William Smith Monroe was an American mandolinist and songwriter, who helped to create the style of music known as bluegrass. Because of this, he is referred to as the "Father of Bluegrass"; the genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 69 years as a singer, instrumentalist and bandleader. Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa Monroe, his mother and her brother, Pendleton "Pen" Vandiver, were both musically talented, Monroe and his family grew up playing and singing at home. Bill was of Scottish heritage; because his older brothers Birch and Charlie played the fiddle and guitar, Bill Monroe was resigned to playing the less desirable mandolin. He recalled that his brothers insisted he should remove four of the mandolin's eight strings so he would not play too loudly. Monroe's mother died; as his brothers and sisters had moved away, after bouncing among uncles and aunts, Monroe settled in with his disabled uncle Pendleton Vandiver accompanying him when Vandiver played the fiddle at dances.
This experience inspired one of Monroe's most famous compositions, "Uncle Pen", recorded in 1950, the 1972 album Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen. On that album, Monroe recorded a number of traditional fiddle tunes he had heard performed by Vandiver. Uncle Pen has been credited with giving Monroe "a repertoire of tunes that sank into Bill's aurally trained memory and a sense of rhythm that seeped into his bones." Significant in Monroe's musical life was Arnold Shultz, an influential fiddler and guitarist who introduced Monroe to the blues. In 1929, Monroe moved to Indiana to work at an oil refinery with his brothers Birch and Charlie, childhood friend and guitarist William "Old Hickory" Hardin. Together with a friend Larry Moore, they formed the "Monroe Brothers", to play at local dances and house parties. Birch Monroe and Larry Moore soon left the group, Bill and Charlie carried on as a duo winning spots performing live on radio stations— first in Indiana and sponsored by Texas Crystals, on several radio broadcasts in Iowa, South Carolina and North Carolina from 1934 to 1936.
RCA Victor signed the Monroe Brothers to a recording contract in 1936. They scored an immediate hit single with the gospel song "What Would You Give in Exchange For Your Soul?" and recorded 60 tracks for Victor's Bluebird label between 1936 and 1938. After the Monroe Brothers disbanded in 1938, Bill Monroe formed The Kentuckians in Little Rock, but the group only lasted for three months. Monroe left Little Rock for Atlanta, Georgia, to form the first edition of the Blue Grass Boys with singer/guitarist Cleo Davis, fiddler Art Wooten, bassist Amos Garren. Bill had wanted "Old Hickory" to become one of the original members of his "Blue Grass Boys", however William Hardin had to decline. In October 1939, Monroe auditioned for a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry, impressing Opry founder George D. Hay with his energetic performance of Jimmie Rodgers's "Mule Skinner Blues". Monroe recorded that song, along with seven others, at his first solo recording session for RCA Victor in 1940. While the fast tempos and instrumental virtuosity characteristic of bluegrass music are apparent on these early tracks, Monroe was still experimenting with the sound of his group.
He sang lead vocals on his Victor recordings preferring to contribute high tenor harmonies as he had in the Monroe Brothers. A 1945 session for Columbia Records featured an accordion, soon dropped from the band. Most while Monroe added banjo player David "'Stringbean" Akeman to the Blue Grass Boys in 1942, Akeman played the instrument in a primitive style and was featured in instrumental solos. Monroe's pre-1946 recordings represent a transitional style between the string-band tradition from which he came and the musical innovation to follow. Key developments occurred in Monroe's music with the addition of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs to the Blue Grass Boys in December 1945. Flatt played a solid rhythm guitar style. Scruggs played the banjo with a distinctive three-finger picking style that caused a sensation among Opry audiences. Flatt and Scruggs joined a accomplished group that included fiddler Howdy Forrester and bassist Joe Forrester and would soon include fiddler Chubby Wise and bassist Howard Watts, who performed under the name "Cedric Rainwater".
