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The Monroe Brothers

The Monroe Brothers began as a trio of Birch, Charlie, and Bill Monroe on fiddle, guitar and mandolin respectively, performing square dance songs as well as traditional and gospel numbers. In 1932, Bill and Charlie began touring professionally with the WLS touring company as dancers, appearing with the Hoosier Hot Shots and Red Foley among others, and in 1934 secured the sponsorship of the Texas Crystals Company, a manufacturer of laxatives. The association provided the Monroes with a steady stream of radio work for over a year until competing laxative maker Crazy Water Crystals took over sponsorship of the duo while they continued working on many of the same stations. The radio appearances made the Monroe Brothers a popular live act, which prompted the interest of RCA to recording the two. In mid-February the Monroe Brothers made their first recordings for RCA's Bluebird imprint, and went on to wax 60 sides in the following two years. Their music at this point was firmly within the brother duo tradition and exhibited only hints of the style Bill Monroe would later pioneer as the Father of Bluegrass. They were set apart from other harmony duos by Bill's piercing harmonies and mandolin leads, as well as the energy and often fast tempos of their performances. The very use of the mandolin as a lead instrument would revolutionize its application in country music, as would Bill's unique fiddle-influenced style. It would be silly to label them the "rock & roll of the '30s," but certainly there was an excitement and an edge to their music that put them on the frontier of hillbilly innovation in their day. In early 1938, Bill and Charlie parted ways due to personality conflicts and business disagreements, and each formed his own band shortly thereafter. Charlie formed a group called the Kentucky Pardners, and by 1941 (after a short stint with a band called the Kentuckians and an abortive attempt at recreating the Monroe Brothers sound with partner Cleo Davis) Bill Monroe was recording again for RCA with a band he named the Blue Grass Boys. In this new group, Monroe built upon his earlier innovations and developed the distinctive and enduring style that came to be known as bluegrass. ~ Greg Adams
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Blue Moon Of Kentucky 1936-1949

