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Thread: Mon tunes

  1. #1
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    Does such a thing exist as a list of all songs written by Monroe (or maybe claimed to be written by him)?
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    I think Evan Reilly might be the one to talk to about
    a list of Monroe tunes. #I can tell you that any list
    that exists is only an approximation as there were many
    tunes that did not have names. #Monroe gave me about 10
    to record which he had no intention of recording because
    he had written so many and would continue to write more,
    but wanted to get them recorded. #He only named a couple
    of these. #Being the kind of sporting guy that I am
    when I record, or will record, them I don't/won't identify them.
    I name them with an Monroe appropriate name. #If you
    are a true Monroe aficionado, you will know them when you
    hear them. #I just like the mystery of it all, like the Freemasons.

    Also, I cannot be the only one whom Monroe did this with.
    I remember Baker saying in front of Monroe that he, Monroe,
    wrote a new tune every 4 days.

    Jim Moss
    FWB




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    Registered User evanreilly's Avatar
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    I don't have anything like a 'complete' list or collection of all of Monroe's 'tunes' and/or songs. There are a lot and I keep finding new ones.
    There are tons of tunes he wrote for a specific place/event/show and maybe played once at that venue; if they weren't recorded, they are gone.

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    I should dig out the tape of our all night jam
    at Bill's house and see if there are any gems there.
    I have so many live tapes that I only remember the
    tapes I had on heavy rotation.

    Julia was there... boy... Julia back then was one
    of those things in life that make you realize that
    you are alive. She was soooo perrrrty! Va Voom!

    ...gosh... Wake Up Jim!

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    Hey Jim, isn't that a tune also? "Beautiful Julia LaBella".

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    Yep, Ole Bill wrote a tune by that name for that lady!

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    I guess he couldn't very well call it "Voluptuous Julia LaBella"...

    I am in contact with her by email from time to time.
    She gets around.




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    I'm not really after an exhaustive list or anything like that. I'd just like to have a list of titles of most of what he wrote.

    I've heard that he was quite a prolific writer and was still writing tunes in his head lying on his hospital bed in his last days/hours.
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    Have you tried searching the web using Google?

    You know that he didn't write Big Sandy River.
    I also heard that he didn't write Big Mon either.
    He did write a lot though...




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    Get the Rosenberg discography. It is out of print but probably you can find on amazon or e-bay. This has all the official ones up till the mid 80's (??). Be aware Mon used pseudonyms like Joe Ahr and James B Smith; Rosenberg discusses this. I heard a rumour this is being updated now that Mon is not writing any more tunes (although I think he's being channeled by David Long and Mike Compton...)

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    One story told many times is that for Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, he came up with the first half, and likely did not do the 2nd half, maybe Richard Greene. The more erudite on this board can confirm or deny.

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    I have a tape of Bill teaching Moonlight Waltz to Richard.
    He plays it the old way, the way I recorded it on Sleeping
    Lady and I think the way Richard recorded it, or at least
    plays it. When Baker recorded it, it had a different B part.
    Once when I was studying fiddle at Baker's farm I asked
    him about this, why would they ruin a perfectly great tune?
    Well, he said that it was him, Baker, who changed
    the B part. He said that it was his idea to record it and
    as Monroe hadn't played it in ages, he went along with
    the way Baker said the B part went. It was not the same
    as Monroe taught Richard, and in my opinion is not as blue.
    Baker liked it though, of course, probably because it was more
    like the swing fiddle he had played than blues.

    Monroe did not like swing... He always complained about
    the amount of swing Baker might put into a tune.
    I liked the swing parts, but not on this tune.

    I might have that recording of Monroe and Richard online
    somewhere. I will check. I know Evan Reilly has it because
    I gave it to him.

    Jim Moss
    FWB




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    Quote Originally Posted by (Jmoss @ Aug. 31 2005, 23:30)
    Have you tried searching the web using Google?

    You know that he didn't write Big Sandy River.
    I also heard that he didn't write Big Mon either.
    He did write a lot though...
    Well.... i have some... not extensively i guess. It's the kind of thing that's a bit hard to nail down with a search. You can find discographies, etc but without a lot of further digging and research still don't really know the origin of all the tunes on that particular release.

    Is the Rosenberg discography a book? I'll have to see if i can track one down... it sounds like what i'm after.

    I think i'd heard one time that he didn't write Big Mon. Didn't know about BSR.

    I'd like to hear the Monroe/Green tape if you happen to put it up, Jim.
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    Kenny Baker wrote Big Sandy River.
    Monroe let Baker record it on his album if he
    gave him credit for writing it.

    So, as Baker said to me, "one half of something is
    a lot more than all of nothing". #Baker made
    good money off of that recording being on Bill's album.

    I think Bobby Hicks and someone else wrote Big Mon.

