The Kentucky State Bluegrass Song
Blue Moon Of Kentucky
words and music by William Smith "Bill" Monroe
Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining, Shine on the one that's gone and proved untrue; Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining, Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue. It was on a moonlight night, the stars were shining bright; And they whispered from on high, your love had said goodbye. Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining, Shine on the one that's gone and said goodbye.
About Bill Monroe
In 1911, William Smith Monroe, a descendent of President James Monroe, was born near Rosine, Kentucky. Music was natural to William Smith Monroe. He grew up singing on the front porch with his family. By the time he was 12, he was an eager guitar player. Between 1928 and 1930, William Smith and his brothers, Charlie and Birch, formed their own band, the Monroe Brothers. William was picked to play the mandolin because the other brothers didn't know how to play it and William, well...he was the youngest.
In 1938, the Monroe Brothers broke up and William formed the Kentuckians, which evolved into The Blue Grass Boys. Monroe's new musical directions included driving rhythms and tight harmonies. His music was a combination of Appalachian, Church, Jazz and Breakdown styles. This was the beginning of bluegrass.
From 1939-1941, Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys performed at the Grand Ole Opry, were signed by RCA Records and formed their own touring company.
In 1946 Bill Monroe wrote and The Bluegrass Boys first recorded a song that was to become Monroe's signature, "Blue Moon of Kentucky."
By 1970, Bill Monroe was widely recognized as the "Father of Bluegrass." And in that year, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the next year into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame and more was to come...
1986 - US Senate passed a resolution honoring "his many contributions to American culture and his many ways of helping American people enjoy themselves." The resolution went on to say, "As a musician, showman, composer, and teacher, Mr. Monroe has been a cultural figure and force of signal importance in our time."
Bill Monroe died from a stroke on September 9, 1996, in Springfield, Tennessee. [ Additional Information ]
Adoption of State Bluegrass Song
Before Bill Monroe, there was no bluegrass music. Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" was adopted as the official bluegrass song of Kentucky in 1988.
The following information is excerpted from the Kentucky Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 2.100. Words to the songs are not included in the statutes.
TITLE I - SOVEREIGNTY AND JURISDICTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH
Effective: July 15, 1988
Source: Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives, (http://www.kdla.ky.gov), December 10, 2004
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