Bill Monroe’s 100th Birthday Celebrated with Concerts, CDs and More
Few musicians have meant more to the history of country music than the legendary mandolin player Bill Monroe. He’s no longer with us, but his legacy remains very much alive and for proof, you need look no further than the number of tributes and celebrations surrounding Monroe’s 100th birthday.
To mark the event, which passed September 12, there are a number of projects are paying tribute to Monroe’s pioneering work, including concerts, a documentary, a musical, CDs, and — if you’ve got the travel budget — some unique museum exhibits.
One of the biggest events is taking place at Vanderbilt University on September 28, where an all-star lineup including Ricky Skaggs, the Del McCoury Band, Roland White and Nashville Bluegrass Band will gather to perform in Monroe’s honor
This week, the Bluegrass Hall of Fame has booked a tribute concert series with artists including Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, and J.D. Crowe, and they’ll also be premiering a documentary and musical inspired by Monroe’s work.
Later in the month, Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival will take place in Blossom, Indiana, where Ralph Stanley and Jesse McReynolds, Larry Sparks, the James King Band, and Monroe’s son, James, will perform
Finally, Del McCoury — who’s prepping a Monroe tribute album of his own — will give a free show on the grounds of the Ryman in Nashville on September 27.
If you can’t make it to any of these events, not to worry — you can still hear a few recorded Monroe tributes. Rounder has released ‘Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration: A Classic Bluegrass Tribute,’ a 28-track collection featuring performances from Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Dan Tyminski, and Vince Gill, while Rebel Records has contributed ‘With Body and Soul: A Bluegrass Tribute to Bill Monroe’ and ‘Let the Light Shine Down: A Gospel Tribute to Bill Monroe.’