Personnel: Bill Monroe (vocals, mandolin); Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, Eddie Mayfield, Jimmy Maynard (vocals, guitar); Rudy Lyle (vocals, banjo); Bill Monroe (vocals, mandolin); Ernie Newton (vocals, bass); Kenny Baker, Charlie Cline, Boudleaux Bryant, Culley Holt (vocals); Jimmy Selph, Lester Sandy, Carl Butler, Norman Blake, Thomas Grady Martin (guitar); Robert Lee Pennington, Don Stover (banjo); Vassar Clements, Merle "Red" Taylor, Tommy Jackson, Hal Smith (fiddle); Joel Price (bass, background vocals); Ernie Newton, Howard Watts, Bessie Lee Mauldin (bass); Farris Coursey (drums); Cindy Nelson (background vocals).
Producers include: Bill Monroe, Owen Bradley, Paul Cohen, Walter Haynes, Harry Silverstein.
Compilation producers: Mary Katherine Aldin, Andy McKaie.
Recorded between 1950 & 1981. Includes liner notes by Mary Katherine Aldin.
Personnel: Bill Monroe (vocals, mandolin); Del McCoury, Franklin G. Buchanan, Jimmy Maynard, Edd Mayfield, James Monroe , Jimmy Martin , Peter Rowan, Roland White, Carter Stanley (vocals, guitar); Rudy Lyle (vocals, banjo); Gordon Terry, Charlie Cline (vocals, fiddle); Culley Holt, Ernie Newton, Joel Price, Kenny Baker , Milton Estes, Boudleaux Bryant (vocals); Joe Stuart (guitar, banjo, fiddle); Jimmy Elrod, Grady Martin, Jack Cooke, Jimmy Selph, Jackie Phelps, Norman Blake, Carl Butler (guitar); Curtis McPeake, Don Stover, Don Lineberger, Rual Yarbrough, Lonnie Hoppers, Hubert Davis, Lamar Grier, Robert Lee Pennington, Joe Drumright, Sonny Osborne, Tony Ellis , Vic Jordan, Bill Keith (banjo); Sheldon Kurland (violin, strings); Connie Ellisor, Dennis Molchan, George Binkley III, Carl Gorodetzky (violin); Dale Potter, Tommy Williams Jr., Red Stanley, Merle "Red" Taylor, Hal Smith , Richard Greene & Beryl Marriott, Horace "Benny" Williams, Red Hayes, Tommy Jackson, Vassar Clements, Bobby Hicks , Buddy Spicher, Byron Berline (fiddle); Roy Christensen (cello); Farris Coursey (drums); Cindy Nelson, Curtis Young, Arlene Hardin, Bobby Hardin (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Mary Katherine Aldin.
Recording information: Mt. Juliet, TN; Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Les Leverett.
So much has been said about the founding father of bluegrass music that it would be nice if there was an all-encompassing collection of Bill Monroe's music to accompany the legend. Although the almost-correctly titled Anthology comes close, there is still a wealth of Columbia and RCA-Victor recordings missing from this Decca-centric collection, which runs chronologically from 1950 to 1969 (with one final track from 1981). Unfortunately, this means that the classic lineup of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, with fiddler Chubby Wise and bassist Howard Watts, is not represented. Still, bluegrass luminaries Vassar Clements, Jimmy Martin, Kenny Baker, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, and many others, all drifted in and out of the Blue Grass Boys during their twenty-some years, and make appearances on classic tracks like "Sally Goodin," "Uncle Pen," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," and "New Mule Skinner Blues." All told, this may be the perfect collection of Monroe's work for Decca, but it falls only slightly short of being the Bill Monroe Anthology. ~ Zac Johnson