A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is plucked with a plectrum or "pick". It has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison, although five and six course versions exist; the courses are tuned in a succession of perfect fifths. It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin and mandobass. There are many styles of mandolin, but three are common, the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the carved-top mandolin and the flat-backed mandolin; the round-back has a deep bottom, constructed of strips of wood, glued together into a bowl. The carved-top or arch-top mandolin has a much shallower, arched back, an arched top—both carved out of wood; the flat-backed mandolin uses thin sheets of wood for the body, braced on the inside for strength in a similar manner to a guitar. Each style of instrument is associated with particular forms of music. Neapolitan mandolins feature prominently in traditional music. Carved-top instruments are common in American folk music and bluegrass music.
Flat-backed instruments are used in Irish and Brazilian folk music. Some modern Brazilian instruments feature an extra fifth course tuned a fifth lower than the standard fourth course. Other mandolin varieties differ in the number of strings and include four-string models such as the Brescian and Cremonese, six-string types such as the Milanese and the Sicilian and 6 course instruments of 12 strings such as the Genoese. There has been a twelve-string type and an instrument with sixteen-strings. Much of mandolin development revolved around the soundboard. Pre-mandolin instruments were quiet instruments, strung with as many as six courses of gut strings, were plucked with the fingers or with a quill. However, modern instruments are louder—using four courses of metal strings, which exert more pressure than the gut strings; the modern soundboard is designed to withstand the pressure of metal strings that would break earlier instruments. The soundboard comes in many shapes—but round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections.
There is one or more sound holes in the soundboard, either round, oval, or shaped like a calligraphic f. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling. Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, the deep bowled mandolin, produced in Naples, became common in the 19th century. Dating to c. 13,000 BC, a cave painting in the Trois Frères cave in France depicts what some believe is a musical bow, a hunting bow used as a single-stringed musical instrument. From the musical bow, families of stringed instruments developed. In turn, this led to being able to play chords. Another innovation occurred when the bow harp was straightened out and a bridge used to lift the strings off the stick-neck, creating the lute; this picture of musical bow to harp bow has been contested. In 1965 Franz Jahnel wrote his criticism stating that the early ancestors of plucked instruments are not known, he felt that the harp bow was a long cry from the sophistication of the 4th-century BC civilization that took the primitive technology and created "technically and artistically well made harps, lyres and lutes."
Musicologists have put forth examples of that 4th-century BC technology, looking at engraved images that have survived. The earliest image showing a lute-like instrument came from Mesopotamia prior to 3000 BC. A cylinder seal from c. 3100 BC or earlier shows. From the surviving images, theororists have categorized the Mesopotamian lutes, showing that they developed into a long variety and a short; the line of long lutes may have developed into pandura. The line of short lutes was further developed to the east of Mesopotamia, in Bactria and Northwest India, shown in sculpture from the 2nd century BC through the 4th or 5th centuries AD. Bactria and Gandhara became part of the Sasanian Empire. Under the Sasanians, a short almond shaped lute from Bactria came to be called the barbat or barbud, developed into the Islamic world's oud or ud; when the Moors conquered Andalusia in 711 AD, they brought their ud along, into a country that had known a lute tradition under the Romans, the pandura. During the 8th and 9th centuries, many musicians and artists from across the Islamic world flocked to Iberia.
Among them was Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi‘, a prominent musician who had trained under Ishaq al-Mawsili in Baghdad and was exiled to Andalusia before 833 AD. He taught and has been credited with adding a fifth string to his oud and with establishing one of the first schools of music in Córdoba. By the 11th century, Muslim Iberia had become a center for the manufacture of instruments; these goods spread to Provence, influencing French troubadours and trouvères and reaching the rest of Europe. Beside the introduction of the lute to Spain by the Moors, another important point of transfer of the lute from Arabian to European culture was Sicily, where it was brought either by Byzantine or by Muslim musicians. There were singer-lutenists at the court in Palermo following the N
Dobro is an American brand of resonator guitar owned by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. In popular usage, the term is used as a generic trademark for any wood-bodied, single-cone resonator guitar; the Dobro was made by the Dopyera brothers when they formed the Dobro Manufacturing Company. Their design, with a single inverted resonator, was introduced to compete with the patented Tricone and biscuit designs produced by the National String Instrument Corporation; the Dobro name appeared on other instruments, notably electric lap steel guitars and solid body electric guitars and on other resonator instruments such as Safari resonator mandolins. The name originated in 1928 when the Dopyera brothers and Emil, formed the Dobro Manufacturing Company. Dobro is a word meaning ` good' in their native Slovak. An early company motto was "Dobro means good in any language." The Dobro was the third resonator guitar design by John Dopyera, the inventor of the resonator guitar, but the second to enter production.