Disc 1

1. My Long Journey Home

2. What Is A Home Without Love

3. What Would You Give In Exchange?

4. Little Red Shoes

5. Nine Pound Hammer Is Too Heavy

6. On Some Foggy Mountain Top

7. Drifting Too Far From The Shore

8. In My Dear Old Southern Home

9. New River Train

10. This World Is Not My Home

12. On The Banks Of The Ohio

13. Do You Call That Religion?

14. God Holds The Future In His Hands

15. You've Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley

16. Six Months Ain't Long

17. Just A Song Of Old Kentucky

18. Don't Forget Me

19. I'm Going

20. Darling Corey

21. My Saviour's Train

22. I Am Thinking Tonight Of The Old Folks

24. The Old Cross Road

25. The Forgotten Soldier Boy

26. We Read Of A Place That's Called Heaven

27. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

28. The Saints Go Marching In

29. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms

Disc 2

1. Where Is My Sailor Boy

2. I Am Ready To Go

3. What Would The Profit Be

9. Weeping Willow Tree

20. He Will Set Your Fields On Fire

21. Sinner, You Better Get Ready

22. Have A Feast Here Tonight

23. Goodbye, Maggie

24. Rollin' On

25. The Old Man's Story

26. I've Still Got Ninety-Nine

27. Little Joe

28. A Beautiful Life

29. Pearly Gates

30. On My Way Back Home

Disc 3

1. When Our Lord Shall Come Again

2. Mule Skinner Blues

3. No Letter In The Mail

4. Cryin' Holy Unto The Lord

5. Six White Horses

6. Dog House Blues

7. I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do

8. Katy Hill (Instrumental)

9. Tennessee Blues

10. Shake My Mother's Hand For Me

11. Were You There

12. Blue Yodel, No. 7

13. The Coupon Song

14. Orange Blossom Special

16. In The Pines

17. Back Up And Push (Instrumental)

18. Rocky Road Blues

19. Kentucky Waltz

20. True Life Blues

21. Nobody Loves Me

22. Goodbye Old Pal

23. Footprints In The Snow

24. I'll Have A New Life

26. Come Back To Me In My Dreams

27. Heavy Traffic Ahead

29. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Disc 4

1. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

2. Toy Heart

3. Summertime Is Past And Gone

4. Mansions For Me

5. Mother's Only Sleeping

6. Blue Yodel, No. 4

7. Will You Be Loving Another Man?

8. How Will I Explain About You?

9. Shining Path

10. Wicked Path Of Sin

11. I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky

12. It's Mighty Dark To Travel

13. I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling

14. Little Cabin Home On The Hill

15. My Rose Of Old Kentucky

17. Sweetheart, You Done Me Wrong

18. The Old Cross Road

19. That Home Above

20. Remember The Cross

21. Little Community Church

22. Along About Daybreak

23. When You Are Lonely

24. Molly And Tenbrooks

25. Shine, Hallelujah, Shine

26. I'm Travelin' On And On

27. Can't You Hear Me Callin'

Disc 5

1. Travelin' This Lonesome Road

2. Blue Grass Stomp

3. The Girl In The Blue Velvet Band

Disc 6
x

Track List: Can't You Hear Me Callin' Bluegrass: 80 Years Of American Music

Disc 1

1. Soldier's Joy

2. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues

3. White House Blues

4. Bill Mason

5. Cannon Ball Blues

7. Keep On The Sunny Side

9. I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes

10. Great Speckle Bird

11. Orange Blossom Special

12. Ida Red

13. Pretty Polly

14. Lonesome Old River Blues

15. Mule Skinner Blues

16. Wreck On The Highway

17. The Drunkard's Grave

18. Rocky Road Blues

19. Searching For A Soldier's Grave

20. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

21. Dust On The Bible

22. I Heard My Mother Weeping

23. Will You Be Loving Another Man?

24. Blue Grass Breakdown

25. It's Mighty Dark To Travel

26. Molly And Tenbrooks (The Race Horse Song)

Disc 2

1. Can't You Hear Me Callin'

3. Poor Ellen Smith

4. The Drunkard's Hell

5. The Lonesome River

7. The Fields Have Turned Brown

8. The White Dove

10. I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow

14. When The Angels Rolled The Stone Away

15. Earl's Breakdown

16. Don't Get Above Your Raising

18. Why Did You Wander?

19. Flint Hill Special

20. I'll Go Stepping Too

21. Love And Wealth

23. My Lord Keeps A Record

24. I Love The Hymns They Sang At Mother's Grave

25. Reunion In Heaven

Disc 3

3. Seven Year Blues

4. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray

5. Somebody Touched Me

10. Twin Banjo Special

11. Gosh, I Miss You All The Time

15. Foggy Mountain Top

18. She Left Me Standing On The Mountain

20. Just Joshing

24. Rosalee

25. No More Goodbyes

26. The Ballad Of Jed Clampett

29. Mountain Dew

Disc 4

2. Black Mountain Rag (Soldier's Joy) (Live)

3. Pretty Boy Floyd

4. Bristol Steam Convention Blues

5. Farther Along

7. Can't You Hear Me Callin'

8. Cora Is Gone

10. Uncle Pen

11. Till The End Of The World Rolls Round

12. A Vision Of Mother

14. If I Could Be There

20. Tortured, Tangled Hearts

23. Daniel Prayed

24. Twelve Gates To The City

25. Soldier's Joy

x

Track List: Goodbye, Babylon

Disc 1

3. Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind On Jesus)

