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, men who proudly called themselves a “Blue Grass Boy.” 

Blue Grass Boys Chronological Index:

Last Name First Name Instruments First Hired
Davis Cleo guitar, mandolin 8/1938
Wooten Art fiddle 1939
Millard Tommy jug, bones, spoons 1/1939
Garren Amos bass 4/1939
Magness Tommy fiddle 1940
Wesbrooks Bill “Cousin Wilbur” bass 7/1940
Moody Clyde guitar, mandolin 9/6/1940
Pyle Pete guitar 1941
Forrester Howard “Howdy” fiddle 6/1942
Akeman David “Stringbean” banjo 7/1942
Story Carl fiddle 10/1942
Ethridge Floyd fiddle 1943
Forrester Wilene “Sally Ann” accordion 1943
Wise Chubby fiddle, guitar 3/1943
Bradshaw Curley harmonica, guitar 1944
Watts Howard “Cedric Rainwater” bass 1944
Andrews Jim tenor banjo 1945
Boyett Andy “Bijou” bass, guitar 1945
Monroe Birch bass, fiddle 1945
Shumate Jim fiddle 1945
Willis Tex guitar 1/1945
Flatt Lester guitar 3/1945
Forrester oe bass 12/1945
Scruggs Earl banjo 12/1945
Stripling Chick bass 1947
Price Joel bass 2/1947
Phelps Jackie guitar, banjo, bass, steel guitar 1948
Thompson Jack bass 1948
Wright Doyle guitar 1948
Martin Benny fiddle 1/1948
Eanes Jim guitar 3/1948
Reno Don banjo, guitar 3/1948
Christian Gene fiddle, bass 1949
Clements Vassar fiddle, bass 1949
Lyle Rudy banjo 1949
Young Vern guitar 1949
Wiseman Mac guitar 4/1949
Martin Jimmy guitar 12/1949
Richardson Larry banjo 1950
Taylor Merle “Red” fiddle 1950
Daniels Vic guitar 1951
Drumright Joe banjo 1951
Sheehan Oscar “Shorty” bass, fiddle 1951
Terry Gordon fiddle, guitar 1951
Vipperman Johnny guitar 1951
Salyers South guitar 6/1951
Stanley Carter guitar 7/1951
Bowers James Gar banjo 8/1951
Clark Manuel “Old Joe” comedy 8/1951
Mayfield Edd guitar 10/1951
Cline Charlie fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin 1952
Osborne Roland “Sonny” banjo 7/1952
Smoak Jim banjo 10/1952
Mauldin Bessie Lee bass 1953
Sandy Leslie bass, guitar 1953
White L.E. fiddle 1953
Atkins Bobby banjo 1954
Brock Carlos guitar 1954
Crase Noah banjo 1954
Hicks Bobby fiddle, banjo, bass, mandolin 1954
Price Bill guitar 1954
Youngblood Jack fiddle 1954
Stuart Joe fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, mandolin 8/18/1955
Terry Arnold guitar 12/1955
Metzel Bob guitar 1956
Saylor Lucky guitar 1956
Smith Roger banjo, fiddle 1956
Green Yates guitar 3/1956
Tate Clarence “Tater” bass, fiddle 9/1956
Baker Kenny fiddle 1957
Duncan Bill guitar 1957
Elrod Jimmy bass, guitar, banjo 1957
Johnson Enos guitar 1957
Meadows Joe fiddle 1957
Stover Don banjo 1957
Vanover Carl guitar 1957
Graves Ernest guitar 7/1957
Cooke Jack guitar, bass 1958
Gately Connie guitar 1958
Johnson Bob banjo 1958
Pennington Robert Lee “Buddy” banjo 1958
Smith Charlie fiddle 1958
Snead Earl banjo 1/1958
Adcock Eddie banjo 4/1958
Potter Dale fiddle 1959
Buchanan Frank guitar 1960
Church Porter guitar, banjo 1960
McPeake Curtis banjo 1960
Ellis Tony banjo, bass, guitar 1/1960
Smith Bobby guitar 11/1960
Baker Billy fiddle 1961
Lester Bobby Joe fiddle 1961
Maynard Jimmy guitar 1961
Spicher Buddy fiddle 1961
Williams Benny fiddle, guitar 1961
Pendleton Buddy fiddle 1962
Stanley Harold “Red” fiddle 1962
Deese David banjo 7/1962
Hoppers Lonnie banjo, guitar 9/1962
Landers Jake guitar 1963
McCoury Del guitar, banjo 2/1963
Keith Bill “Brad” banjo 3/1963
Arkin Steve banjo 1964
Lineberger Don banjo 1964
Monroe James guitar, bass 1964
Thurmond Garry guitar 1964
Rothman Sandy guitar, banjo 6/1964
Rowan Peter guitar 10/1964
Lowinger Gene fiddle 6/5/1965
Grier Lamar banjo 9/1965
Greene Richard fiddle 2/1966
Berline Byron fiddle 3/1967
Blackwell Curtis guitar 3/1967
Green Doug bass, guitar 4/1967
White Roland guitar 5/21/1967
Robins Butch banjo 6/1967
Jordan Vic banjo 7/27/1967
Yarbrough Rual banjo 3/24/1969
Yates Bill bass 7/1969
Payne Skip bass 2/1970
Harris R.C. banjo 1/1971
Hicks Jack banjo 4/1971
Stewart Travis guitar, bass 5/1971
Jones Dan guitar 6/1971
Hutchens Doug bass, banjo 6/26/1971
Fields Monroe bass 9/1971
Fowler Bob guitar 1973
Stevenson Guy bass 3/1973
Box Bill guitar 7/1973
Kennedy Gregg bass 7/19/1973
Nemerov Bruce banjo 9/1973
Pedigo Ben banjo 9/18/1973
Moratto Jim banjo 12/13/1973
Dillman Dwight banjo 1974
Davis Randy bass 7/1974
Lewis Ralph guitar 7/4/1974
Black Bob banjo 9/20/1974
Jones Bob guitar 2/1976
Lewis Wayne guitar 5/1976
Holden Bill banjo, guitar 9/1976
Beasley Larry banjo 3/1977
Huffmaster Raymond bass, guitar 6/1979
Hembree Mark bass 8/1979
Williams Blake banjo 7/1981
Stamper Art fiddle 1984
Franks Randall “Randy” fiddle, bass 10/30/1984
Duncan Glen fiddle 1985
Morris Dale fiddle 11/1984
Montgomery Johnny bass 1986
Ewing Tom guitar 5/18/1986
Squires Mark fiddle 9/1986
Foster Billy Joe fiddle 12/1986
Feagan Mike fiddle 1987
Jerrolds Wayne fiddle 12/1988
Baugus Scottie guitar 1/1989
Rose Billy bass 4/1989
Campbell Jimmy fiddle 1990
Cupp Dana banjo 1991
Bowlin Robert fiddle 1/1993
Kuykendall Mark bass 1994
Sykes Ernie bass 1996