Here Are The Bill Monroe Songs, The Bluegrass Standards You Need To Hear


For more than half a century, Bill Monroe’s songs have helped shape bluegrass with his mandolin playing mixed with his high-pitched, solitary vocals and, of course, the prowess of his band, the Blue Grass Boys.

That being the case, Monroe is considered the father of bluegrass who breathed new life into older country sounds and transformed the mandolin into the primary instrument – not only in country music but also in pop and rock. More importantly, he set a standard for musicians as distinct as Elvis Presley and George Jones simply by following his own musical path.

Today we are going to discover some of his greatest hits. Keep scrolling below.

1. Kentucky Blue Moon

Bill Monroe wrote the song “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in 1945 and later recorded it with his band, the Blue Grass Boys. Since then, it has been considered Kentucky’s official bluegrass song and has been recorded by several artists, including Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney.

In 2002, Monroe’s version was selected by the National Recording Registry as one of fifty recordings added to the Library of Congress.

2. uncle pen

Her violinist uncle Pendleton Vandiver seems to have made such a huge impression on Monroe that he wrote a song in her honor. In the country ballad, Monroe recounted some of his early musical influences and recalled his uncle Pen, who played his violin at town dances – and as he picked up his bow, the instrument sang under his masterful command.

3. Kentucky Waltz

Monroe sings about lost love in “Kentucky Waltz,” which became her most successful release on Billboard’s Country & Western charts – peaking at No. 3. What sets it apart is the way Monroe sang the ballad with heartbreaking loneliness as his mandolin trills softly behind him.

4. Skinner Blues mules

This classic country ballad was first recorded by Jimmie Rodgers in 1930. Nine years later, Monroe performed “Mule Skinner Blues” for his Grand Ole Opry debut, where he managed to secure a spot.

In 1940, the song about an unlucky mule skinner hoping to land a job became Monroe’s first solo studio recording and eventually one of her signature songs. Monroe re-recorded the song in 1950 as “New Mule Skinner Blues” with updated lyrics.

5. Swing Low Sweet Chariot

It is one of the best-known Christian hymns, with the first known recording dating back to 1909. The song is an excellent reminder of the glory that awaits in heaven, when Christians believe they will go beyond the earthly world. misery. and pain and come to rest in their final resting place.

In 1951 Monroe released his version – which truly stood out among countless recordings of the anthems due to its instrumental accompaniment combined with the soulful tenor it brought to the song.

6. I work on a building

“I’m working on a building” has become a genre standard. It has been recorded countless times by countless artists, including The Carter Family, Elvis Presley, the Oak Ridge Boys and, of course, Monroe – who added the song to his regular set list due to numerous requests from His fans.

7. Can the circle be unbroken (by and by)

This country-folk song first gained attention when the folk music group, The Carter Family, recorded it in 1927. Since then, the song about a mother’s mourning has been recorded by different generations. of artists, ranging from Bob Dylan to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. . Monroe’s version was also one of the most notable.

8. I hear a soft voice calling

Written by Monroe himself, the song appears on his 1947 album Blue Moon of Kentucky. It tells the story of a dying girl who faces the sure hope of going to heaven. Monroe once performed the emotional ballad live with the Osborne Brothers, which music critics described as “painfully beautiful but electrically thrilling music.”

In 1956, Elvis Presley – who was a huge Monroe fan – recorded a rough version of the song, giving it a bit of a boogie.

9. I’m blue, I’m lonely

While the song’s authorship remains unclear, it’s the only song credited to Monroe and Hank Williams – who worked on multiple shows together for many years. According to Colin Escott’s book Hank Williams: The Biography, Williams performed the song for Monroe while the two were on tour in Texas. Somehow, Monroe ended up with a credit.

ten. Molly and Tenbrook

The song about two champion horses battling each other was recorded by Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys in 1947. However, it was not released until two years later. The Stanley Brothers also recorded the song, showing how strong and lasting Monroe’s influence on the bluegrass style was.

Some Other Bill Monroe Songs That Helped Shape The Bluegrass Genre

Truly, Bill Monroe was responsible for producing a plethora of bluegrass standards. Here are some of his greatest hits.

  • footprints in the snow
  • Can’t you hear me calling
  • Rocky Road Blues
  • Orange Blossom Special
  • wrong path of sin
  • Traveling this lonely road
  • With body and soul
  • Toy Heart
  • Breakdown of bluegrass
  • My old Kentucky rose
  • In the pines
  • Blue grass special
  • Cotton fields
  • Roll in the arms of my sweet baby
  • When my blue moon turns gold
  • East Tennessee Blues

These Bill Monroe songs are absolutely a work of art that will be more relevant than ever.


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