guitar
Curtis McPeake   Banjo
Byron Berline   Fiddle
Owen Bradley   Leader
Vassar Clements   Fiddle
Jackie Cook   Track Performer
Ray Edenton   Leader,Baritone (Vocal),Track Performer
Bobby Hicks   Fiddle
Joe Lesté   Track Performer
Bobby Lester   Fiddle,Vocals
Bessie Lee Mauldin   String Bass
James Monroe   Guitar,Leader,String Bass
Charles Smith   Fiddle
Joe Stuart   Guitar
Roland White   Guitar
Joe Zinkan   Leader,String Bass
Dale Potter   Fiddle
Thomas Williams   Fiddle
Joe Drumright   Banjo
Culley Holt   Bass (Vocal)
Lonnie Hoppers   Banjo
Horace "Benny" Williams   Fiddle,Guitar,Vocals
Rual Yarbrough   Banjo
Charles Edward Smith   Fiddle
B. White   Vocals
Jackie Phelps   Guitar
Franklin G. Buchanan   Guitar,Vocals
Robert Yates   String Bass
Robert Lee Pennington   Banjo
Jimmy Elrod   Guitar,Track Performer
Phillip Lamar Grier   Track Performer
Norman Keith   Track Performer
Don Lineberger   Banjo,Track Performer
LV-TC   Track Performer
Haro Stanley   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Bill Monroe   Composer,Liner Notes
Peter Rowan   Composer
Johnny Cash   Composer
Bill Keith   Composer
Merle Travis   Composer
Kenny Baker   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Owen Bradley   Producer
A.P. Carter   Composer
Martha E. Koenig   Composer
Harry Silverstein   Producer,Contributor
John Strother   Track Mix
Hank Williams   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Charles K. Wolfe   Liner Notes
Doyle Wilburn   Composer
Teddy Wilburn   Composer
Neil V. Rosenberg   Liner Notes
Hoffmann Nienburg   Artwork
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer
Virginia Stauffer   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Frederick Edward Weatherly   Composer

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