Unlike his earlier tricone design, the Dobro had a single resonator cone and it was inverted, with its concave surface facing up. The Dobro company described this as a bowl shaped resonator; the Dobro was cheaper to produce. In Dopyera's opinion, the cost of manufacture had priced the resonator guitar beyond the reach of many players, his failure to convince his fellow directors at the National String Instrument Corporation to produce a single-cone version was a motivating factor for leaving. Since National had applied for a patent on the single cone, Dopyera had to develop an alternative design, he did this by inverting the cone so that, rather than having the strings rest on the apex of the cone as the National method did, they rested on a cast aluminum spider that had eight legs sitting on the perimeter of the downward-pointing cone. In the following years both Dobro and National built a wide variety of metal- and wood-bodied single-cone guitars, while National continued with the Tricone for a time.
Both companies sourced many components from National director Adolph Rickenbacher, John Dopyera remained a major shareholder in National. By 1934, the Dopyera brothers had gained control of both National and Dobro, they merged the companies to form the National-Dobro Corporation. From the outset, wooden bodies had been sourced from existing guitar manufacturers the plywood student guitar bodies made by the Regal Musical Instrument Company. Dobro had granted Regal a license to manufacture resonator instruments. By 1937, it was the only manufacturer, the license was made exclusive. Regal continued to manufacture and sell resonator instruments under many names, including Regal, Old Kraftsman, Ward. However, they ceased all resonator guitar production following the United States entry into World War II in 1941. Emil Dopyera manufactured Dobros from 1959 under the brand name Dopera's Original before selling the company and name to Semie Moseley. Moseley merged it with his Mosrite guitar company and manufactured Dobros for a time.
Meanwhile, in 1967, Rudy and Emil Dopyera formed the Original Musical Instrument Company to manufacture resonator guitars, which they at first branded Hound Dog. However, in 1970, they again acquired the Dobro name—Mosrite having gone into temporary liquidation; the Gibson Guitar Corporation acquired OMI in 1993, along with the Dobro name. They moved production to Nashville. Gibson now uses the name Dobro only for models with the inverted-cone design that the original Dobro Manufacturing Company used. Gibson carries biscuit-style single-resonator guitars, but it sells them under names such as "Hound Dog"; the Dobro was first introduced to country music by Roy Acuff. The name Dobro is generically associated with all resonator designs. Gibson, as the owner of the trademark, reserves the use of the name Dobro as a registered trademark for its own product line. Notwithstanding, the name is sometimes used generically for any resonator guitar, as indicated in such songs as The Ballad of Curtis Loew by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Valium Waltz by the Old 97's, When Papa Played the Dobro by Johnny Cash on the Ride This Train album.
