Talk:Bill Monroe

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External link[edit]

The page had an external link:

Bluegrass by Richie Unterberger

(Spaces inserted between the brackets so you can see what the markup was, not the result.) That didn't display right or link successfully, and I couldn't come up with a variation that didn't produce a 404, and I couldn't find what the original author could have had in mind by searching on that site for Unterberger or Bluegrass. What's a Wikipedian to do?? Kbh3rd 03:18, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Do we need to mention the accusations that he hit a woman with a Bible?

Preceding unsigned comment added by Dubc0724 (talk) 20:05, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Does anybody know, if Bill Monroe was married and if he had children? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:48, 15 May 2007 (UTC).

I don't think much is written about this. Take a look at this artcile. -MrFizyx 18:48, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
This is something I was interested in too, especially after visiting Rosine, Kentucky, and seeing Bill Monroe's gravesite, and seeing that there's a picture of him and his dog on the monument and no mention of a woman of any kind. Yet, I have a DVD (The Father of Bluegrass Music (1993)) that tells his musical story and shows his son, James Monroe, playing in Bill's band at one point later on in his career. So, just now I Google searched "Bill Monroe's wife", and found the article by Steve Romanoski about a book by Tom Ewing entitled, "The Bill Monroe Reader", and this article (also mentioned and linked above by "MrFizyx") says the following:
"And while it is a well-known fact that Monroe was a man who enjoyed the companionship of the ladies, one really has to read the articles closely to uncover this aspect of his life. There was his wife, Carolyn, Bessie Lee Mauldin his longtime companion and Della Streeter (Monroe's second wife). Later the name Julia LaBella surfaces as does Wanda Huff who, apparently, stalked Monroe and brought charges of assault and battery against him in 1989 (Monroe was exonerated ten days later). Yet the depth of each of these relationships is side stepped. Possibly out of respect for a legend, but more likely because the press during Monroe's prime simply didn't expose the unconventional as they do today. As Monroe evolved into the era that did seek alternative stories, he had already achieved legendary status and a pass from investigative journalists."
Geneisner 21:16, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Relation to James Monroe, fifth President of the United States?[edit]

I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame about a week ago, and as I was walking through the "Hall of Fame" section with the plaques on the wall in the round, I noticed that on Bill Monroe's plaque it mentions that he is related to the "fifth President of the United States". I was wondering if anyone had more information about this, and if there is a genealogical chart anywhere that shows how Bill Monroe was related to President James Monroe. Geneisner 21:29, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

According to Monroe's bio, Can't You Hear Me Calling: The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass by Richard Smith, he was not a direct descendant of the former President. On pages 4-5, Smith says one of Bill's ancestors was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where President Monroe lived, and that he could have been a 'collateral descendant', like a distant cousin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MandoCoop (talkcontribs) 17:23, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
The link in the article reflist that takes you to the NYT site will let you read the first chapter, which goes into family tree and the info Mandocoop cites. Very interesting.
Ragityman (talk) 03:48, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Arnold Shultz[edit]

Why does someone ( keep trying to remove the reference to Arnold Shultz? They've tried to remove it over THREE times already, even after a source was referenced. Obviously this person is IGNORANT when it comes to the story of Bill Monroe and his music, or they are just removing the name Arnold Shultz because they don't like the fact that the Father of Bluegrass music was influenced by a black man? Well, since this person has displayed their ignorance, I would like to correct them and point to the evidence as represented in Robert Cantwell's book Bluegrass Breakdown: The Making of the Old Southern Sound (1984):

On pages 30-32 it says the following:

"Me and him" Monroe recalls, alluding to Arnold Shultz, a black fiddler and guitar player who worked for a time in Rosine, "played for a dance there one night and he played the fiddle and we started at sundown and the next morning at daylight we was still playing music - all night long. And, of course, that automatically made you be dancing on Sunday..."

