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Top » Bands and Artists » M » Monroe, Bill » Discography

Monroe's first recordings under his own name were sixteen tracks recorded for RCA in 1940 and 1941. He recorded for Columbia between 1945 and 1949; this period included seventeen tracks recorded with a lineup that helped define the new music called "bluegrass": Earl Scruggs on banjo, Lester Flatt on guitar and lead vocal, Chubby Wise on fiddle, and "Cedric Rainwater" (Howard Watts) on bass. In 1950 he signed with Decca and stayed with that label, and its successor, MCA, for the rest of his career.

The RCA sessions have been collected on several releases, most recently on "The Essential Bill Monroe and the Monroe Brothers". The Columbia sessions are represented on "The Essential Bill Monroe, 1945-1949", a 2-disc set; the single disc "16 Gems" collects highlights of this period.

The Decca recordings are collected on many compilations; the three Bear Family boxed sets offer all the studio recordings from 1950 through 1979, and are highly recommended for completists.

The Music of Bill Monroe: 1936-1994 is a good four-disc overview of his entire career, from the Monroe Brothers to his last recordings.


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