Bill Monroe



William Smith Monroe was born on September 13, 1911 near Rosine, Kentucky. His mother died when he was ten, and his father when he was sixteen, and Bill was bounced from relative to relative. His early music was inspired by his uncle Pendleton Vandiver, who played fiddle at local dances. Bill formed dance bands wherever he was, and in 1945 a banjo player with a distinctive three finger picking style joined his band, and this fellow named Earl Scruggs brought just the right touch to the band, and their fame increased almost immediately. Their band, named the Blue Grass Boys, soon displayed a distinctive musical style that became known as 'Bluegrass' music. Bill Monroe was later inducted into not only the Country Music Hall of Fame, but also the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also received the Grammy Lifetime achievment award, but also the National Medal of Arts. He died September 9, 1996 after suffering a massive stroke.

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