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Music of Bill Monroe From 1936-1994 Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, July 19, 1994
$139.94 $33.99

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

4-CD set with built-in booklet. Includes 98 songs by Bill Monroe, some of which have never before been released, or have never before been released in the United States.

It's the rare artist who virtually invents a genre single-handedly, and there's no artist in any genre whose work has remained as dominant a force as Bill Monroe. The songs here not only define bluegrass, they remain the core of any bluegrass band's repertoire. Monroe added a dose of sophistication to traditional hillbilly music--intricate group harmonies, expert musicianship--and he rehearsed his Blue Grass Boys for hours on end. MCA's lavish 4 CD set covers 60 years and 98 songs, adding detailed notes and anecdotes. Beginning with 1936 duets with brother Charlie, the list of Blue Grass Boys reads like a roster of legends: Flatt and Scruggs, Chubby Wise, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Vassar Clements, Sonny Osborne, Bobby Hicks, Kenny Baker, Bill Keith, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, and Richard Greene; the list goes on and on, as does the legacy of Monroe's music. --Marc Greilsamer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. My Long Journey Home - The Monroe Brothers
  2. What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul - The Monroe Brothers
  3. Muleskinner Blues
  4. Cryin' Holy Unto My Lord
  5. Back Up And Push
  6. Goodbye Old Pal
  7. Heavy Traffic Ahead
  8. Wicked Path Of Sin
  9. It's Mighty Dark To Travel
  10. Bluegrass Breakdown
  11. Can't You Hear Me Callin'
  12. My Little Georgia Rose
  13. I'm On My Way To The Old Home
  14. I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome
  15. Uncle Pen
  16. Lord Protect My Soul
  17. Raw Hide
  18. Brakeman's Blues
  19. Sugar Coated Love
  20. Christmas Time's A Coming
  21. The First Whippoorwill
  22. In The Pines
  23. Footprints In The Snow
  24. Walking In Jerusalem

Disc: 2

  1. Memories Of Mother & Dad
  2. The Little Girl & The Dreadful Snake
  3. Y'all Come
  4. Sitting Alone In The Moonlight
  5. On And On
  6. White House Blues
  7. Happy On My Way
  8. A Voice From On High
  9. Close By
  10. Put My Little Shoes Away
  11. Wheel Hoss
  12. Cheyenne
  13. You'll Find Her Name Written There
  14. Roanoke
  15. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
  16. The Girl In The Blue Velvet Band
  17. Used To Be
  18. A Good Woman's Love
  19. Cry, Cry Darlin'
  20. I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World
  21. I'll Meet You In The Morning
  22. Scotland
  23. Molly And Tenbrooks
  24. John Henry

Disc: 3

  1. Big Mon
  2. Dark As The Night, Blue As The Day
  3. Sold Down The River
  4. Little Joe
  5. Lonesome Road Blues
  6. I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky
  7. Toy Heart
  8. Nine Pound Hammer
  9. Big Sandy River
  10. Darling Corey
  11. Salt Creek
  12. Sailor's Hornpipe
  13. Roll On Buddy, Roll On
  14. Bill's Dream
  15. Never Again
  16. Dusty Miller
  17. Midnight On The Stormy Deep
  18. Soldier's Joy
  19. Blue Night
  20. Sally Goodin
  21. Kentucky Mandolin
  22. Walls Of Time
  23. I Haven't Seen Mary In Years
  24. The Dead March
  25. With Body And Soul
  26. Walk Softly On My Heart
  27. Goin' Up Caney

Disc: 4

  1. Kentucky Waltz
  2. Get Up John
  3. Lonesome Moonlight Waltz
  4. Rocky Road Blues
  5. Jenny Lynn
  6. My Old Kentucky And You
  7. You Won't Be Satisfied That Way
  8. Jerusalem Ridge
  9. Ashland Breakdown
  10. Come Hither To Go Yonder
  11. My Last Days On Earth
  12. My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darlin'
  13. Travelin' This Lonesome Road
  14. The Old Brown County Barn
  15. Stay Away From Me
  16. The Long Bow
  17. The Old Cross Roads
  18. Southern Flavor
  19. Take Courage Un' Tomorrow
  20. Pike County Breakdown
  21. I'm Working On A Building
  22. You're Drifting Away
  23. Boston Boy

