September 13, 2011
Happy Birthday, Mr. Monroe
Today would have been William Smith Monroe, The Father of Bluegrass' 100th birthday. I can still remember the day he died. I was sixteen, head over heels in love with all things bluegrass, and I knew that my dream to meet him one day would never come to pass.
I can think of no other genre of music that so directly owes its genesis to a single person. He once described the uniquely American style of music he pioneered as music with "a hard drive to it. It's Scotch bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound. It's plain music that tells a good story. It's played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you. Bluegrass is music that matters."