"Bill Monroe in Paris"
by Andy Hatfield
We all know about a little something about Bill Monroe. We know about how he grew up in the hills and valleys of Rosine, Kentucky, and how he grew up listening to the long-bow sound of his Uncle Pen's fiddle, and the "ancient tones" that drifted through the trees. We know about the rift with his brother Charlie, and how their celebrated duo, the "Monroe Brothers" broke up, leaving room for Bill to not just create a new band -- his "Bluegrass Boys--" but oddly enough, an entire style of music.
We hear in one song about his Uncle Pen, how he played the fiddle, and how "the people would come from miles around." In another, our hearts are touched by the memory of the tombstones: "On Mother's, gone, but not forgotten, on Dad's, we'll meet again someday."
But, there are some things about Bill Monroe's early days we can only imagine. What was it like on a summer's night, to kick up the dust and dance with your family, friends, and neighbors? What was it like to hear the radio coming over the hills and out of the sky, and realize this could be your life? What was it like to love and embrace the life that surrounds you, and at the same time, make the decision to leave it all behind?
So, is it too hard to imagine that Bill Monroe, at some point in his long career, took a vacation to Paris?