View Full Version : New monroe boxset coming soon!

Nov-29-2006, 1:01am
Just received some exciting news about a soon to be released Jan. 15, 2007 Bear Family Monroe boxset. This is the scheduled but as always subject to change. The final set of the excellent previous 3 sets of Monroe's recorded songs released by the German Bear Family will be called:
BCD-16637-DK, BILL MONROE "My Last Days On Earth, 1981-1994. Picking up where the 3rd boxset left off it starts with the much aclaimed '81 Master of Bluegrass instrumetal LP. Then followed the '84 Monroe&Friends and '85 Monroe with Stars of Hall of Fame. Then came the excellent new songs of the '87 Bluegrass 87 and the '88 Southern Flavor.
In '89 was the Live at the Opry and his final release of the '91 Crying Holy Unto the Lord. The Box set will have additional outtakes, unreleased songs and the final unreleased songs/instrumentals from 1994 which promises to bring out some really great new Monroe material for you Monroeatics. There will be a large booklet full of unpublished photos too. I could use a new shot of Monroe sounds for 2007!

Nov-29-2006, 1:35am
I'm with you Tommy... never too much Monroe!

Nov-29-2006, 1:55am
I can't wait for this to come out. Lots of good instrumentals in this time period.


Nov-29-2006, 2:27am
Thanks for the warning! Good thing I was sitting down when I read this... my heart starting playing Old Danger Field...

It gets better... according to the Bear Family website (http://www.bear-family.de/indexframes/index_english.htm) this BCD 16637 is already bestellbar (roughly translated "orderable") for EUR 92.03 + postage. All the instructions are in German. So maybe USA customers can wait until it is available at County Sales. I am ordering it today from the neighbouring Netherlands.

Nov-29-2006, 1:50pm
Man, it's about time on "Master of Bluegrass"...
That has been #1 on my "should be on CD" list for a lot of years now...

Here's the tracking order on the new release:

1. Old Ebenezer Scrooge (instrumental)
2. Go Hither To Go Yonder (instrumental)
3. Right, Right On (instrumental)
4. Lochwood (instrumental)
5. Old Danger Field (instrumental)
6. Fair Play (instrumental)
7. Melissas's Waltz For J.B. (instrumental)
8. Lady Of The Blue Ridge (instrumental)
9. My Last Days On Earth (instrumental with vocal backing)
10. Evening Prayer Blues (instrumental) #

Wonder why they screwed around with the tracking order???

Here's the LP tracking order:

1. # #Old Ebenezer Scrooge
2. # #Right, Right On
3. # #Melissa's Waltz for J.B.
4. # #Fair Play
5. # #Evening Prayer Blues
6. # #Come Hither to Go Yonder
7. # #Lochwood
8. # #Lady Of The Blue Ridge
9. # #Old Danger Field
10. # #My Last Days on Earth

"My Last Days on Earth" definitly wants to finish the CD....
I guess you can rearrange it to your heart's content... # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Also, is it "Go Hither To Go Yonder" or "Come Hither to Go Yonder "??

I've got a tape of Bill introducing it, so I'll go have a listen....

Nov-29-2006, 3:28pm
Come Hither To Go Yonder is what I see it as in everything I've seen printed but I did notice a few other typos on that Bear listing. Usually the Bear stuff goes in the order of the recording date so that would explain a change for the release edition. But I thought Last Days was the last song recorded that session as he supposedly walked across the street to the old CMHF carrying the '64 F5 he recorded it on still in the cross tuning and donated it to the museum. I guess he went back maybe the next day and did Evening Prayer Blues on the old Loar. The Jan. 15 date must be the European release date as I am hearing a Feb. 26 as the US date. Beware if you order one from a European source as it may have the liner notes/credits in German. I think I'll wait on an issue that I can read! My AchTune has been rather rusty lately. Besides by the time they surface mail it to you the US will be here.

Bob Simmers
Nov-29-2006, 3:38pm
Before I read the swampstomper response I have to confess, Old Dangerfield was running through my head. As a Monroemaniac I'll have to get this.

Scott Tichenor
Nov-29-2006, 3:51pm
This is very cool. They haven't resized the CD cover appropriately on their site so I'm reposting it here just for our enjoyment, plus this link (http://www.bear-family.de/mailorder/showoneproduct.html?lang=de&p=BCD+16637) directly to the page where it's listed as I don't believe anyone has provided that. It's sort of difficult to find.

Nov-29-2006, 4:45pm
awesome - my Monroe collection just keeps on growing - will have to wait for Amazon marketplace to have it though - unless anyone can suggest an easy way of getting it int the uk?

