- Released: March 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Kentucky Waltz
- 2.True Life Blues
- 3.Nobody Loves Me
- 4.Good-Bye Old Pal
- 5.Blue Grass Special
- 6.Heavy Traffic Ahead
- 7.Summertime Is Past And Gone
- 8.I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky
- 9.It's Mighty Dark To Travel
- 10.Blue Grass Breakdown
- 11.Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong
- 12.Old Cross Road Is Waitin'
- 13.Remember The Cross
- 14.Shine Hallelujah Shine
- 15.Can't You Hear Me Calling
- 16.Travelin' This Lonesome Road
Personnel: Bill Monroe (vocals, mandolin); Tex Willis, Lester Flatt, Malcolm "Mac" Wiseman (vocals, guitar); David "Stringbean" Akeman, Earl Scruggs, Rudy Lyle (5-string banjo); Robert R. "Chubby" Wise (fiddle); Wilene "Sally Ann" Forrester (accordion, background vocals); Howard "Cedric Rainwater" Watts (acoustic bass, bass, background vocals); Bill Westbrook, Jack Thompson (acoustic bass).
Recorded between February 13, 1945 and October 22, 1959. Includes liner notes by Mark Humphrey.
This is part of Legacy's Country Classics series.
This is quite possibly the definitive single-disc sampling of the inestimably important music invented and performed by the great Bill Monroe. Hailed categorically as "the father of bluegrass," Bill Monroe's 1940s recordings with the Bluegrass Boys helped create the blueprint for what is now known as country music.
These 16 cuts are, as the title indicates, gems. Original versions of now-classic standards like "Nobody Loves Me" and "Kentucky Waltz" shine with historic importance and the uncontainable energy and precision of performance. The way Chubby Wise's fiddle, which sings alternately hot and cool, showers sparks around Earl Scruggs' blinding banjo riffs could catapult any ensemble over the top. But when Monroe's exacting mandolin solos and plaintive, mellifluous tenor come sailing through the middle, joined by the close-knit multi-part harmonies of Scruggs, guitarist Lester Flatt, and bassist Howard Watts (check out "Summertime Is Past And Gone" and "Remember That Cross"), it's almost too good to be true. But most of all, it's Monroe's songwriting skills that really impress, whether in the cowboy vein of "Travelin' This Lonesome Road" or on hoedowns like the phenomenal "Blue Grass Breakdown." This disc is a necessity for traditional roots music fans and a worthy addition to any well-rounded library.