Monroe biography

  1. Marty Henrickson
    Marty Henrickson
    I recently notified my wife that she needs to go ahead and buy Can't You Hear Me Callin' for me at the next gift-giving opportunity. Are there any more recommended books out there about Big Mon?
  2. mandozilla
    Absolutely! "The Bill Monroe Reader" by Tom Ewing the last Blue Grass Boy guitarist before Bill passed away. She can find them on ebay and probably for sure on Amazon. Good reading. Marty I don't how much you know about WSM's personal life but there's some pretty wild stuff in 'Can't You Hear Me Calling' so hang on! HaHa
  3. Mike Bunting
    And, "Come Hither to go Yonder" by Bob Black, banjo player with Monroe. Also "What I know About What I Know: The Musical Life of an Itinerant Banjo Player" by Butch Robins.
    "Bluegrass, A History" is definitive history of the music. They're all on Amazon.
  4. Marty Henrickson
    Marty Henrickson
    Thanks much, I think I remember seeing a couple of these in my amazon wanderings.
  5. Billy1
    Can't You Hear Me Calling is an excellent book as is the Bill Monroe Reader. I haven't had a chance to get Come Hither To Go Yonder but you can bet I will the first chance I get.
  6. Hytest Mando
    Hytest Mando
    I am currently reading "Can't you hear me Calling" and I can say it has opened up a totally diffrent way that I look at Mon. Instead of just hearing a tune and trying to picture him in my mind, I now see the influences in his life that shaped his music. The book has made me appreciate him even more. People argue that he did not start the Bluegrass genre. But anyone that would have a open mind and read this book, would see that he is the one that brought all the pieces together to make Bluegrass what it is today.
  7. Mike Bromley
    Mike Bromley
    What people are those, who argue fluff like the idea that Mon didn't start Bluegrass? More Pseudo-something-or-others with nothing better to do?
  8. Mike Bunting
    Just young'uns with no sense of history.
  9. mandolirius
    No one's mentioned "Bossmen - Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters". It's a good one.
  10. Mike Bunting
    Is that still available? That's by Jm Rooney isn't it? Jammed with him, Bll Keith and Kenny Kosek at the Edmonton Folk Fest back n '91
  11. mandolirius
    Yep, Jim Rooney. I got it at the library.
  12. SilverAngelFan
    I can't imagine anything is better than "Can't You Hear Me Callin"
  13. mandolirius
    <I can't imagine anything is better than "Can't You Hear Me Callin">

    It's not a matter of being "better". It's more a case of listing every book we can think of that is about Bill Monroe. And it is a very well-written book. But if we're talking about "essential", Neil Rosenberg's "Bluegrass, A History" would get my vote.
  14. Marty Henrickson
    Marty Henrickson
    Unfortunately, I won't get these all at once, as my wife said she's not going to buy me $150 worth of books for our anniversary.
  15. evanreilly
    For reading now, get the 'updated' discography: The Music of Bill Monroe by Rosenberg & Wolfe.
    And start saving pennies for the definitive biography of WSM that Tom Ewing is working on.
  16. Mike Bunting
    How far in the future for Tom's book, any idea?
  17. evanreilly
    Tom is working on the biography chronologically. Last I spoke with him, he estimated maybe one or two years until publication.
    It will be published by the University of Illinois, as was his last work.
  18. Mike Bunting
    Dang, I guess I'll have to go to the Monroecamp in 2010 too to buy the book! Poor me!
  19. Mike Bunting
    Has anybody seen the short publication called "Howdy, Folks, Howdy" by Doug Hutchens. It's a collecion of stories about Bill Monroe, I think I read a bunch of these stories somswhere on the innertube around the time of Big Mon's passing. I'm just wondering if my recollection is correct.
  20. Scott Tichenor
    Scott Tichenor
    I'll second Neil Rosenberg's The Music of Bill Monroe. A discography for sure, but interlaced with many fascinating details of Monroe's life, the band, etc.
  21. evanreilly
    I spoke recently with Tom Ewing and he is still very busy with the biography. He has finished drafting the 1940's era and just started 1950. And that will be a very big decade for WSM.
  22. Jordan Young
    Jordan Young
    Im 16 years old and I dont ever hardly read anything lol...but about a year and a half ago i was notified by my freshman english teacher that id had to do a book report and I found my poppaws copy of Cant Ya Hear Me Callin and and I loved every part of...Ive never been so interested by a book...It really changed my outlook on Monroe as a person, because I never had the chance to see him play live he was kind of like a mystory to me but that book will tell ya more than a man needs to know on The Father of Bluegrass
  23. Marty Henrickson
    Marty Henrickson
    Well, I got Can't You Hear Me Callin' for my anniversary back in June, and I am about 3/4 or so of the way through it. This given the fact that I recently started a job working 10 1/2-hour days with a 45-minute commute one way. There hasn't been much time for pickin' or reading, but the book is fascinating. It's amazing the way Monroe transformed from a youngster ridiculed and made fun of to an adult admired by thousands - if not millions - of fans, and an influence on to many styles of music to bother naming.
  24. Mike Bunting
    Jordan, I know it's off topic but READ books, don't be part of the ADD generation. Good luck and have fun.
  25. ElvisCash
    I just read Cant You Hear Me Callin' right after I bought my mandolin. I loved it! Here's the review I wrote on Goodreads.

    Since last year, I've been trying to go through a loosely chronological study of country music starting with The Carter Family. This study mostly consists of reading biographies of the biggest names in the music, with general books thrown in (A Good-Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music, U.S.A., etc.).
    Since then, I've read books on the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Grand Ole Opry. Now I've jumped my timeline a little bit, because I just bought a mandolin and I would like to know as much about Monroe as possible.

    Can't You Hear Me Calling does not disappoint. After I finished the book, I felt like I knew Bill better than people who were close to him. Monroe was famous for his stoic facade, Richard D. Smith show us the real Monroe in his full contradictory glory. Bill does not have the overall great story that the Carter family or Rodgers has, but Smith makes up for this lack of a compelling plot line by showcasing Bill's complexly fascinating personality.

    That is not to say that the plot line is not good or uninteresting. It's very entertaining and never feels like work to read. Arguably the most interesting part is Bill's childhood. Bill's loneliness, fear of rejection, and neglect are simply painful to imagine. Smith's book covers not only Monroe but a lot of bluegrass history as well. Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, and others are prominently featured as well.

    Something particularly fascinating to me was Bill's influence of rockabilly and rock n'roll. Carl Perkins, of whom I am a huge fan, said "Rock & roll music is a derivative of rockabilly music; rockabilly music is Bill Monroe and the blues tied together. That's it."

    There you have it. If you are interested in rock music history, country, bluegrass, American music, or mandolin this is a solid read that will open up your eyes and show you new things. The way Bill taught his new Blue Grass boys was by having them watch him, and this book provides such an opportunity.
Results 1 to 25 of 25