Nov-29-2006, 5:31pm
County Sales will have it as soon as they can get it in around end of Feb. They still have that buy 6 CDs at their regular discount price and receive a free one from the Rebel/County label but boxsets only count as one CD purchase. There is the amazon.uk that should have it before the USA Amazon or that's what I've seen before.

Nov-29-2006, 7:05pm
"Come Hither To Go Yonder is what I see it as in everything I've seen printed but I did notice a few other typos on that Bear listing."

Well, it's "Go Hither To Go Yonder" on the LP....

They must've copied that...

Nov-29-2006, 7:29pm
Humm... I didn't pull my old LP , I got it off the newer 4CD BoxSet "The Music of Bill Monroe from 1936 to 1994"
which has it as "Come Hither To Go Yonder" and in the little booklet that comes with it is written: "copyright registered as "Come Hither To Go Yonder",the commonly accepted title. Single and LP list title as "Go Hither to Go Yonder". On Feb. 7, 1986 the night Monroe used my mandolin on stage my tape clearly says he introduces the number as "Go Hither to Go Yonder". I guess we are both right for the same song! I guess even the man who wrote the tune couldn't agree to disagree on song titles.

Nov-29-2006, 7:42pm
"hither...,smither..,yonder..,sonder!!##" - GET THIS SET, plug it in...and ENJOY!!! - - (Scott;; thanks for the "heads-up") http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Nov-30-2006, 1:52am
As if the new Monroe boxset was not enough to expect and be happy for in 2007, also expect to see a new 300 page hardback book on April 12 by Neil Rosenberg&CK Wolfe called "The Music of Bill Monroe". Spanning over 1,000 separate performances,this new book presents a complete chronological list of all of Bill Monroe's commercially released sound and visual recordings. Each chapter begins with a narrative describing Monroe's life and career at that point, bringing in producers, sidemen, and others as they become part of the story. The narratives read like a "who's who" of bluegrass, connecting Monroe to the music's larger history and containing many fascinating stories. The second part of each chapter presents the discography. Information here includes the session's place, date, time, and producer; master/matrix numbers, song/tune titles, composer credits, personnel, instruments, and vocals; catalog/release numbers and reissue data. The only complete bio-discography of this American musical icon, "The Music of Bill Monroe" is the starting point for any study of Monroe's contributions as a composer, interpreter, and performer. You can now pre-order this book at Amazon.com for $35 with free shipping!

Scott Tichenor
Nov-30-2006, 6:59am
Tom, you really know how to dig up the info. This new book is from the University of Illinois Press (http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f06/rosenberg.html). I won't steal their book cover art as I did above. The web site provides a good overview of the book.

Nov-30-2006, 7:59am
That will be the book to read next year! We've been treated to a generous helping of Monroe the past three years: Butch Robins' What I Know, Bob Black's Come Hither to Go Yonder, and then this new one. Good stuff.


Nov-30-2006, 9:05am
I think there are at least three incorrect titles for songs/tunes:
"Call of the Shepherd", "White Rose"(a typo, most likely), and "Never Leave the A String".
Anyone else have any thoughts?

Nov-30-2006, 9:52am
Can't wait for that box set!!! I have the book by Tom Ewing and it is really great. Well worth the read especially if you're into the history of Monroe and the music.

Peter Hackman
Nov-30-2006, 10:55am
I think there are at least three incorrect titles for songs/tunes:
"Call of the Shepherd", "White Rose"(a typo, most likely), and "Never Leave the A String".
Anyone else have any thoughts?
Oh, the A string; that makes much more musical sense!

Nov-30-2006, 12:21pm
Don't forget Dick Smith's Book on Monroe "Can't You Hear Me Calling" in hardback and paperback. I see Bob Black used the "Come Hither..." title! And the BearFamily listing does say "Never Leave the E String" which is the title I recall seeing Monroe live do this song and it was the E string he never left! I guess you could do the A string. All we need now for 2007 is a new DVD of classic Monore on video/film from the 1950's to the 1996. Anybody working on this?

Nov-30-2006, 12:28pm
"On Feb. 7, 1986 the night Monroe used my mandolin on stage my tape clearly says he introduces the number as "Go Hither to Go Yonder"."

In Vancouver on 11/3/80 Bill says:

"Listen closely to the title of this song. It's called "Come Hither to Go Yonder"

So I guess Bill didn't know if he was Comin' or Goin'...

Nov-30-2006, 12:40pm
That ain't no part of nothin' !!!!!

Nov-30-2006, 6:19pm
"On Feb. 7, 1986 the night Monroe used my mandolin on stage my tape clearly says he introduces the number as "Go Hither to Go Yonder"."