    The Monroe teaching Green tape... #Rowan and sometimes
    Del play guitar as I remember. #I think Del was on the
    way out and Peter was on the way in. #That would be
    a good addition to my online collection. #I just need
    the time to get it done is all. #I might have that
    transferred to CD already. #If so it would not be that
    hard to go from CD to mp3. #

    Jim Moss
    FWB




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    Registered User evanreilly's Avatar
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    Big Mon:

    "...was written in South Dakota. We was playing a square dance out there and it was wrote on the stage."

    Charlie Cline and Bobby Hicks were the fiddlers on stage that night and it was their improvisation that generated the basis of the tune.

    From the notes to the Bear Family 1950 -1959 Bill Monroe collection.

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    Ah!! - Charlie Cline AND Bobby Hicks! - together - now THAT's "goosebump" music. Joe Stuart...the Bluegrass Boy "for all seasons"(and gigs!)

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    I was able to purchase a copy of Rosenberg's Discography on Ebay after a good friend tipped me off about it. It was marked up a bit, but it was all there.
    There are used book dealers who accept want lists online.

    To the best of my knowledge, the update to the Discography is in the final stages. I had thought it was scheduled to appear this year, but have heard that a lot of double-checking of data was required after the proof copies were circulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (swampstomper @ Sep. 01 2005, 00:33)
    Get the Rosenberg discography. It is out of print but probably you can find on amazon or e-bay. This has all the official ones up till the mid 80's (??). Be aware Mon used pseudonyms like Joe Ahr and James B Smith; Rosenberg discusses this. I heard a rumour this is being updated now that Mon is not writing any more tunes (although I think he's being channeled by David Long and Mike Compton...)
    The Rosenberg discography covers Monroe's recordings
    up until the Bean Blossom album in the 70's

    I had a brief correspondence with Neil recently
    about a few discographic details. He told me that he and Charles Wolfe
    have completed a book titled "The Music of Bill Monroe",
    to be published by the U of Illinois Press.

    It will include a complete and corrected discography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Jmoss @ Sep. 01 2005, 07:35)
    I have a tape of Bill teaching Moonlight Waltz to Richard.
    He plays it the old way, the way I recorded it on Sleeping
    Lady and I think the way Richard recorded it, or at least
    plays it. When Baker recorded it, it had a different B part.
    Once when I was studying fiddle at Baker's farm I asked
    him about this, why would they ruin a perfectly great tune?
    Is the old version the same as the one that Monroe
    played with Doc Watson on the Smithsonian CD?
    Sounds a bit confused to me.

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    The same recording? No. #The one I am talking about is
    the recording made on the bus. #I don't have the
    Smithsonian CD so I cannot say if it is the same version.
    I have an archive of probably over 1500 hours
    of live shows and that is what I listen to.
    These shows include the banter and the music.
    As I understand the Smithsonian CDs only have
    the music. #By the way, there are lots of shows
    on tape with Charlie Cline and Bobby Hicks.
    I also made a lot of 1970s to 1984 recordings myself.
    When people help us get gigs I give them access
    to the stuff I have online. #I think there is some
    on a web site called (somthing)box too. #
    I am not brave enough to just stick other band's
    recordings out there online for all to see, very risky. #
    I really think that anyone serious about learning Bluegrass
    these days should have a collection of live shows going.

    Jim Moss
    FWB




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    I'll have to see if i can locate Discography. Sounds like the new edition will be interesting as well.

    http://www.wku.edu/folkstudies/bgcon.../schedule.html
    Bottom of the page this site says:
    "Now in press is his book with Charles Wolfe, The Music of Bill Monroe, a bio-discography that updates his long out-of-print Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys: An Illustrated Discography (1974)."

    Another site, mentioning Wolfe, says:
    "...Wolfe said he has two works in progress: “The Bristol Sessions,” which is due out any day and published by McFarland Press of North Carolina, and “The Music of Bill Monroe” (University of Illinois Press), which looks to have a 2006 publication date"


    Studio recordings of anyone these days interest me very little. I always look for live stuff. That's where the real action is and you know what you're getting there is the real deal.



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    All very interesting, Jim, but do you have a picture of Julia?!!
    We few, we happy few.

  23. #23
    Registered User evanreilly's Avatar
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    Here is the tune Beautiful Julia LaBella, as played by Bill Monroe. Someone else can post a picture.

    If this is in fact a tune from Jim Moss' collection, dating back to some old trading, a public "thanks" to him for sharing.

    Enjoy!




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    Well, I don't have an early picture of Julia.#I was making
    recordings back then, but not photos. #Would like to see
    one though. #I didn't have a very good camera until 1997.

    I was hoping Evan would post the recording of Monroe on the
    bus teaching Richard Greene how to play Moonlight Waltz. #
    I don't remember knowing of a tune called Beautiful Julia
    LaBella until these posts. I might have heard it. #I will
    need to listen to it.

    Jim Moss
    FWB




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    There's a picture of Julia in one of the books about Monroe. I don't recall which book though.

    Hey Jim, this goes back to my old question about Tanyards. Does your recorded version sound like Evan's Mp3 of Monroe doing it alone or does it sound more like Butch Robbins' version. It seems they are different. I assume Evan's MP3is still posted somewhere.

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