Often called "the father of bluegrass," the late Bill Monroe changed the course of American music when he made his driving mandolin and soaring tenor vocals the lead instruments in his first group, The Blue Grass Boys. Bill's music has influenced Elvis Presley, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, the Grateful Dead and innumerable other artists, and his fusion of gospel, folk, old-time country and blues has become a cornerstone of today's country music.
Over the years, members of his band have included Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Del McCoury, Kenny Baker, Bill Keith, Stringbean, Sonny Osborne, Peter Rowan and many others. He has played at the White House, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and was a star on the Grand Ole Opry for more than fifty years.
Although he passed away in September, 1996 at the age of 85, Bill continues to inspire virtually every musician who plays bluegrass music to this day.