Bill Monroe

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Bill & Charlie Monroe

William 'Bill' Smith Monroe (13 September 1911 - 9 September 1996) was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who created the style of music known as bluegrass.


  • That ain't no part of nothin'.
  • It ain't only the colored folks has the blues; there's many a white man that's had 'em.
    • Can't You Hear Me Calling: The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass (2009) by Richard Smith
  • After Charlie [Charlie Monroe, Bill's brother] and me broke up, I was searching for a name for my group. And I wanted a name from the state of Kentucky. Before I come to WSM in Nashville - I started on WWNC, Asheville - why, I'd already decided on using the name "bluegrass," because that's what they'd call Kentucky, the Blue Grass State. So I just used "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys," and that let people throughout the country know I was from Kentucky, saved a lot of people from having to ask me where I was from. Governor Ford, he claims I've done more than any one man for Kentucky - every time I use the word "bluegrass" it leads back to the state.
  • (When asked who the three finest old time guitarists were) Well, I would have to pick Travis, you know; I think he's a great man with his music, and there's been many a man that's copied from Merle. You know, they say he learned from a man in Kentucky. Well, I know this Mose Rager he learned from, he learned from Arnold Shultz, the man I speak of, a colored man, in playing the blues. So I think it all leads back to this old colored man back in Kentucky.
  • The word "hillbilly", I've never liked that, and I've never used that in my music.
    • The Bill Monroe Reader (2000) edited by Tom Ewing

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