Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year." -- Bill Monroe
WELCOME 2014: September 4 – 7



I’m very happy to welcome you to Monroe Mandolin Camp 2014! This camp has been set up with you, the Monroe-style fan in mind. It is a place where you and I can pursue and learn more about the musical language that Bill Monroe invented and nurtured. We are not looking at ourselves as “torch-bearers”, but as educators and practitioners of one of the world’s most exciting and valid mandolin styles.


It is my promise to you that we will do our best to always obtain for you the services of the most proficient and respected names in the genre. We will do our utmost to provide a productive and comfortable atmosphere for you and others of like-mind to focus on learning this art form that we love.


We understand that when you want bluegrass, you want the traditional sound and that’s what we are offering you. It is not to say that we are closed minded-on the contrary. Our goal is to teach you how to use Mr. Bill’s style so that you can express your own ideas and carry it forward to future generations of players.


I am very much looking forward to spending time with old friends and acquaintances as well as new, and making this an annual event-a destination for us to come to where we know that we are among fellow Monroephiles. I encourage you to learn as much as you can, to soak in the classes and jams, to listen intently to the stories, and above all to have fun. If we can do anything to make your experience better, let us know.

Life is good.

Mike Compton

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Bill Monroe – Timeline

Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the bluegrass genre as: “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.”


  • 1911 - William Smith Monroe (a.k.a. Bill Monroe) is born in Rosine, Kentucky.
  • 1934 - Bill and Charlie Monroe form the Monroe Brothers, a duet act that plays around the Midwest and Carolinas.
  • 1936 - The Monroe Brothers make their first recordings for the Bluebird label, an RCA subsidiary.
  • 1938 - After the Monroe Brothers part ways, Bill Monroe forms his own band.
  • 1939 - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys make their first appearance on the Grand Ol’ Opry.
  • 1945 - Lester Flatt (guitar) and Earl Scruggs (banjo) join Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys. After a three-year stint, they leave in 1948 to form their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys.
  • 1951- Bill Monroe sets up a “country park” in Bean Blossom, Indiana, which becomes the site of bluegrass festivals.
  • 1963 - Bill Monroe performs at the Newport Folk Festival, bringing his music to a younger audience.
  • 1970 - Bill Monroe is elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1985 - The album ‘Bill Monroe and Friends’—featuring folk and country stars like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris—is released.
  • 1991 - ‘Cryin’ Holy Unto the Lord’, a gospel album by Bill Monroe, is released on MCA the same year the bluegrass icon turns 80.
  • 1993 - Bill Monroe receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences at the Grammy Awards.
  • 1995 - Bill Monroe receives the National Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton.
  • 1996 - Four days shy of his 85th birthday, Bill Monroe dies in Springfield, Tennessee.
  • 1997 - Bill Monroe is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twelfth annual induction dinner.

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The Blue Grass Boys

In 1938, Bill Monroe and his brother Charlie broke up their successful duet act, the Monroe Brothers.   Throughout the 1930s, Monroe continued absorbing black and white musical traditions, closing in on the style that would become bluegrass.


In 1938, Bill formed his own band, the Blue Grass Boys (named after his home state of Kentucky)  .  In 1939 he joined the Grand Ole Opry and was a member until his death in 1996.   Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys lasted 58 years and saw more than 150 different musicians pass through the band.  For more than half a century, being a Blue Grass Boy was the crowning achievement of many musicians’ careers; for others, a stepping stone to establishing their own bands.


But it was the group, formed in 1946 — Lester Flatt (guitar), Earl Scruggs (banjo), Cedric Rainwater (bass), Chubby Wise (fiddle), with Monroe playing mandolin — that defined the classic bluegrass quintet.  Below is a list of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys who played with the band throughout the decades.  Please click on the link to see a list of the men who proudly called themselves a “Blue Grass Boy”.

Blue Grass Boys Chronological Index

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