In Vancouver on 11/3/80 Bill says:

"Listen closely to the title of this song. #It's called "Come Hither to Go Yonder"

So I guess Bill didn't know if he was Comin' or Goin'...
Same thing with a recording I got from Butch Robins of him and Monroe in January of '81. Wayne Lewis introduces the tune as Come Hither to Go Yonder. I put a copy of this up at Butch's site in the media section.


Nov-30-2006, 7:49pm
Hey f5loar! I got my "Bill Monroe Reader" day before yesterday in hardback and I'm almost finished with it. Interesting reading, in that it covers articles about Mr. Monroe written over the years and edited and clarified by Tom Ewing. I've got "The Music of Bill Monroe" 1936-1994 on the way in the mail right now. I've got to learn all these songs before we pick again. I've got "Southern Flavor" down pat now. Evan wants me to learn "Smokey Mountain Schottische". It's good news about the new music and the new book also coming out in Jan! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Nov-30-2006, 10:35pm
Sounds like you will need some hints for your lovely wife to get you this Christmas. While the 4CD set you got coming is a great introduction into the music of Monroe to get serious you will need the Bear Family Box I and II and the Smith book. Work on that Frog song too!

Nov-30-2006, 11:27pm
I'll need to get the box set asap. I have the Smith book in hardback. Finished it a couple weeks back. The wife is reading it now. I'm about half way through the Reader. Yeah, Frog on a Lily Pad is coming along pretty quickly. Sam breaks it down pretty good on the 2nd dvd.

Dec-01-2006, 12:09am
So where are you guys pickin? I need some folks to play some Monroe with. And need to learn some more too. Evening Prayer Blues, BG Stomp, Old Ebeneezer/Dangerfield, Dusty Miller (all 3 parts), My Father's Footsteps.............love playin' that stuff!


Dec-01-2006, 1:13am
IN the BlueRidge Mtns. of North Carolina, home state to Monroe's Carolina Songbird.

Dec-01-2006, 3:02am
Yeah, but she was from Norwood in the Piedmont, right?

Dec-01-2006, 8:48am
Right but her daughter was raised there in the BlueRidge Mtns.
Way down in the blue ridge mountains
Way down where the tall pines grow
Lives my sweetheart of the mountains
She's my little Georgia rose

Dec-01-2006, 10:20am
Well I'm just over in Virginia Beach. One of these days I need to make it down there.

Dec-01-2006, 10:24am
And I have met a woman who claims to be the daughter of Little Georgia Rose... ratcheer in the shadow of the Smoky Mts!!! Papaw Bill, she called him!!!

Dec-05-2006, 8:11pm
I can't wait to get ahold of this. I've been waiting to hear Master of Bluegrass for a LONG time (never found it anywhere).

Hey Sgarrity - I'm in Charlottesville, but my mother-in-law's in VA Beach and we'll probably be down there for the holidays at some point. I love this stuff to and would be really into meeting someone to play it with (my normal jam tolerates my Monroe obsession, but are not quite as enthused as I am). Shoot me a message or email.

Here's what I've been working on:

Jerusalem's Ridge, Kentucky Mandolin, Old Dangerfield (this is the most addictive song ever), Rawhide, Tennessee Blues, Dusty Miller, Bluegrass Breakdown, Bluegrass Stomp, Big Mon, Big Sandy River, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

I need to learn alot more....suggestions anyone?

Dec-05-2006, 8:35pm
I just learned Come Hither To Go Yonder its on Master Of Bluegrass its a goodun and Jim Ricter is playin Evening Prayer Blues on utube he tears it up!!

Dec-05-2006, 11:16pm
Golden West is a good to learn. The problem with learning these obsure Monroe tunes is finding someone else to back you up on them. Jam sessions are out. I like Ashland Breakdown too.

Dec-05-2006, 11:23pm
Now, Tommy!!!
You and me doing just fine swapping off guitar and mandolin!!!
"Now, here is a number the fine folks in Ashland are liking a lot..."

Dec-05-2006, 11:42pm
Finding people to play with is the trick. I've been learning some old-time stuff for this jam I go to. And last time I gave them the assignment of learning BG Stomp. I'm lookin forward to pickin that one next time. Ashland Breakdown is another good one. I need to get that under my fingers.


Dec-06-2006, 4:37pm
Ashland Breakdown.....
I never beleived it was a three-part tune, until some fiddle player confronted me. I said: "But Bill only played two parts!"
Then went and learned the first part.

