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Apr 30, 2022 - 10:20:43 AM
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6604 posts since 10/13/2007

I just heard about this today. U of Illinois press is releasing a new book on Bill Monroe written by bass player of 5 years Mark Hembree.Always interesting to read about Mr. Monroe - a complex man. sorry if this should have been posted in music related but it was so specific the Bluegrass and as Lester Flatt said: "bluegrass has to have the banjo".

here is the link to the book order.

Apr 30, 2022 - 11:46:11 AM
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2942 posts since 12/31/2005
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It's an interesting read if you like tales about the unvarnished truth about life as a Bluegrass Boy. Some of the writing is excellent as well. His description of Monroe's "office" is really an amazing passage. If you know someone who is considering the glamourous life of a road musician, you may want them to read this book first.

Apr 30, 2022 - 12:26:33 PM
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22965 posts since 7/6/2005

I bought Butch Robbins book several years ago, and I just ordered this. It will be interesting to compare their perspectives.

Apr 30, 2022 - 12:45:36 PM
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4386 posts since 6/15/2005

And after that, Bob, you should read Bob Black's book!

Apr 30, 2022 - 1:21:08 PM
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14777 posts since 10/30/2008

I'm read Mark's book right now and finding it an important addition to my library on Monroe. In the foreword Mark says he will not get into anything about Monroe's "love life", leaving that to others.

Mark's book is probably the best written one so far. Some nice photos.

One nice thing is Mark tells stories on and about his fellow Blue Grass Boys almost as much as Monroe. I've laughed out loud many times so far.

It also provides great corroboration to many of the stories floating around about Big Mon.

I got in from Amazon for my Kindle so it didn't cost much. Glad I bought it.

May 1, 2022 - 12:07:45 PM
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472 posts since 8/3/2004

I agree completely with Dick. Mark Hembree’s book is very well-written, and it is full of humorous anecdotes about the members of the BGB, including Mr. Bill himself. The picture of the Father of Blue Grass that emerges from Hembree’s book as well as from Butch Robins’s book is of a strange, complex, and tremendously gifted man. Mr. Bill was a real piece of work.

May 5, 2022 - 9:34:46 AM



2064 posts since 2/22/2006

I'm close to finishing it. It might be subtitled "why you would not want to be a bluegrass boy," but it is a terrific book, written with a sense of humor and respect of the personality quirks of the father of bluegrass. I've learned a lot about Kenny Baker from the book, too.

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