"Still more telling, perhaps, is the young Monroe's association with Arnold Shultz, an important Kentucky tradition bearer whose influence reached not only Monroe but Ike Everly - the Everly Brother's father - Mose Rager, and, through Rager, Merle Travis. Folklorist William Lightfoot has discovered in interviews some of the important details of Shultz's otherwise obscure life: that he was born in 1886 in Ohio County, Kentucky, the son of a man who had been born into slavery and who had taken his name from his owner, a Revolutionary War soldier who had moved to Ohio County before the turn of the eighteenth century. Shultz's whole family played stringed instruments and toured Ohio County as a family band; his cousin remembers him playing "Waggoner" and "Old Hen Cackle" on the fiddle. His most important contribution was then known as "thumb-style" guitar, the instrument which Shultz took up first in 1900, taking lessons from his uncle. From this style grew the regional guitar-picking style now most associated with Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, characterized by a syncopated melody, a steady, damped bass heavily accented, walking bass runs, melodic ornaments, a swinging or bouncing tempo, and, in contrast to other country styles, sophisticated chording up the neck of the guitar, with all the strings stopped. In other words, the guitar style which Arnold Shultz apparently introduced into central Kentucky had all the earmarks of jazz, if it was not actually a jazz style. Shultz died in 1931, leaving behind him a number of legends: that he had played showboats on the Green River, that he had played with Louis Armstrong, that he had been poisoned at the end by a jealous white musician."

"It was not until rather late in his career, under the influence of the new self-consciousness aroused by the folk revival, that Bill Monroe explicitly acknowledged the black influence upon his music and named the man to whom that influence could be attributed. Yet throughout his career Monroe has shown an interest in and an admiration for the black musician far more typical of country musicians than is generally acknowledged or even understood. The popular tent show which Monroe ran in the early forties included the Opry's black harmonica player, DeFord Bailey, with whom Monroe developed a close friendship, taking it upon himself to find lodgings for Bailey in the many southern towns in which blacks were not offered hospitality."

A quote from Bill Monroe about Arnold Shultz on page 32: "I used to listen to him talk and he would tell us about the contests that he had been in and how tough they was... I admired him that much that I never forgot alot of the things that he would say. There's things in my music, you know, that come from Arnold Shultz - runs that I use alot in my music, I don't say that I make them the same way that he could make them 'cause he was powerful with it. In following a fiddle piece or a breakdown, he used a pick and he could just run from one chord to another the prettiest you've ever heard. There's no guitar picker today that could do that... I believe it was the next day about ten o'clock there was a passing train come down through and stopped at Rosine and I believe he caught that train and went back home and that was about the last time I ever saw him. I believe if there's ever an old gentleman that passed away and is resting in peace, it was Arnold Shultz - I really believe that."

"Monroe asserts that had circumstances not led him to the mandolin he would have become a blues guitar player, "the way Arnold Shultz played it, with a straight pick.""

Geneisner (talk) 20:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Very interesting story. I was always interested in Arnold Shultz's life, but was never able to find out more about him. Maybe it's enough for an article... Anyway, I also undid the edits by and told him at his talk, that it is now referenced and that he has to stop his reverting. Is this a kind of vandalism? If he (or she) will do it again, I will report him (or her) there. The yodeling cowboy (talk) 14:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Howdy, Yodeling Cowboy, the actions of could definitely be considered a type of Wikipedia:Vandalism. It seems this individual has violated the Wikipedia:Three-revert rule, and violators can be reported on the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/3RR. I'm not going to file a complaint now, but if this individual vandalizes this article again, I will file one (and they will most likely be blocked from editing this article.)
As for Arnold Shultz, his life is worth note and interesting enough to have a Wikipedia page, so I created one for him here: Arnold Shultz. If you, or anyone else, is interested in further information regarding the influence of African American music on American folk music and Bluegrass music in particular, then I highly recommend Robert Cantwell's book Bluegrass Breakdown: The Making of the Old Southern Sound. Geneisner (talk) 19:55, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Mel Bay publishes several books by Ketucky guitarist Tommy Fint. In the open pages Flint talks of his relationship with Mose Ranger and stories about the great county/blues men. He makes it quite clear that both white men and African American men would form ad-hoc bands and cross-breed both the blues and country music. He mentions that these inter-racial bands would play a magnificent and exotic cross of the two styles and that Mose would never allow ignorance to thwart their effots. Tommy flint is very revernt of this fact and pays homage to men like Bill Monroe and his commrade in arms Arnold Shultz. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Orange Blossom Special[edit]