Hound Dog Roundneck Hound Dog Squareneck Hound Dog Deluxe Roundneck Hound Dog Deluxe Squareneck Phil Ledbetter Series Gibson Phil Ledbetter Signature Resonator Gibson Phil Ledbetter Mahogany "Limited Edition" As of 2006, many makers, including Gibson, manufacture resonator guitars similar to the original inverted-cone design. Gibson manufactures biscuit-style resonator guitars, but reserves the Dobro name for its inverted-cone models; these "biscuit" guitars are used for blues and are played vertically instead of horizontally like a "spider" bridge. Contemporary manufacturers of the inverted cone design resonator guitar other than Gibson include Tim Scheerhorn and Paul Beard. Virtuoso resonator guitarist Jerry Douglas has used guitars from these builders for nearly three decades. Both Scheerhorn and Beard produce instruments of a radically different structural design to the original Dobro instruments, while retaining the inverted cone and spider bridge. Dobro products on Epiphone website "History of the Pre-War Dobro" by Randy Getz Dobro Valpro at Elderly.com
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly American country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee founded on November 28, 1925, by George D. Hay as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM. Owned and operated by Opry Entertainment, it is the longest running radio broadcast in US history. Dedicated to honoring country music and its history, the Opry showcases a mix of famous singers and contemporary chart-toppers performing country, Americana and gospel music as well as comedic performances and skits, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world and millions of radio and internet listeners. The Opry's current primary slogan is "The Show That Made Country Music Famous." Other slogans include "Home of American Music" and "Country's Most Famous Stage."In the 1930s, the show began hiring professionals and expanded to four hours. Broadcasting by at 50,000 watts, WSM made the program a Saturday night musical tradition in nearly 30 states. In 1939, it debuted nationally on NBC Radio; the Opry moved to a permanent home, the Ryman Auditorium, in 1943.
As it developed in importance, so did the city of Nashville, which became America's "country music capital." The Grand Ole Opry holds such significance in Nashville that its name is included on the city/county line signs on all major roadways. The signs read "Music City|Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County|Home of the Grand Ole Opry." Membership in the Opry remains one of country music's crowning achievements. Since 1974, the show has been broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House east of downtown Nashville, with an annual three-month winter foray back to the Ryman since 1999. In addition to the radio programs, performances have been sporadically televised over the years; the Grand Ole Opry started as the WSM Barn Dance in the new fifth-floor radio studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company in downtown Nashville on November 28, 1925. On October 17, 1925, management began a program featuring "Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians." On November 2, WSM hired long-time announcer and program director George D.
"Judge" Hay, an enterprising pioneer from the National Barn Dance program at WLS in Chicago, named the most popular radio announcer in America as a result of his radio work with both WLS and WMC in Memphis, Tennessee. Hay launched the WSM Barn Dance with 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson on November 28, 1925, that date is celebrated as the birth date of the Grand Ole Opry; some of the bands on the show during its early days included Bill Monroe, the Possum Hunters, the Fruit Jar Drinkers with Uncle Dave Macon, the Crook Brothers, the Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers, Sid Harkreader, Deford Bailey, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, the Gully Jumpers. Judge Hay liked the Fruit Jar Drinkers and asked them to appear last on each show because he wanted to always close each segment with "red hot fiddle playing." They were the second band accepted with the Crook Brothers being the first. When the Opry began having square dancers on the show, the Fruit Jar Drinkers always played for them. In 1926, Uncle Dave Macon, a Tennessee banjo player who had recorded several songs and toured on the vaudeville circuit became its first real star.
The phrase "Grand Ole Opry" was first uttered on radio on December 10, 1927. At the time, the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, a program with classical music and selections from grand opera, was followed by Barn Dance. Opry presenter George Hay introduced the programme: For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the "Grand Ole Opry." As audiences for the live show increased, National Life & Accident Insurance's radio venue became too small to accommodate the hordes of fans. They built a larger studio. After several months with no audiences, National Life decided to allow the show to move outside its home offices. In October 1934, the Opry moved into then-suburban Hillsboro Theatre before moving to the Dixie Tabernacle in East Nashville on June 13, 1936; the Opry moved to the War Memorial Auditorium, a downtown venue adjacent to the State Capitol, a 25-cent admission fee was charged to try to curb the large crowds, but to no avail.
On June 5, 1943, the Opry moved to Ryman Auditorium. Top-charting country music acts performed at the Opry during the Ryman years, including Roy Acuff – called the King of Country Music – Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Martha Carson, Lefty Frizzell, many others. One hour of the Opry was nationally broadcast by the NBC Red Network from 1939 to 1956, for much of its run, it aired one hour after the program that had inspired it, National Barn Dance; the NBC segment known by the name of its sponsor, The Prince Albert Show, was first hosted by Acuff, succeeded by Red Foley from 1946 to 1954. From October 15, 1955 to September 1956, ABC-TV aired a live, hour-long television version once a month on Saturday nights that pre-empted one hour of the then-90-minute Ozark Jubilee. From 1955 to 1957, Al Gannaway owned and produced both The Country Show and Stars of the Grand Ole Opry, both filmed programs syndicated by Flamingo Films. Gannaway's Stars of the Grand Ole Opry was the first television show shot in color.