Dec-06-2006, 9:02pm

Dec-16-2006, 12:37pm
You can say that is true to some effect but to get the Master of the Mandolin on a newly digtal CD version is the reason for the box set, well that and I just love those neat books they have in them with all the rare photos of Monroe over the years. You can't deny that the Master LP has some fine Monroe instruments on it. That and the unreleased stuff is good enough reason. I've already got Southern Flavor and "87 on commercial release CD format so no big surprises there. He had some great instruments on those 2 releases.
And right the Monroe and "guests" is just that, not much Monroe and more of the "guests". But I'm not the one to ask. I'd buy a CD if the only new cut was Monroe doing "Chicken Reel" on it! (have you ever heard his version of the Chicken Reel?)

Dec-16-2006, 3:12pm
"You can say that is true to some effect but to get the Master of the Mandolin on a newly digtal CD version is the reason for the box set"

I've created several CD versions of "Master of Bluegrass"--from LP and factory cassette sources--and it's pretty easy to smell that the original masters have to sound better than what we have available.

That recording is one of my favorites in any genre, and it was given incredibly shoddy treatment for it's whole lifespan. #

The recording itself, the mixing, the mastering, and the lack of a CD release for over 25 years (!) are all criminal, IMHO....

Hope the Bear Family is able to get ahold of a good set of masters. #This project deserves it...

Dec-16-2006, 5:09pm
Bear Family seems to be able to get the quality sound out of those old Monroe. So much so I can actually hear the snare drum on his old stuff from the drummer not noted in the session notes! So much for drums don't belong in bluegrass. If the Father says it's okay and allows it in his recordings, it's okay!

Dec-17-2006, 2:16am
Yeah... I have a live version of William Smith Monroe playing 'The Chicken Reel'.
And as far as the snare drum, might not that be the Ernie Newton bass contraption?

Dec-17-2006, 2:43pm
..."and the sabotaged banjo solo on

I might be kinda weird to not hear Mr. Bill's mando chopping away, enhanced by an Echoplex, during that particular solo.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-18-2006, 1:27am
Who could forget Farris "The skins" Coursey snapping the brush beat on his drum set during Monroe's early 50's recordings? You can't change history. It's chilsed in stone or on tape in this case.
It's there so don't try to imagine it ain't. While Monroe did have producers in the studio he had the final say and if he said bring in the drums I'm cool with that. Best to listen to these re-digitalized,remastered recordings with a high end headphone set. You'll be bobbing your head to the beat of the drums as Monroe goes down the Highway of Sorrow while pickin' Peaches at Pickin' Time in Georgia making his Sailor's Plea singing his song to the Prisoner as the Angels Rocked him to Sleep seeing his Carolina Sunshine Girl!

Peter Hackman
Dec-18-2006, 4:32am
But you wrote explicitly about those sessions that supposedly used a
drummer NOT listed in the session notes. That does not apply to the
electric sessions of 1951. So I'm pretending nothing. Perhaps you could cite
examples of the actual use of a drummer on other sessions?

As for history, I prefer to trust the accounts
given on pp. 46-47 in the Rosenberg discography
and pp. 117-118 in the Smith bio. Owen Bradley, who is quoted in both accounts, was there when it all happened.

Dec-18-2006, 10:22am
I read that Decca had Monroe record a full album of Jimmie Rodgers' covers/material for release, then dropped the project.
My favorite cut from those sessions is "Travellin' Blues", though I admit to liking all the Rodgers' covers from those sessions. Different, but definitely Monroe. WSM straightened out a lot of the songs, in that ole Jimmie sometimes had a bit of trouble keeping the time right. Bill put the 'blue grass time' stamp on those songs.

Dec-18-2006, 10:59am
I did say on the old stuff meaning 50's. The vinyl versions it was hard to hear a drum but in the CD format it's quite clear. There are many not noted sessions too. My main point was to show Monroe did use drums from time to time in recording just as Flatt & Scruggs,The Osbornes,Jim&Jesse,Jimmy Martin and other first generation groups did in recording and some on stage shows. There has always been these die-hard believers that the old groups never had drums and drums ain't no part of bluegrass music. NOT!

Dec-19-2006, 1:38pm
No drums on the F&S Carnegie Hall. Billy Powers (Foggy Mountain bus driver also) played 2nd guitar as "sock" guitar. Get the full concert (not just the Columbia LP portion) on Koch.

Dec-19-2006, 3:04pm
If Billy had been a drummer he would have been pounding the skins on CH. Economics plays as much a part into why more bluegrass bands don't carry drummers. Billy wore 2 hats with the FMBoys. And Sam Bush has had his fair share of drummers over the years. Having a drummer(usally just a snare with brushs)sure makes it easier on me to take mandolin breaks.

