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RCA Country Legends: Bill Monroe

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Album Review

Bill Monroe is one of the most influential and important American musicians to ever pick up an instrument. He is undoubtedly the father of bluegrass and at least an uncle of country. This set captures Monroe near the beginning of his long and storied career and does a nice job showing the roots of bluegrass. The 16 tracks include many classic songs like "Orange Blossom Special," "Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 6)," and "In the Pines" and encompass Monroe's entire 1940-1941 tenure at RCA. This set is a not an essential purchase; a collection of Monroe's Columbia years would fit that bill. However, it is a good set for those who wish to dig a little deeper.


Born: 13 September 1911 in Rosine, KY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass. He invented the style, invented the name, and for the great majority of the 20th century, embodied the art form. Beginning with his Blue Grass Boys in the '40s, Monroe defined a hard-edged style of country that emphasized instrumental virtuosity, close vocal harmonies, and a fast, driving tempo. The musical genre took its name from the Blue Grass Boys, and Monroe's music forever has defined the sound of classical bluegrass -- a five-piece acoustic string band,...
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