In retrospect, this lineup of the Blue Grass Boys has been dubbed the "Original Bluegrass Band", as the music included all the elements that characterize bluegrass music, including breakneck tempos, sophisticated vocal harmony arrangements, impressive instrumental proficiency demonstrated in solos or "breaks" on the mandolin and fiddle. By this point, Monroe had acquired the 1923 Gibson F5 model "Lloyd Loar" mandolin which became his trademark instrument for the remainder of his career; the 28 songs recorded by this version of the Blue Grass Boys for Columbia Records in 1946 and 1947 soon became classics of the genre, including "Toy Heart", "Blue Grass Breakdown", "Molly and Tenbrooks", "Wicked Path of Sin", "My Rose of Old Kentucky", "Little Cabin Home on the Hill", Monroe's most famous song "Blue Moon of Kentucky". The last-named was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1954, appearing as the B-side of his first single for Sun Records. M
Blue Grass, Iowa
Blue Grass is a city in Muscatine and Scott counties in the U. S. state of Iowa. The population was 1,541 as of 2010. Most of Blue Grass is part of the Davenport–Moline–Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, but the Muscatine County portion of the city is considered part of the Muscatine Micropolitan Statistical Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.89 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2010, there were 1,452 people, 561 households, 426 families residing in the city; the population density was 502.4 inhabitants per square mile. There were 597 housing units at an average density of 206.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 97.0% White, 1.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population. There were 561 households of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, 24.1% were non-families.
20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age in the city was 39.4 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 51.9% male and 48.1% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,169 people, 443 households, 348 families residing in the city; the population density was 434.0 people per square mile. There were 459 housing units at an average density of 170.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 97.43% White, 0.26% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.94% from other races, 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.80% of the population. There were 443 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 21.4% were non-families.
16.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 2.95. Age spread: 25.1% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males. The median income for a household in the city was $51,923, the median income for a family was $55,208. Males had a median income of $37,135 versus $22,350 for females; the per capita income for the city was $20,811. About 3.8% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over. Nebergall "Knoll Crest" Round Barn, situated east of town along Telegraph Rd. and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Scott County, Iowa City website City-Data Comprehensive statistical data and more about Blue Grass
Poa is a genus of about 500 species of grasses, native to the temperate regions of both hemispheres. Common names include meadow-grass, bluegrass and speargrass. Poa is Greek for "fodder". Poa are members of the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family. Bluegrass, which has green leaves, derives its name from the seed heads, which are blue when the plant is allowed to grow to its natural height of two to three feet; the genus Poa includes both perennial species. Most are monoecious; the leaves are narrow, folded or flat, sometimes bristled, with the basal sheath flattened or sometimes thickened, with a blunt or hooded apex and membranaceous ligule. Many of the species are important pasture plants, used extensively by grazing livestock. Kentucky bluegrass is the most extensively used cool-season grass used in lawns, sports fields, golf courses in the United States. Annual bluegrass can sometimes be considered a weed. According to second-century physician Galen, the roots of certain species are good for treating fresh wounds and bleeding.
In the sixteenth century, Poa grasses were used to treat inflammation of the kidney. Some of the Poa species are popular for landscaping in New Zealand. Lepidoptera whose caterpillars feed on Poa include: Agriphila inquinatella Cercyonis pegala Poanes hobomok Poanes zabulon
Bouteloua gracilis is a long-lived, warm-season perennial grass, native to North America. It is most found from Alberta, east to Manitoba and south across the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, U. S. Midwest states, onto the northern Mexican Plateau in Mexico. Blue grama accounts for most of the net primary productivity in the shortgrass prairie of the central and southern Great Plains, it is a greyish, low-growing, drought-tolerant grass with limited maintenance. Blue grama grows on a wide array of topographic positions, in a range of well-drained soil types, from fine- to coarse-textured. Blue grama has 1 to 10 in long; the overall height of the plant is 6 to 12 in at maturity. The flowering stems. At the top are one to four two, comb-like spikes, which extend out at a sharp angle from the flowering stem; each spike has 20 to 90 spikelets. Each spikelet is 5 to 6 mm long, has one fertile floret and one or two reduced sterile ones. Below the florets are two glumes, one 1.5 to 3 mm long and the other 3.5 to 6 mm long.