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: July 19, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Mca Nashville
  • ASIN: B000002OSF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,558 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bill Monroe is truely the father of bluegrass music. Thiscollection spans his entire career, from his earliest recordings withhis brother Charlie, through his final session in 1994. Throughout his career, Monroe has produced some of the greatest legends in all of bluegrass. Del McCoury,Peter Rowan, Jimmy Martin, Flatt and Scruggs, Don Reno, Kenny Baker, Richard Greene, Vassar Clements and countless others made their debuts on Monroe records. All these artists appear on multiple tracks throughout the anthology. This anthology is a necessary addittion for any lover of American Music.
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We grew up calling him Uncle Bill. We listened to his music so much in our house that he felt like part of the family (even if he wasn't really). His songs, most of which are Bluegrass standards now, could make your hair stand on end or put you into a crying fit. This box set is a wonderful collection of those songs. Everything about this set is perfect. From the sound to the song selection. Even the packaging is classy. The music contained herein is delivered by true artists. Many a Bluegrass legend has "served time" in Mr. Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Kenny Baker, "Tater" Tate, Peter Rowen, Cubby Wise are all on this box set for your listening pleasure. And the great thing about it is that the extensive discography will tell you who's playing what and even when the track was recorded! I cannot think of a better collection of "Uncle" Bill's songs.
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Format: Audio CD
This boxed set, while certainly not the complete recorded output of Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, is an excellent sampling of Bill's music throughout his storied career. I would recommend this collection to anyone who is interested in the evolution of American music in particular "roots" music and early Rock n' Roll. While Monroe stayed within a simple chord progression format though the years, the textures of the music evolved with the changes of the band's personnel and his own experiences. Some of the instrumentals on disc one and two are examples of bluegrass "breakdowns" that are played at a breakneck pace. The instrumentals on disc three and four, while still played quickly, are more subtle and have a modal "old timey" quality to them, as if Monroe was returning to the sounds he heard as a child.
The vocal songs also show the changes that Monroe went through as a songwriter and song interpreter. The listener can compare "I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome" on disc one with a powerful yet understated quality, to "Blue Night" on disc three sung with a raw nerve exposed. On "Blue Night" with his voice against the urgent fiddle of Richard Greene played with a siren-like quality, the listener can take away the notion that as Monroe got older, the more he was willing to take a chance and challenge the listener as well. Background music this is not!
Credit is due to [the record company] for issuing this material and investing in the liner notes and photographs on such a non-mainstream project. The accompanying booklet is worth almost as much as the recorded material.
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Format: Audio CD
Simply...this is about the finest collection of the finest work of Bill Monroe that can be found anywhere. I love this set so much that after purchasing it on cassett I then moved to CD's and purchased that set (you can never have to much of the Blurgrass Boys).I own just about every LP that Monroe put out in the 50s & 60s but they just can't stand up to the remastered sound of this box set. I have been listening to my favorite songs like "Footprints in the snow","Put my little shoes away","Blue moon of Kentucky" and of course "Uncle Pen"(the booklet that comes with this set has a picture of Bill at the gravesite on his Uncle Peneton, the grave stone is complete with a fiddle and bow.A little known fact is that Jimmy Martin helped Monroe write this classic song about his uncle).This is a true Bluegrass lovers collection, even the case itself is cool with it's old time book-binding cover. This set is about as good as it gets!A Bill Monroe fan for 50+ years I would never stear anyone wrong.

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Format: Audio CD
The only criticism I could weigh against this collection is that--although it's true that (as advertised) this is the only domestically available anthology of Bill Monroe's music that is cross-licensed across all of the major labels that he recorded for--within that, it's definitely weighted very heavily toward his MCA years. Four early tracks from his RCA/Bluebird period are represented, and his classic Columbia era gets the shortest shrift relative to its importance with only six songs in total. After that, the set moves quickly to his Decca/MCA period starting in 1950 and covers that in much greater depth over the remaining 87 tracks. The early songs, it must be said, are judiciously chosen and do represent the high points of this era, but a real Monroe afficionado will probably want that period to be represented in greater depth.

This is undoubtedly a major drawback, then, if you are expecting this set to exhaustively document Monroe's early years, but if you're looking for a good general overview of his career--or if you're willing to invest separately for an in-depth anthology of his Columbia years--then this boxed set gets very high marks. It contains well over four hours' worth of prime Bill Monroe music and handsomely showcases his restless inventiveness within his notoriously persnickety insistence on purism and devotion to the classic bluegrass sound he helped to birth.

It is because of that famous refusal to alter his sound that two things should be said about this collection--first, that the quality of the music is uniformly high. Unlike most artists with such longevity (the set covers nearly 60 years!), Bill never attempted to modernize his sound or pander to current trends, as even the great Johnny Cash did in the 80s.
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