The Bill Monroe Reader

The Bill Monroe Reader

3.33 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Tell 'em I'm a farmer with a mandolin and a high tenor voice", Bill Monroe said. Known as the Father of Bluegrass Music, Monroe pioneered a whole new category of music and inspired generations of musicians and fans. Yet from his founding of the original bluegrass band through six decades of performing he remained an enigmatic figure, a compelling mixture of fierce intensity, homespun modesty, and musical integrity. Determined to play the mandolin in a way it had never been played before, Monroe distinguished himself in the mid-1930s with the Monroe Brothers, then began forming his own band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1938. By the mid-1940s other bands were copying his sound, and a new style, bluegrass music, was born. While country music moved toward electrification, Monroe maintained his acoustic ensemble and developed his "high, lonesome sound", performing nearly up to his death in 1996. In this eclectic, richly illustrated reader, former Blue Grass Boy Tom Ewing gathers the most significant and illuminating of the many articles that have been written about Monroe. Through the writings of nearly sixty observers, interviewers, admirers, folklorists, and other scholars, along with Ewing's astute commentary, "The Bill Monroe Reader" offers a multifaceted view of one of the most influential country musicians of the twentieth century. Lively, heartfelt, and informative, "The Bill Monroe Reader" is a fitting tribute to the man and the musician who transformed the traditional music of western Kentucky into an international sensation.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 159.3 x 244.1 x 26.2mm | 696.71g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • New.
  • 0252025008
  • 9780252025006

Flap copy

"Tell 'em I'm a farmer with a mandolin and a high tenor voice", Bill Monroe said. Known as the Father of Bluegrass Music, Monroe pioneered a whole new category of music and inspired generations of musicians and fans. Yet from his founding of the original bluegrass band through six decades of performing he remained an enigmatic figure, a mixture of fierce intensity, homespun modesty, and musical integrity.Determined to play the mandolin in a way it had never been played before, Monroe distinguished himself in the mid-1930s with the Monroe Brothers, then began forming his own band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1938. By the mid-1940s, other bands were copying his sound, and a new style, bluegrass music, was born. While country music moved toward electrification, Monroe maintained his acoustic ensemble and developed his "high, lonesome sound", performing nearly up to his death in 1996.In this eclectic, richly illustrated reader, former Blue Grass Boy Tom Ewing gathers the most significant and illuminating of the many articles that have been written about Monroe. Through the writings of nearly sixty observers, interviewers, admirers, folklorists, and other scholars, along with Ewing's astute commentary, The Bill Monroe Reader offers a multifaceted view of one of the most influential country musicians of the twentieth century. Lively, heartfelt, and informative, The Bill Monroe Reader is a fitting tribute to the man and the musician who transformed the traditional music of western Kentucky into an international sensation.show more

About Tom Ewing

Tom Ewing played guitar with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys from 1986 to 1996. He is a columnist for and contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.show more

Review quote

"Excellent... Especially intriguing are the various interviews conducted with Monroe throughout his career... Editor's comments following each article are well worth the price of admission in themselves. Ewing's years with Monroe and in-depth research add much to the pieces as he corrects misinformation or expounds upon the history." -- Jonathan Colcord, Country Standard Time. "Neatly winnows out the chaff and gathers into a bundle what emerges as a complete mosaic of the artist. " -- Chuck Hicks, PopMatters.com. "What Ewing establishes best is that Bill Monroe was a complex human being... The Bill Monroe Reader is a fascinating glimpse inside the emotional armor of this legendary player... I was inspired to go out and buy a box set of Bill Monroe's music and began to rediscover each incredible note." -- Steve Romanoski, iBluegrass Magazine "Much more than a compilation of pieces about Monroe and Bluegrass. Ewing has annotated each with an eye for detail and an extensive knowledge of his subject that would do credit to other first-rate country music researchers." -- Andrew Smith, Bluegrass Australia "[Ewing] neatly winnows out the chaff and gathers into a bundle what emerges as a complete mosaic of the artist... Despite the daunting task of poring over the literally thousands of pages devoted to Monroe, Ewing produces a substantive work that is kept hones by his own incisive editorial notes... Indispensable." -- Chuck Hicks, Pop Matters "The selections Ewing has chosen are good ones. There are newspaper reprints about Bill Monroe the farmer, Bill the ladies' man, Bill the devout and humble Christian and Bill the incredibly hardworking performer for over 60 years." -- Sing Outshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 33% (3)
3 33% (3)
2 22% (2)
1 0% (0)
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