The first time the world heard Bluegrass music

On
the subject of Bill Monroe, a young guy in Asheville, NC, Dallas
Taylor, has started what they call a kick-starter fundraiser for a
project he would like to complete in Asheville.  He’d like to place a
new historical marker in Asheville, North Carolina, the proposed sign
celebrating “the first time the world heard Bluegrass music,” according
to Taylor.  On his Indiegogo page he describes….”In 1938, Bill Monroe
and Cleo Davis pulled a camper trailer from Atlanta to Asheville to take
over the 15-minute radio show called “Mountain Music Time’ at WWNC in
the Flat Iron Building in downtown Asheville.  He then named the group
“Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys,” coining the term ‘Bluegrass’ as
his distinct new music style that was ready to set the world on
fire.”  Taylor is attempting to raise $6,000 by July 11th to help with
the costs of purchasing and installing the marker, which will be located
in front of the Flat Iron Building in Asheville……. Well, you know
what, that is all pretty interesting, and neat, EXCEPT for a couple of
fallacies in this guy’s thinking.  Bill & Charlie Monroe came to
Shenandoah, Iowa, in 1934 and began playing what would eventually become
known as bluegrass music, on KFNF radio there.  I know there are lots
of bluegrassers out there who do not want to admit to this, but it
happened, Shenandoah is where Bill Monroe met his wife, who was from
Clarinda.  The other thing wrong with the young guy’s supposition is
that the term ‘Blue Grass Boys’ was established in Asheville.  It
wasn’t.  After Bill and Charlie split in Shenandoah (over the young girl
Bill eventually married) Charlie went back to Kentucky, and Bill went
to St. Louis, Missouri, and then to Atlanta, Georgia, which is where he
created his band called “The Bluegrass Boys.” That didn’t happen in
Asheville.  And the ‘music’ was in 1934, here in Iowa, four years before
Monroe finally found himself in Asheville.

Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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