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Marty Henrickson
Feb-16-2011, 10:51am
I recently bought the Secret Sisters CD, and it is excellent! Not bluegrass, but the best song (IMHO) is a Monroe composition - "The One I Love Is Gone". Is there a recording available of Monroe himself performing this song? I haven't had any luck finding one. Thanks.

allenhopkins
Feb-16-2011, 2:52pm
From what I can find (must be true, it's on the internet!), Monroe wrote it but didn't record it. The most prominent recording is from Hazel Dickens and Alice (Foster Seeger) Gerrard, on the CD Pioneering Women of Bluegrass, which I think is a re-release of the mid-1960's sessions that produced their Verve LP Who's That Knocking? You can download the cut here. (http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=34403) I'd betcha the Secret Sisters got it there. There are also a couple YouTube vids of the song. Rosenberg's complete (through 1974) Monroe discography doesn't include the song; if Hazel & Alice recorded it in 1965 or so, Monroe would have recorded it before that date, and it'd be in the book. I'd guess the women picked up the song from a live Monroe performance.

Bonus is that David Grisman was the mandolinist on the Hazel & Alice sessions.

BradKlein
Feb-16-2011, 6:21pm
There is a bootleg recording I've heard of Hazel and Alice, with Bill Monroe playing the mandolin break. As far as I know there is no publicly available recording of Monroe singing the melody, but I'd be very interested if anyone's ever heard one. Monroe probably wrote the song around 1954, based on remarks of Hazel's, with Monroe present. He specifically taught the melody to H&A, so they didn't have to learn it from any public performance.

In fact, does anyone recall hearing him sing that song ever in performance or in private?

Marty Henrickson
Feb-17-2011, 6:56am
Thanks for the info and the link. I am going to download H & A's version, but I can only imagine how a full-on high lonesome Monroe version would sound.

evanreilly
Feb-17-2011, 10:27am
The first version I heard of this obscure WSM song was the one recorded by Tom Ewing on his self-released project FF-6889, Take Me Home. This excellent recording features Mike Compton, Glen Duncan, Billy Rose, Sandy Rothman, Blain Sprouse, Tater Tate and Blake Williams.
And I am sure Tom learned the song from WSM hisownself, and probably played it with Bill in Bill's later years.

BradKlein
Feb-17-2011, 10:32am
You're in for a treat Marty - those are great recordings. As this song increases in popularity - and I think it has and will - there should be a warning label: 'CAUTION. FOR BEST RESULTS, LEARN DIRECTLY FROM THE ORIGINAL RECORDING!'

It's a tricky melody and harmony (at least for my unskilled ears), and so much depends on the interplay between major and minor, the slides, and the dissonant moments - some of which are smoothed out in the Secret Sisters/T-Bone Burnett arrangement. (I'm sure purposefully, to give the song more popular appeal) These are the 'ancient tones' that Monroe spoke of, no?

For example, the line: 'It's the last, you'll hear of me.' The melody at the word, 'last' lands on the 'one' against the major dominant seventh chord. The Sisters smooth this out by landing on the 'two' which is part of the the dominant chord, instead of the 'one' which is not. I imagine that T-Bone, knows this, and maybe in his heart even prefers Monroe's melody - but of course he is a very successful producer, and knows what he's doing.

Pardon the hijacking. And forgive and correct any errors I've made in my analysis of the melody. Maybe T-Bone or Dawg, or someone who really understands this stuff better than I will weigh in.

Tbone
Feb-17-2011, 2:38pm
Killer tune. Got to see Tom Ewing play it at the inagural monroe style camp. The GOod Old Persons, I belive, also do a killer version.

Vincent Capostagno
Feb-17-2011, 5:53pm
check out the version on Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy: Adieu False Heart
This is the version that made it to my playlist.
Lovely, but not bluegrass.

surfnut
Feb-18-2011, 2:13am
I have a version done by Spring Creek that sounds pretty good.

BradKlein
Feb-18-2011, 4:18am
The first version I heard of this obscure WSM song was the one recorded by Tom Ewing...
Thanks for suggesting this recording, Mr. Reilly, that I had not heard before. It's a fine version on a fine album, very different than Hazel and Alice. I had heard that second verse before, and always wondered if it was written by Monroe.

And I was pleased to find this quote by Tom Ewing in an article by Matt Merta, "[Monroe] believed in making the effort to know the true melody of a song. To me, it’s the first step in a careful study of what you’re doing with a piece of music and how you’re treating it when you perform it. It draws you into an intimate relationship with the song (and that can only help you sing it better)."

Marty Henrickson
Feb-20-2011, 9:14pm
You're in for a treat Marty - those are great recordings. As this song increases in popularity - and I think it has and will - there should be a warning label: 'CAUTION. FOR BEST RESULTS, LEARN DIRECTLY FROM THE ORIGINAL RECORDING!'

It's a tricky melody and harmony (at least for my unskilled ears), and so much depends on the interplay between major and minor, the slides, and the dissonant moments - some of which are smoothed out in the Secret Sisters/T-Bone Burnett arrangement. (I'm sure purposefully, to give the song more popular appeal) These are the 'ancient tones' that Monroe spoke of, no?

For example, the line: 'It's the last, you'll hear of me.' The melody at the word, 'last' lands on the 'one' against the major dominant seventh chord. The Sisters smooth this out by landing on the 'two' which is part of the the dominant chord, instead of the 'one' which is not. I imagine that T-Bone, knows this, and maybe in his heart even prefers Monroe's melody - but of course he is a very successful producer, and knows what he's doing.

Pardon the hijacking. And forgive and correct any errors I've made in my analysis of the melody. Maybe T-Bone or Dawg, or someone who really understands this stuff better than I will weigh in.
Brad, you've hit on one of the main reasons I was curious about a Monroe version in the first place. Many of my favorite songs are minor-key, and Big Mon had a way of making even some major-key material have a minor-key sound.

I'm enjoying the Hazel and Alice version of the song, but I haven't been able to find Tom Ewing's version. That's too bad, because I'm a fan of Compton's picking.

evanreilly
Feb-20-2011, 10:16pm
I have a version done by Spring Creek that sounds pretty good.

Surfnut:
Could you please provide some details on the"Spring Creek" group and recording? Did they appear on David Holt's show years ago, doing the song? Were they from Oregon.

ralph johansson
Feb-21-2011, 3:34am
All versions that I've heard are by women. Katy Melua does a very slow version; you can hear it on YouTube.

I like to play it as an instrumental. I've arrived at the following chords for the last 16 bars:
C cm gm ;
Eb F7 Bb D7
gm ; C gm
Eb D7 gm ;
(; = repeat)
Maybe not the original ones, but never let the truth interfere with a good story.

Oddly, I don't know of any Monroe recordings in a minor key before 1964 (there's a live version from that year of Kentucky Mandolin, with Doc Watson). The 1958 recording of Wayfaring Stranger is in Ab major ... I believe even Those Gambler's Blues, from the elcetric sessions, is played in a major key.

Tbone
Feb-21-2011, 2:42pm
Surfnut:
Could you please provide some details on the"Spring Creek" group and recording? Did they appear on David Holt's show years ago, doing the song? Were they from Oregon.

Probably not. Spring Creek is a Colorado band. Pretty young. All went to the bluegrass school in Texas.