by Bill Monroe
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A powerful two-CD overview of Bill Monroe's 30-plus years recording for Decca/MCA, Anthology picks up in 1950 with a spirited reworking of "New Mule Skinner Blues" and sets down in 1981, with one of the bluegrass pioneer's final recordings, the poignant instrumental "My Last Days on Earth," which features a lovely string arrangement by none other than Bill McElhiney, best known for the dazzling work he did for Patsy Cline. The set features several re-recordings of early classics (including the post-Elvis 1954 version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" that incorporates the Hillbilly Cat's up-tempo flair), but in keeping with Monroe's style, these discs showcase the master's interest in a wide range of material, both in his originals and in covers drawn from black gospel and blues, folk songs, and traditional and contemporary country fare, such as A. P. Carter's "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy" and "The Long Black Veil." Vocally, Monroe was at his peak during these years, his voice a mature, expressive, and bold instrument on its own, almost as much of a story as his mandolin work. And though Flatt & Scruggs had left the fold by this time, Monroe never hurt for gifted musicians in the Bluegrass Boys. The names that pop out on this set include guitarist Jimmy Martin; fiddlers Kenny Baker, Vassar Clements, Gordon Terry, and Charlie Cline; bassists Ernie Newton and Besse Lee Mauldin; and guitarist Del McCoury, who shares a lively lead vocal with Monroe on "Roll On, Buddy, Roll On." And not the least of Anthology's virtues is its spotlighting of Monroe as a mandolin virtuoso. He did it all. Hitting every high note of a 30-year run is too much to ask of two CDs, but only curmudgeons could grouse about Anthology's omissions. What's here is choice.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2003
Label: Mca Nashville
UPC: 0008811320720
catalogNumber: 113207
Rank: 23519

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Monroe   Primary Artist,Mandolin,Vocals
Norman Blake   Guitar
Del McCoury   Guitar,Vocals
Peter Rowan   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Keith   Banjo
Buddy Spicher   Fiddle
Kenny Baker   Vocals
Don Stover   Banjo
Grady Martin   Guitar
Tony Ellis   Banjo
Vic Jordan   Banjo
Gordon Terry   Fiddle,Vocals
Carl Butler   Guitar
Curtis McPeake   Banjo
Byron Berline   Fiddle
George Binkley   Violin
Boudleaux Bryant   Vocals
Roy Christensen   Cello
Vassar Clements   Fiddle
Charlie Cline   Fiddle,Vocals
Jack Cooke   Guitar
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Carl Gorodetzky   Violin
Lamar Grier   Banjo
Bobby Hardin   Background Vocals
Mark Hembree   Bass
Bobby Hicks   Fiddle
Tommy Jackson   Fiddle
Sheldon Kurland   Strings,Violin
Rudy Lyle   Banjo,Vocals
Jimmy Martin   Guitar,Vocals
Edd Mayfield   Guitar,Vocals
Dennis Molchan   Violin
James Monroe   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Ernie Newton   Bass,Vocals
Sonny Osborne   Banjo
Carter Stanley   Guitar,Vocals
Joe Stuart   Banjo,Fiddle,Guitar
Howard Watts   Bass
Roland White   Guitar,Vocals
Curtis Young   Background Vocals
Joe Zinkan   Bass
Farris Coursey   Drums
Dale Potter   Fiddle
Hubert Davis   Banjo
Joe Drumright   Banjo
Milton Estes   Vocals
Arlene Hardin   Background Vocals
Culley Holt   Vocals
Lonnie Hoppers   Banjo
Cindy Nelson   Background Vocals
Joel Price   Bass,Vocals
Merle "Red" Taylor   Fiddle
Horace "Benny" Williams   Fiddle
Rual Yarbrough   Banjo
Jackie Phelps   Guitar
Hal Smith   Fiddle
Franklin G. Buchanan   Guitar,Vocals
Jimmy Maynard   Guitar,Vocals
Jimmy Selph   Guitar
Tommy Williams   Fiddle
Robert Lee Pennington   Banjo
Richard Greene & Beryl Marriott   Fiddle
Red Stanley   Fiddle
Red Hayes   Fiddle
Jimmy Elrod   Guitar
Don Lineberger   Banjo

Technical Credits

Bill Monroe   Composer,Producer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Rev. Louis Overstreet   Composer
Cliff Carlisle   Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin   Liner Notes
Owen Bradley   Producer
Walter Haynes   Producer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Bill McElhiney   String Arrangements
Andy McKaie   Producer
Harry Silverstein   Producer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Vartan   Art Direction
Leverett   Cover Photo
M. Christian   Composer
Dave Lazar   Composer
Alan Riggs   Composer
Larry Ehrlich   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Tom Six   Composer
Paul Cohen   Producer
Dave Lazer   Composer
Miller   Composer
Rupert Jones   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Anthology 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Bill Monroe will always be associated with Flatt and Scruggs, even though they were in his band for only a few years. This collection begins in 1950 after they departed to form a unit that overshadowed the Father of Bluegrass in the Fifties and Sixties. However, no one seemed to stay with Bill for long; he was stingy and difficult to work with. Check out the song titles. This is a compilation of bluegrass classics, tunes that will be played as long as the music survives. No fan of the genre should be without Anthology, especially at this bargain price.