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Thread: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

  1. #1
    Registered User DrEugeneStrickland's Avatar
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    Default Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Perhaps I have missed a thread on this topic in the past,I am not sure?
    I wanted to see if there were any fans of Charlie Monroe on the cafe?
    I have been listening to his entire recorded catalog and am really enjoying the mandolin work of
    Zeke Morris
    Lester Flatt
    Ira Louvin
    Red Rector
    Curly Seckler
    Clyde Baum
    If there were other mandolin players who worked with Charlie over his long career I would love to know about them.
    Ultimately I am surprised Charlie's recording are not more widely admired or discussed?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    I think you forgot his brother ... Bill?

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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    I didn't know that Lester Flatt had played mandolin in a band. That's interesting. I'm not surprised since most working musicians play more than one instrument.

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    Registered User swampstomper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    It's a fairly well-known piece of trivia that Charlie bought Lester a brand-new F5 several years before Bill saw his in the Florida barbershop. I've always wondered if that got Bill looking for his own F5... and of course he was famously tight-fisted so wouldn't go out and buy a new one for $250, but when he saw the 1923 for $150, why, that was a bargain! and he could keep up with brother Charlie.

    I'm also a fan of the "voice with a heart", and especially of his powerful rhythm guitar playing. There's a book by Joseph Weidlich "Country Guitar Style of Charlie Monroe", well-worth a look for those who play without a bass in the group (e.g., duets like Monroe Brothers). If you've listened to Monroe Bros. you can't get that pounding rhythm and signature runs out of your head, on songs like "Katie Cline" or "New River Train". An added bonus is that the MB played a lot in F, a somewhat forgotten key in bluegrass. In his solo career listen to "Georgia Mail" for that patended G/G6 alternating bass.

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    Registered User DrEugeneStrickland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Here is the Old Homestead LP of radio broadcasts of Charlie Monroe and The Kentucky Pardners from 1944 featuring Lester Flatt on Mandolin and Vocals... It's good stuff!
    http://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Monroe...404729&sr=8-80

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    Registered User DrEugeneStrickland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now there's an idea... two mandolin players!
    Anybody know who these two gentleman are?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    I believe that's Orne Osborne and Red Rector. I love the album that RR did with Norman Blake, and he played with a number of bluegrass greats. Mr. Osborne, I know nothing about.

    By the way, I produced a short audio clip of Thile and Daves discussing the Monroe Brothers, and Charlie's guitar style, here as part of the NPR Monroe centennial. Just scroll down to "Chris Thile And Michael Daves: Carrying On The 'Brother Duet' Tradition".

    I didn't know the story of Lester Flatt's F-5. And its affect on Bill sounds entirely plausible. Thanks, Mr. Stomper.
    Last edited by BradKlein; Nov-27-2011 at 11:06am.
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    Registered User DrEugeneStrickland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    I believe that's Orne Osborne and Red Rector.

    By the way, I produced a short audio clip of Thile and Daves discussing the Monroe Brothers, and Charlie's guitar style,
    I didn't know the story of Lester Flatt's F-5. And its affect on Bill sounds entirely plausible. Thanks, Mr. Stomper.
    Thanks Brad for the id on the mandolin players in the photo....
    Just a matter of opinion here,Thile and Daves are fine players indeed but my ears are telling me that they certainly are making no real attempt at trying to capture the Monroe Brothers sound.
    NPR seems to love Thile or at least have a great relationship with his publicist a no brainer as tie in for their Monroe celebration.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    It's certainly not their goal to 'capture the Monroe Brothers' sound'. They made it clear in the long interview they did for Mandolin Cafe that they aren't interested in any kind of historic recreation. But I can't imagine NOT hearing the influence of the Monroe Brothers in their rendition of Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms! [scroll down to hear the complete song] I mean they're never going to play a tune closer to the original than that.
    BradKlein
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Revisiting this thread, I find that the album Dr. Strickland refers to in post #5 above, is now on YT. I'm listening for the Lester Flatt mandolin sound!

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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Hadn't noticed this thread before. For the last 30 years or so my playing partner and mentor has been Rocky Harper who played an toured with Charlie in the Baltimore days. I just called Rocky to ask who the mando player was when he was a Kentucky Pardner. He said Ted Mullins from Belcher , Kentucky. Slim Martin was on fiddle and Joe Medford played banjo. When asked if Ted played "Bill" style I was told "no, and if he did, Charlie would have probably fired him"

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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    On the other hand, when Curly Seckler played mandolin with Charlie Monroe, Monroe listed him as "Smilin' Bill" so that -- in Seckler's opinion, as expressed in his biography Foggy Mountain Troubadour -- Monroe could say there was still a "Bill" in his band.
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    Default Re: Charlie Monroe's Mandolin players

    Allen, Thanks for the book tip. I just ordered it and look forward to learning more about Curly. I wonder if "Smilin Bill" might have also been a partially sarcastic reference to his brothers stage presence.
    One of my favorite stories from my pal who played with Charlie happened when they were traveling a gig and a Bill Monroe song came on the radio. All the young members of the band sat up and tried to get closer to the radio. Charlies's wife Betty, who was know as being a kind, mother figure to the boys, reached over and cut the radio off and said "we don't listen to that in here".

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