On October 2, 1954, a teenage Elvis Presley had his only Opry performance. Although the audience reacted politely to his revolutionary brand of rockabilly music, Opry manager Jim Denny told Presley's producer Sam Phillips after the show that the singer's style did not suit the program. In the 1960s, as the hippie counterculture movement spread, the Opry maintained a strait-laced, conservative ima
Earl Eugene Scruggs was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called "Scruggs style,", a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the traditional way the five-string banjo had been played; this new style of playing became popular and elevated the banjo from its previous role as a background rhythm instrument to featured solo status. He popularized the instrument across several genres of music. Scruggs' career began at age 21 when he was hired to play in Bill Monroe's band, The Blue Grass Boys; the name "bluegrass" became the eponym for the entire genre of country music now known by that title. Despite considerable success with Monroe, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and recording classic hits like "Blue Moon of Kentucky," Scruggs resigned from the group in 1946 due to their exhausting touring schedule. Fellow band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, he and Scruggs paired up in a new group they called Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.
Scruggs' banjo instrumental called "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," released in 1949, became an enduring hit, had a rebirth of popularity to a younger generation when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The song won two Grammy Awards and, in 2005, was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit. Flatt and Scruggs brought bluegrass music into mainstream popularity in the early 1960s with their country hit, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" — the theme music for the television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies — the first Scruggs recording to reach number one on the Billboard charts. Over their 20-year association and Scruggs recorded over 50 albums and 75 singles; the duo broke up in 1969, chiefly because, where Scruggs wanted to switch styles to fit a more modern sound, Flatt was a traditionalist who opposed the change, believed doing so would alienate a fan base of bluegrass purists. Although each of them formed a new band to match their visions, neither of them regained the success they had achieved as a team.
Scruggs received four Grammy awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Medal of Arts. He became a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1985, Flatt and Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame and named, as a duo, number 24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the United States. Four works by Scruggs have been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After Scruggs' death in 2012 at age 88, the Earl Scruggs Center was founded near his birthplace in Shelby, North Carolina, with the aid of a federal grant and corporate donors; the center is a $5.5 million facility that features the musical contributions of Scruggs and serves as an educational center providing classes and field trips for students. Earl Scruggs was born January 6, 1924, in the Flint Hill community of Cleveland County, North Carolina, a small community just outside of Boiling Springs, about 10 miles west of Shelby.
His father, George Elam Scruggs, was a farmer and a bookkeeper who died of a protracted illness when Earl was four years old. Upon his death, Scruggs' mother, Georgia Lula Rupee, was left to take care of the farm and five children, of which Earl was the youngest; the family members all played music. Mr. Scruggs had played an open back banjo using the frailing technique, though as an adult Earl had no recollection of his father's playing. Mrs. Scruggs played the pump organ. Earl's siblings, older brothers Junie and Horace, older sisters Eula Mae and Ruby, all played banjo and guitar. Scruggs recalled a visit to his uncle's home at age six to hear a blind banjo player named Mack Woolbright, who played a finger-picking style and had recorded for Columbia Records, it made an impression on Scruggs, who said, "He'd sit in the rocking chair, he'd pick some and it was just amazing. I couldn't imagine — he was the first, what I call a good banjo player." Scruggs took up the instrument — he was too small to hold it at first and improvised by setting his brother Junie's banjo beside him on the floor.
He moved it around depending on. After his father's death, Scruggs seemed to take solace in playing music, when not in school or doing farm chores, spent nearly every spare moment he had practicing, his first radio performance was at age 11 on a talent scout show. Scruggs is noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo-picking style now called "Scruggs style" that has become a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. Prior to Scruggs, most banjo players used the frailing or clawhammer technique, which consists of holding the fingers bent like a claw and moving the entire hand in a downward motion so that the strings are struck with the back of the middle fingernail; this motion is followed by striking the thumb on a single string. The three-finger style of playing is radically different from frailing. Scruggs style involves using picks on three digits, each plucking individual strings — downward with the thumb upward with the index and middle finger in sequence; when done skillfully and in rapid sequence, the style allows any digit to play a melody, while the other two digits play arpeggios of the melody line.
