William Smith Monroe, popularly known as Bill Monroe (Jerusalem Ridge, near Rosine, Kentucky, United States, 13 September 1911 – Springfield, Tennessee, 9 September 1996) was an American musician. Developed the style of country music known as bluegrass, who took the name of his band, the Blue Grass Boys, thus baptized music in honor of his home state of Kentucky. His career as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and leader of Group lasted more than 60 years. It is often called the father of bluegrass music.
His family had a great interest in music: both his mother and his brothers played traditional instruments, such as the violin, accordion, guitar and harmonica. At the age of nine, Bill learned playing the mandolin, instrument which dominated none of the members of his family. Around the same time also learned to play the guitar. Left an orphan at an early age, so it was picked up by his uncle Pen (Pendleton Vandiver), which later wrote a song. He began playing guitar in local dances. He also appeared with Arnold Schultz, an African-American, blues which would have a major influence in his musical evolution musician.
In 1929, at the age of eighteen, he formed a group together with his brothers, Birch and Charlie, which interpreted folk festivals and local dances, while working at a refinery in the State of Indiana. In 1934 Birch left the group, and Bill and Charlie formed duo Monroe Brothers. With this name did a tour promoting a brand of purgantes. Her songs began to achieve great broadcast on radio Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Carolina. In 1936 they recorded a total of 60 songs for RCA company. The Monroe Brothers disbanded in 1938: Charlie followed with RCA and formed his own band, the Kentucky Pardners, and Bill created his first band, Kentuckians.
In 1939, after the failure of the Kentuckians Bill formed the band Blue Grass Boys, that from October of that same year he became a regular of the Grand Ole Opry. As an interpreter of mandolin, Monroe demonstrated a virtuosity unknown until then in country music. In 1945 hired Earl Scruggs, who empowered in the same way the role of the banjo. This formation of the Blue Grass Boys, which also included Cedric Rainwater, bassist and singer Lester Flatt, Fiddler Chubby Wise made the first recordings incorporating all the elements of what would be later known as bluegrass. At this time recorded one of the most important classics of this musical genre, the Blue Moon of Kentucky song.
Flatt and Scruggs left the band in 1948 to form his own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys, but the Blue Grass Boys continued. In the history of the group, have passed him over 150 musicians, many of whom are ex officio in the field of bluegrass music stars