The fertile floret has a lemma 5 to 5.5 mm long, with three short awns at the tip, the sterile floret has a lemma about 2 mm long with three awns about 5 mm long. If pollinated, the fertile floret produces an oblong-elliptic brown seed 2.5 to 3 mm long. When the seed is mature, the whole spikelet detaches, except for the two glumes; the roots grow 12 to 18 in outwards, 3 to 6.5 ft deep. Blue grama is established from seed, but depends more on vegetative reproduction via tillers. Seed production is slow, depends on soil moisture and temperature. Seeds dispersed by wind only reach a few meters. Seedling establishment and growth are greatest when isolated from neighboring adult plants, which exploit water in the seedling's root zone. Successful establishment requires a modest amount of soil moisture during the extension and development of adventitious roots. Established plants are grazing-, cold-, drought-tolerant, though prolonged drought leads to a reduction in root number and extent, they employ an opportunistic water-use strategy using water when available, becoming dormant during less-favorable conditions.
In terms of successional status, blue grama is a late seral to climax species. Recovery following disturbance depends on the type and extent of the disturbance. Blue grama is valued as forage. B. gracilis is grown by the horticulture industry, used in perennial gardens and native plant landscaping, habitat restoration projects, residential and highway erosion control. Blue grama flowers are used in dried flower arrangements. Blue grama is the state grass of New Mexico, it is listed as an endangered species in Illinois. Among the Zuni people, the grass bunches are tied together and the severed end is used as a hairbrush, the other as a broom. Bunches are used to strain goat's milk; the Costanoan, or Ohlone, use. The Navajo use it as sheep and horse feed
Blue Grass, Virginia
Blue Grass is an unincorporated community on VA 642 at its junction with VA 640 in Highland County, United States. Blue Grass lies along the South Branch Potomac River and is located 6.1 miles north of Monterey, Virginia. It was known as Crabbottom and Hulls Store before the Board on Geographic Names decided upon Blue Grass in 1950. Near Blue Grass is the Devils Backbone rock formation. Blue Grass has a post office with ZIP code 24413; the Hollywood silent film classic Tol'able David was filmed in Blue Grass during 1921. Susan Swecker – Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, was raised there
The Bluegrass region is a geographic region in the U. S. state of Kentucky. It makes up the northern part of the state, where a majority of the state's population has lived and developed its largest cities, its area is bounded by the cities of Frankfort, Paris and Stanford. Before European-American settlement, various cultures of Indigenous peoples of the Americas adapted to the region; the region had a savannah of wide grasslands, with interspersed enormous oak trees. The local indigenous peoples hunted its large herds of bison and other game near mineral licks; the name "Kentucky" means "meadow lands" in several different Indigenous languages of the Americas, was applied to this region. Europeans adopted the name to apply to the state. "Bluegrass" is a common name given in the United States for grass of the Poa genus, the most famous being the Kentucky bluegrass. Americans settled in number in the region, during the decades which followed the American Revolutionary War, they migrated from Virginia.
By 1800 these planters noticed that horses grazed in the Bluegrass region were more hardy than those from other regions. Within decades of increased settlement, the remaining herds of bison had moved west; the breeding of Thoroughbred horses was developed in the region, as well as of other quality livestock. Kentucky livestock was driven to other areas of the Ohio River valley for sale. Planters, supported by slave labor cultivated major commodity crops, such as tobacco and grapes; the first commercial winery in the United States was opened in the Bluegrass region in 1801, in present-day Jessamine County by a group of Swiss immigrants. It was authorized by the Kentucky General Assembly; the Bluegrass region is characterized by underlying fossiliferous limestone and shale of the Ordovician geological age. Hills are rolling, the soil is fertile for growing pasture. Since the antebellum years, the Bluegrass region has been a center for breeding quality livestock Thoroughbred race horses. Since the late 20th century, the area has become developed with residential and commercial properties around Lexington, the business center.