The use of picks gives each note a louder percussive attack, creating an exciting effect, described by The New Yor
Curtis Ousley, who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophonist known for rhythm and blues and roll, blues and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, session musician, he was a musical director and record producer. Adept at tenor and soprano saxophone, he played riffs and solos on such hit singles as "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters and his own "Memphis Soul Stew"; the son of Ethel Montgomery, he was born Curtis Montgomery in Fort Worth and was adopted, with his sister Josephine Allen, by Josie and William Ousley. Curtis Ousley attended I. M. Terrell High School, studied and performed music with schoolmate Ornette Coleman. Curtis started playing saxophone at the age of twelve in the Fort Worth area, he took interest in many musical genres including jazz and blues, popular music. As a student pursuing music, he turned down college scholarships in order to join the Lionel Hampton Band. During his time with Hampton, he was able to learn guitar.
In 1952 Curtis decided to move to New York and became a session musician, recording for such labels as Prestige, Enjoy and Atco. He recorded with Wynton Kelly, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and Andy Williams. Stylistically, Curtis took inspiration from saxophonists Lester Young, Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, Earl Bostic, Gene Ammons. Known for his syncopated and percussive style, he was both powerful as a musician, he put together a group during his time as a session musician that included Richard Tee, Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott, Bernard Purdie. Curtis enjoyed playing both jazz and rhythm and blues but decided he would make more money as a rhythm and blues musician. In a 1971 interview with Charlie Gillett he said: "I love the authentic rhythm and blues more than anything, I like to live well." From the 1950s until the mid-1960s, he worked as a session musician, recording under his own name and with others such as The Coasters, with whom he recorded "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown", among others.
Buddy Holly hired him for session work, during which they recorded "Reminiscing." Holly gave Curtis the songwriting credit for flying down to the session. His best-known singles from this period are "Soul Twist"—his highest-charting single, reaching number one on the R&B chart and number 17 on the Billboard pop chart—and "Soul Serenade." He provided backing on a number of songs for LaVern Baker, including her 1958 hit single "I Cried a Tear", where his saxophone became "a second voice". In 1965 he moved to Atlantic Records and recorded his most successful singles, "Memphis Soul Stew" and "Ode to Billie Joe". In 1966 Curtis recorded 3 songs with Jimi Hendrix, "Linda Lou", "Baby How About You" and "I Can't Take It". Unissued the tapes were destroyed in a fire at Atlantic's master tape library, he worked with The Coasters, led Aretha Franklin's backing band the Kingpins. The Kingpins opened for the Beatles during their 1965 performance at Shea Stadium. Curtis produced records working with Jerry Wexler and recorded for Groove Records during this period, including the Joe South song "Games People Play" with guitarist Duane Allman.
In March 1971 he appeared with Aretha Franklin and the Kingpins at the Fillmore West, which resulted in two live albums: Aretha Live at Fillmore West, Curtis' own Live at Fillmore West. In July 1971, Curtis recorded saxophone solos on "It's So Hard" and "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" from John Lennon's Imagine. Along with the Rimshots, he recorded the original theme song for the 1971 hit television show Soul Train, titled "Hot Potatoes". On June 17, 1971 Curtis played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in the Casino Kursaal, with Champion Jack Dupree, backed by Cornell Dupree on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass and Oliver Jackson on drums; the recording of the concert was released as the 1973 album King Curtis & Champion Jack Dupree – Blues at Montreux on the Atlantic label. Curtis was killed on August 13, 1971, when he was stabbed during an argument with a pair of drug dealers he discovered on the steps outside his Manhattan apartment. Curtis was attempting to carry an air conditioner into his apartment when Juan Montanez refused to move from the entrance.