It is said that Bill Monroe was the one who puts celebrity on the song "Orange Blossom Special" in 1942 (which is a great song), long before Cash's interpretation (1965). I am referring to this I guess why it is not mentionned ? Have a nice day--Bluescountryboy (talk) 23:32, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Biographical Video External Link[edit]

There is an excellent biographical video about Bill Monroe on the web site:

This would be a good addition to the External Links section. (talk) 15:58, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


Since he recovered from his car accident, I don't think he should be described as "critically injured". "Severely" or "Seriously" injured would be better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Bill Monroe IS NOT the creator of "Bluegrass" music![edit]

While Bill Monroe may have been the first one to call the style of music that he played "Bluegrass", he was not the first person to play that style of music. The tradition style of music now called "Bluegrass" was played by generations of people through out that part of the country long before Bill Monroe was ever born. This style has roots deep in Irish history long before the first white settlers ever reached the shores of America. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:27, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Bluegrass is _not_ the traditional type of music of which you speak. It is certainly descended from that music, although I would say that Scotland and Wales, at least, deserve mention along with Ireland as a source for this old-time music. What differentiates bluegrass is the style of arrangement. In traditional music, the instruments tended to play together or accompany a singer or, more rarely, an instrument that carried the melody. In bluegrass, there is a trading off of the solo role, in a manner similar to jazz. Along with the instrumental solos, of course, there is also vocal harmony. This jazz influence, even though bluegrass doesn't sound like jazz, is clear. Whether Monroe was the first one to bring this jazz influence into play or he simply named something that was already going on is debatable but it is clear that bluegrass is not traditional Appalachian music or its traditional Celtic ancestor. (talk) 01:36, 25 April 2012 (UTC)Will in New Haven24.2.195.200 (talk) 01:36, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Bluegrass owes as much to the contributions of the English, as it does to Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Blue Grass (two words) is a style of country music created by Bill Monroe as his commercial sound. It is named after his band. He took elements from Appalachian tradition (much more Irish than Scottish) but also from blues and 1930's jazz -- especially the idea of increasingly complex "breaks" after a "head" is played. Blauwkoe (talk) 17:15, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Appalachia was settled mostly by the English, Scottish and Scotch-Irish(Just more English & Scottish protestants).

The Appalachian tradition that you mention is actually British, not Irish.

Possible Bluegrass Wikiproject or task force?[edit]

Dear bluegrass enthusiasts: I am trying to find out if there is any interest in forming a bluegrass wikiproject, or possibly a task force underthe "roots music" project. If you would like to take part, please leave a message at User talk:Anne Delong/Bluegrass Topics, or if you would like to see what has been done so far, you can check out User:Anne Delong/Bluegrass Topics . There are hundreds of articles which are linked to the 'bluegrass music' page, and some of them could use a little sprucing up. —Anne Delong (talk) 03:54, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Conflicting birthdate on main page.[edit]

Conflicting birthdate on main page (background info lists his BD as being 1909, which would make him 86 years old when he died). Will someone confirm & correct this? (talk) 09:42, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Rod J.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Bill Monroe/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Initial rating Being the "father" of a musical genre makes this subject a Top importance in my mind. It's a start-class that needs some work. Acdixon 19:57, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 21:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 09:38, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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