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Monroe, Billlocked

(13 September 1911–09 September 1996)
  • Charles K. Wolfe

Extract

Monroe, Bill (13 September 1911–09 September 1996), musician, was born William Smith Monroe in Rosine, Kentucky, an area of rolling hills about fifty miles south of the Ohio River in the western part of the state. The son of James Buchanan “Buck” Monroe, a successful farmer who was also involved in coal mining and logging, and Malissa Vandiver Monroe, he was the youngest of eight children. He grew up with chronically poor eyesight and an attendant shyness. As a youth he worked for his father, loading cross ties and hauling them to the train station, and developed a strict work ethic and self-discipline that would become a hallmark of his later career. He enjoyed listening to his mother's old Irish ballads and fiddle tunes and was inconsolable when she died in 1921 from a painful spinal disease. Seven years later his father died....

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