The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


back to profile

Bill Monroe

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 bands

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. He had suffered a stroke the previous April.

1997

Bill Monroe is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twelfth annual induction dinner. Ricky Skaggs and Emmylou Harris are his presenters.