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Dec 11, 2019 - 7:07:02 PM
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bubbalouie

Canada

14061 posts since 9/27/2007

I caught a snippet of stage banter from a traditional band that said they were going to play a song by the Real Father of Bluegrass, Charlie Monroe. They said Bill was only the Uncle of Bluegrass. angel

I looked him up! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Monroe

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 12/12/2019 15:43:40

Dec 11, 2019 - 8:28:55 PM
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dmiller

USA

23834 posts since 7/22/2007

HA!!  Quite a statement to make and then expecting folks to believe them.  Who'd a thunk it - - - eh??  

I never met Charlie, but I did get to meet Bill and his oldest brother Birch back in the early 1970's at the old Bean Blossom Barn. That was at the concerts they put on every Sunday during the summers there at Jamboree Park.  Birch was born in 1901/ Charlie in 1903/ and Bill in 1911 - - and they all used to perform together.  Since Birch is the eldest - - wouldn't that make Charlie an "uncle" too??  Hmmmm!  The music Charlie and Bill played (as The Monroe Brothers) was good - - but I adhere to the belief (along with so many others) that BLUEGRASS only started with Bill  - - when Lester and Earl worked with him.  

Edited by - dmiller on 12/11/2019 20:35:50

Dec 12, 2019 - 7:07:06 AM
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bubbalouie

Canada

14061 posts since 9/27/2007

You're right David! I just went by the bit I heard & the wiki article I posted. 

I just thought the Uncle of bluegrass was a funny turn of phrase & so did the audience in the clip & it got me to thinking. I agree Bill needed Earl & Lester to really call it Bluegrass.

I shook Bills hand here in Canada! They were coming up from the States to the Rideau River Bluegrass festival & there was a massive fog bank covering most of southern Ontario & the States south of the border.

They had a CB radio hooked up to the P.A. from the one in Bills tour bus keeping us posted on their progress through the fog. Other bands filled in in anticipation of them arriving.  

The bus pulled up right beside the stage & the band walked of the bus in single file all tuned up & dressed to nines & broke into their first tune! I'll never forget it! 

Dec 12, 2019 - 1:57:41 PM
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3607 posts since 12/6/2009

I second bubbalouie.....No Lester Flat or Earl Scruggs....no bluegrass period. It would still be hillbilly string band music. or even Folk music

Dec 12, 2019 - 2:14:04 PM
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55373 posts since 12/14/2005

Since the legend has it that the subgenre was named after the band which Monroe led, I'm willing to stipulate that Monroe may as well be called the "Father of Bluegrass".

And, yes, without Earl's distinctive banjo style, it might never have become a subgenre in its own right.

Just imagine!
Had Earl played with a band called The Stinkers, our favorite flavor of music might have been called "STINK"!

Dec 12, 2019 - 3:42:22 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23880 posts since 6/25/2005

Note only all that, but Charlie’s band featured a tenor banjo (Curley Sechler, no less).  So, down for the count.  The traditional band bubbalouie heard was full of the traditional stuff some bands are full of.

Dec 13, 2019 - 7:10:26 AM
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RB3

USA

752 posts since 4/12/2004

If Earl had been hired by Charlie instead of Bill, it's possible that there would be a distinct musical genre for which Charlie would be considered the patriarch, but it would have be called "Kentucky" music, not Bluegrass.

Dec 14, 2019 - 4:50:16 AM
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3607 posts since 12/6/2009

I’m going to stick my neck and even say because Lester Flatt and even Curly Sechler played with Charlie Monroe as did many eventual Bluegrass players….I say it was simply Earl Scruggs who put the music on the map as Bluegrass music….making Earl Scruggs the True father of bluegrass music…IMO

Dec 14, 2019 - 6:53:11 AM

1058 posts since 12/2/2013

Mike, I'm regularly surprised at your humor, so funny and surprising. One of these "Who is Father?" questions. Just remember the old saying about "success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan." I'm just thankful it all came together to make the music we love. PS: imagine if Earl played in a band called the Sh#tkickers.

Edited by - flyingsquirrelinlay on 12/14/2019 06:54:23

Dec 14, 2019 - 1:44:54 PM
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3607 posts since 12/6/2009

quote:
Originally posted by flyingsquirrelinlay

Mike, I'm regularly surprised at your humor, so funny and surprising. One of these "Who is Father?" questions. Just remember the old saying about "success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan." I'm just thankful it all came together to make the music we love. PS: imagine if Earl played in a band called the Sh#tkickers.


it didn't matter....when we were young in the 50's we called them Sh#tkickers anyway.

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