Dec-25-2006, 10:44pm
In downloading the 4 Volumes of Monroe Bear boxsets to the new IPod I got for Christmas I ran across an undocumented drummer recording session on Monroe on December 31, 1954.
It would be hard to admit you don't hear the drums on "Cheyenne" even though all printings of the sessions say there is no drummer present that day but listen closely to the other songs that day "Wheel Hoss", "Roanoke" and the slow number "You'll Find Her Name Written There" and the snare drum is going at it in the background which like I said before was hard to hear on vinyl but easy to hear in CD format. Folks these ain't no
"country" songs by Monroe. He liked the drums at least in the studio. Maybe we can get Evan to call Bobby Hicks and ask him who the mystery drummer was that day.

Dec-26-2006, 10:12am
The snare is most audible on "You'll Find Her Name...", but after close listening it is there on the other tracks.

Dec-26-2006, 10:14am
Checked Amazon; they are taking pre-orders for the Bear box, with in-stock date of March 1st, 2007.

Dec-29-2006, 10:52am
Mr. Hicks has answered the great question: "there was no snare drummer" on the December 31st 1954 recording session. No drums, except for the intro to "Cheyenne".
He is fairly certain that otherewise, it is Ernie Newton using a snare brush on the plastic-headed thing he had on his bass.

Peter Hackman
Dec-30-2006, 8:00am
And that effect was clearly audible on the LPs I bought over 40 years ago,
although then I mistook it for a slapped bass. The thought of a dummer
would not have occurred to me for the simple reason that drums were
a rarity in Nashville-based commercial country music before 1956.

Newton's contraption
is clearly visible on the Georgia Rose clip
over on Mandozine.
I don't hear it. Actually, I don't really hear the
bass, it seems to be under-recorded.

As for the drumming heard on Cheyenne - a coloristic effect, comparable
with Monroe's chant (with echo and delay, not quite sure what they did
with it) - it sounds like a rack tom, and anyone present could have
handled it, the producer, a guest, or one of the two guitarists - which would explain why no drummer was listed. Actually, back then (in '66 that is)
I assumed it was one of the guitarists pounding on the top or
bridge of his instrument, possibly with some echo added. I suppose that's
the way it was done on stage.

The interesting question would be why Newton played on so many cuts, actually on all of Monroe's sessions in 52-54. Could be the producer's idea;
either he wanted that percussive effect or he simply wanted the time-saving
reliability of a session musician. Maybe Monroe didn't have a good bass player at the time, maybe he liked Newton's effect, although my guess is he didn't really care.

In the later half of the 60's drums in BG, or rather the snare heard with
Flatt-Scruggs and J Martin, among others, was the object of a heated controversy. To me the question was, and still is, not whether drums
belong in BG, but rather whether stiff, unimaginative drumming belongs in
music at all.

I recall that Neil Rosenberg wrote to BU, advocating their use, citing Canadian fiddle bands with full drum sets as an example.
In a recent correspondence he told me about using his banjo
with bass, piano, and drums. Of course, to make room for them,
something else had to go.

Dec-31-2006, 1:01am
Thanks for pointing out the clip with the Newton bass and plastic head. That clip also is important for it shows Bobby Hicks playing the banjo as a Blue Grass Boy.

Jan-02-2007, 12:41am
I've seen that clip dozens of times and never noticed the bass being so unique. Upon close look you can actually see the drum brush in his right hand and how he strikes the rhythm with the right hand while still playing the bass notes on the string. Truly amazing and a talent not seen since. I'm sure Monroe used him for many reasons but if Monroe didn't want Ernie hitting that plactic head thing with a drummer's brush I'm sure he would have told him not to do it. However you want to approach drums in bluegrass whether it's with a snare head drum, a full set of drums, Ernies unique bass attachment with brushes, or Jackie Phelps slappin' his knees like on Hee Haw, it's still another rhythm sound being made into the sound of hard core bluegrass music by the Master himself. And regardless if mainstream Country Music didn't use drums prior to 1956,sometimes refered to as the "pre"Elivs years, Mr. Monroe has documented in recording sessions and it can be heard that he used a human drummer as early as 1951. And thanks to Bobby Hicks for bringing the Ernie drum slap to our attention and the fact Hicks was as good a banjo picker as he was a fiddler!

Jan-02-2007, 6:31pm
Mr. Phelps was not just an 'eif'n-eif'er - a very talented guitar player - sideman to MANY of the Opry' folks. Played a great Travis-style - played a lot of Fender Jazzmaster- he could #really "hook-it' - if'n ya' know what I mean.... Thank you. Moose. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif