Henry Horenstein, Bill Monroe

Henry Horenstein

Bill Monroe, Take It Easy Ranch, Callaway, Maryland, 1973

Monroe (1911–1996) was one of the genuine legends of American music. In the 1930s, he took traditional country music to a totally new place, adding energy and style and creating what we now know as bluegrass music. Past band members went on to great success of their own: Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, and so many more. But his influence went beyond bluegrass music. Elvis Presley’s first single on Sun Records in 1955 featured a blues number ("That's All Right Mama" by Big Boy Crudup) on one side and a bluegrass tune ("Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe) on the other—a blending of black and hillbilly music that became known as rock-and-roll.

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