Farms are losing ground to development and disappearing. In 2006, The World Monuments Fund included the Bluegrass region on its global list of 100 most endangered sites; the Kentucky Bluegrass is bounded on the east by the Cumberland Plateau, with the Pottsville Escarpment forming the boundary. On the south and west, it borders the Pennyroyal Plateau, with Muldraugh Hill, another escarpment, forming the boundary. Much of the region is drained by its tributaries; the river cuts a deep canyon called the Kentucky River Palisades through the region, preserving meanders that indicate that the river was once a mature low valley, uplifted. Near the Kentucky River, the region exhibits Karst topography, with sinkholes and disappearing streams that drain underground to the river. Although Bluegrass music is popular throughout the region, the genre is indirectly named for the state rather than the region. Klotter, James C. and Daniel Rowland, eds. Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792–1852, Raitz and Nancy O'Malley, "The Nineteenth-Century Evolution of Local-Scale Roads in Kentucky's Bluegrass," Geographical Review, 94, 415–39 Bluegrass Heritage Museum Local Directory for Frankfort, the State Capital Slayman, Andrew.
"A Race Against Time for Kentucky's Bluegrass Country". World Monuments Fund. Archived from the original on 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-07. Raitz, Carl. "Local-scale turnpike roads in nineteenth-century Kentucky". Journal of Historical Geography. 33: 1–23. Doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2005.12.003
Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English and Scottish ballads and dance tunes, by traditional African-American blues and jazz; the Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, it has a high lonesome sound."Bluegrass features acoustic string instruments and emphasizes the offbeat. Notes are anticipated in contrast to laid back blues where notes are behind the beat, which creates the higher energy characteristic of bluegrass. In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment.
This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Breakdowns are characterized by rapid tempos and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes. There are three major subgenres of bluegrass. Traditional bluegrass has musicians playing folk songs, tunes with traditional chord progressions, using only acoustic instruments, with an example being Bill Monroe. Progressive bluegrass groups may use electric instruments and import songs from other genres rock & roll. Examples include Cadillac Bearfoot. Another subgenre, bluegrass gospel, uses Christian lyrics, soulful three- or four-part harmony singing, sometimes the playing of instrumentals. A newer development in the bluegrass world is Neo-traditional bluegrass. Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. Unlike mainstream country music, bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments.
The fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar and upright bass are joined by the resonator guitar and harmonica or Jew's harp. This instrumentation originated in rural dance bands and is the basis on which the earliest bluegrass bands were formed; the guitar is now most played with a style referred to as flatpicking, unlike the style of early bluegrass guitarists such as Lester Flatt, who used a thumb pick and finger pick. Banjo players use the three-finger picking style made popular by banjoists such as Earl Scruggs. Fiddlers play in thirds and fifths, producing a sound, characteristic to the bluegrass style. Bassists always play pizzicato adopting the "slap-style" to accentuate the beat. A bluegrass bass line is a rhythmic alternation between the root and fifth of each chord, with occasional walking bass excursions. Instrumentation has been a continuing topic of debate. Traditional bluegrass performers believe the "correct" instrumentation is that used by Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys. Departures from the traditional instrumentation have included dobro, harmonica, autoharp, electric guitar, electric versions of other common bluegrass instruments, resulting in what has been referred to as "newgrass."
Apart from specific instrumentation, a distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts with a dissonant or modal sound in the highest voice, a style described as the "high, lonesome sound." The ordering and layering of vocal harmony is called the "stack". A standard stack has the lead in the middle and a tenor at the top. Alison Krauss and Union Station provide a good example of a different harmony stack with a baritone and tenor with a high lead, an octave above the standard melody line, sung by the female vocalist. However, by employing variants to the standard trio vocal arrangement, they were following a pattern existing since the early days of the genre; the Stanley Brothers utilized a high baritone part on several of their trios recorded for Columbia records during their time with that label. Mandolin player Pee Wee Lambert sang the high baritone above Ralph Stanley's tenor, both parts above Carter's lead vocal; this trio vocal arrangement was variously used by other groups as well.
In the 1960s Flatt and Scruggs added a fifth part to the traditional quartet parts on gospel songs, the extra part being a high baritone. The use of a high lead with the tenor and baritone below it was most famously employed by the Osborne Brothers who first employed it during their time with MGM records in the latter half of the 1950s; this vocal arrangement would be the home aspect of the Osbornes' sound with Bobby's high, clear voice at the top of the vocal stack. Bluegrass tunes can be described as narratives on the everyday lives of the people whence the music came. Aside from laments about loves lost, interpersonal tensions and unwanted changes to the region (e.g. the visible effects of moun