4. Present Joys

5. All I Want Is That Pure Religion

6. Satisfied

7. As The Life Of A Flower

8. Thou Carest Lord, For Me

9. Lift Him Up That's All

10. Rock My Soul

12. Crucifixion

13. Crying Holy Unto The Lord

14. I'll Never Go Back

15. God's Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares

16. Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

17. I Belong To The Band - Hallelujah!

18. River Of Jordan

19. Sow Good Seeds

20. I'll Be Satisfied

21. Troubled 'bout My Soul

22. Dry Bones

23. Jesus My All

24. Creep Along, Moses

26. He Gave Me A Heart To Love

27. O Day

Disc 2

1. There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down

3. The Bible's Right

4. Standing In The Need Of Prayer

6. How About You?

7. Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader

8. Murillo's Lesson

9. Glory, Glory, Glory, Glory To The Lamb

10. Come Over Here

11. I'm Gonna Cross The River Of Jordan

12. Milky White Way

13. Deliverance Will Come

14. Daniel In The Den Of Lions

16. No More, My Lord

17. This World Can't Stand Long

18. God's Getting Worried

19. Get Right Church

20. Move, Members, Move

21. Lover Of The Lord

23. On My Way To Heaven

24. The Bible's True

25. Ship Of Glory

28. When The Saints Go Marching In

Disc 3

1. Down On The Old Camp Ground

2. My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race

4. Ain't Gonna Lay My Armor Down

5. I'll Fly Away

6. Heavenly Vision

7. Lord, I Just Can't Keep From Crying

8. Lower My Dying Head

9. You've Got To Move

11. Golden Gate Gospel Train

12. I'll Be Rested (When The Roll Is Called)

13. Down On Me

14. Goin' To Rest Where Jesus Is

15. Got Heaven In My View

16. Judgment

17. I Want Two Wings To Veil My Face

18. We Got The Same Kinda Power Over Here

19. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today

20. That Great Day

21. I'm Bound For Home

22. I Am In The Heavenly Way

23. Over In The Glory Land

24. Death In The Morning

25. In The Land Where We'll Never Grow Old

26. Bathe In That Beautiful Pool

Disc 4

1. Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill

2. Christ Arose

3. If You See My Savior

4. Let Jesus Lead You

5. Found A Wonderful Savior

6. He Is My Story

7. I Remember Calvary

8. Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There

10. Hide Me In The Blood Of Jesus

12. Standing On The Promises

13. Jesus Is My Air-O-Plane

15. I Mean To Live For Jesus

16. When Was Jesus Born?

17. Come To The Savior

18. I Want Jesus To Walk With Me

19. He's Coming Soon

20. Return Again

21. I Am The True Vine

22. Sweet Story Of Old

23. I'll Lead A Christian Life

24. I'm Leaning On The Lord

25. Where He Leads Me I Will Follow

26. Jesus Is Getting Us Ready For The Great Day

Disc 5

3. Hallelujah To The Lamb

4. You Need Jesus On Your Side

5. You'd Better Mind

8. Keep On The Firing Line

9. Romans Ten And Nine

10. Standing Outside

11. Sinner You Better Get Ready

12. I Got To Cross The River Of Jordan

13. Free At Last

14. The Whole World In His Hand

15. Amazing Grace

16. Honey In The Rock

17. On Jordan's Stormy Banks We Stand

20. Primrose Hill

21. Keep On The Sunny Side

23. When The Saints Go Marching In

24. We Are Almost Down To The Shore

25. Strange Things Happening Every Day

Disc 6

1. Gettin' Ready For Christmas Day

4. The Downfall Of Nebuchadnezzar

5. The Liar

8. If I Have A Ticket Lord Can I Ride

9. You Must Be Born Again

11. Oh, Lord Remember Me

12. Christ, The Teacher

13. King Of Kings

14. O Lord I'm Your Child

15. Moses Was Rescued By A Negro Woman

16. That White Mule Of Sin

21. The Gambler's Doom

23. God Is Mad With Man

x

Track List: Prayers From Hell

1. That Lonesome Valley

3. Church In The Wildwood

4. New Prisoner's Song

5. Didn't Hear Nobody Pray

6. The Heavenly Train

7. Hell Bound Train

8. We Shall Rise

9. Down South Blues

10. What Will You Take In Exchange

11. Shining City Over The River

13. It Is Better Farther On

14. Country Blues

15. What Would The Profit Be

17. Stackalee

20. Sugar Baby

21. He Will Be Your Savior, Too

23. When Jesus Appears

24. Pretty Polly

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