A fight ensued and Montanez stabbed Curtis. Curtis was transferred to Roosevelt Hospital. In March 1972, Montanez was sentenced to seven years for second-degree manslaughter, but was released in late 1977 for good behavior. On the day of Curtis's funeral Atlantic Records closed their offices. Jesse Jackson administered the service and as the mourners filed in, Curtis's band, the Kingpins, played "Soul Serenade". Among those attending were Ousley's immediate family, including sister Josephine Ousley Allen, other family members, Aretha Franklin, Cissy Houston, Brook Benton and Duane Allman. Franklin sang the closing spiritual "Never Grow Old" and Stevie Wonder performed "Abraham and John and now King Curtis". Curtis was buried in a red granite-fronted wall crypt in the'West Gallery of Forsythia Court' mausoleum at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York, the same cemetery where Count Basie and John Coltrane are buried. In 1970, a year before his death, Curtis won the Best R&B Instrumental Performance Grammy for "Games People Play".
He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6, 2000. Billboard did not publish an R&B chart during this period With Ruth Brown Miss Rhythm With Ray Bryant MCMLXX – guest on 1 trackWith Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 With Jimmy Forrest Soul Street (N
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
In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area, located outside towns and cities. The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the word rural as encompassing "...all population and territory not included within an urban area. Whatever is not urban is considered rural."Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas are rural, as are other types of areas such as forest. Different countries have varying definitions of rural for administrative purposes. In Canada, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines a "predominantly rural region" as having more than 50% of the population living in rural communities where a "rural community" has a population density less than 150 people per square kilometre. In Canada, the census division has been used to represent "regions" and census consolidated sub-divisions have been used to represent "communities". Intermediate regions have 15 to 49 percent of their population living in a rural community.
Predominantly urban regions have less than 15 percent of their population living in a rural community. Predominantly rural regions are classified as rural metro-adjacent, rural non-metro-adjacent and rural northern, following Ehrensaft and Beeman. Rural metro-adjacent regions are predominantly rural census divisions which are adjacent to metropolitan centres while rural non-metro-adjacent regions are those predominantly rural census divisions which are not adjacent to metropolitan centres. Rural northern regions are predominantly rural census divisions that are found either or above the following lines of parallel in each province: Newfoundland and Labrador, 50th; as well, rural northern regions encompass all of Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Statistics Canada defines rural for their population counts; this definition has changed over time. It has referred to the population living outside settlements of 1,000 or fewer inhabitants; the current definition states that census rural is the population outside settlements with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and a population density below 400 people per square kilometre.
84% of the United States' inhabitants live in suburban and urban areas, but cities occupy only 10 percent of the country. Rural areas occupy the remaining 90 percent; the U. S. Census Bureau, the USDA's Economic Research Service, the Office of Management and Budget have come together to help define rural areas. United States Census Bureau: The Census Bureau definitions, which are based on population density, defines rural areas as all territory outside Census Bureau-defined urbanized areas and urban clusters. An urbanized area consists of a central surrounding areas whose population is greater than 50,000, they may not contain individual cities with 50,000 or more. Thus, rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents. USDA The USDA's Office of Rural Development may define rural by various population thresholds; the 2002 farm bill defined rural and rural area as any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants, the urbanized areas contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town.
The rural-urban continuum codes, urban influence code, rural county typology codes developed by USDA’s Economic Research Service allow researchers to break out the standard metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas into smaller residential groups. For example, a metropolitan county is one that contains an urbanized area, or one that has a twenty-five percent commuter rate to an urbanized area regardless of population. OMB: Under the Core Based Statistical Areas used by the OMB, a metropolitan county, or Metropolitan Statistical Area, consists of central counties with one or more urbanized areas and outlying counties that are economically tied to the core counties as measured by worker commuting data. Non-metro counties are outside the boundaries of metro areas and are further subdivided into Micropolitan Statistical Areas centered on urban clusters of 10,000–50,000 residents, all remaining non-core counties. In 2014, the USDA updated their rural / non-rural area definitions based on the 2010 Census counts.
National Center for Education Statistics revised its definition of rural schools in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology. Rural health definitions can be different for establishing under-served areas or health care accessibility in rural areas of the United States. According to the handbook, Definitions of Rural: A Handbook for Health Policy Makers and Researchers, "Residents of metropolitan counties are thought to have easy access to the concentrated health services of the county's central areas. However, some metropolitan counties are so large that t