The Original Bluegrass Band: Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys

The Original Bluegrass Band: Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys

The Original Bluegrass Band: Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys

1945 marked a new era for Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass boys an era that was characterized by fame and success and marked a significant turning point in the genre of bluegrass music itself. It was in this year that the Original Bluegrass Band was born into life.

Earl Scruggs
His real name is Eugene Scruggs and he is the lone surviving member of the original formation of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. He is solely responsible for creating and popularizing the Scruggs style for playing the banjo, which employed the use of only three fingers for picking a five-string banjo.

Lester Flatt
After performing with the Bluegrass Boys for some time, he and Scruggs moved on to create their own band, The Foggy Mountain Boys, which was also popularly known as Flatt and Scruggs. Flatt was a maestro on the guitar and together with Scruggs, he was able to produce various albums but also worked on numerous collaborations with other artists. He died on May 11, 1979.

Chubby Wise
Wise, who is best known for his skills on the fiddle, was one of the oldest in the group when he joined Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in 1942. Before that, however, he was a part of the Jubilee Hillbillies.

Wise left the Bluegrass Boys in 1948, the same year that Flatt and Scruggs went on to make their own band. From 1948 to 1949, he performed alongside Clyde Moody. In the duration of his career, he had also performed with Flatt and Scruggs, York Brothers, and Connie B. Gray.

His return to the Grand Ole Opry took place when he became part of the Rainbow Ranch Boys of Hank Snow in 1954. Although he would remain a member of the band until 1970, it was also around this time that Wise performed as a session musician together with artists such as Red Allen and Mac Wiseman.

Starting in the mid-1980’s, Wise retreated into semi-retirement although he still made occasional performances and took part in a few tours.

Howard Watts
Among the members of the Original Bluegrass Band, bassist Watts is inarguably the least profiled. He joined Monroe’s group in 1944 as a replacement for “Cousin Wilbur” Westbrooks when fiddler Chubby Wise introduced him to Bill Monroe.

In the next four years, Watts would be an on-and-off member of the band. He liked to perform under the name “Cedric Rainwater” and was a part of all the band’s recording sessions during this period. Besides playing on bass, Watts also contributed vocals. He passed away in 1969.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bea Riha November 7, 2010 at 9:32 am

I truly appreciate this article post. Fantastic.

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