Considering the range of stars that have claimed Bill Monroe as an influenceElvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Jerry Garcia are just a fewit can be said that no single artist has had as broad an impact on American popular music as he did. For sixty years, Monroe was a star at the Grand Ole Opry, and when he died in 1996, he was universally hailed as "the Father of Bluegrass." But the personal life of this taciturn figure remained largely unknown. Delving into everything from Monroe's professional successes to his bitter rivalries, from his isolated childhood to his reckless womanizing, veteran bluegrass journalist Richard D. Smith has created a three-dimensional portrait of this brilliant, complex, and contradictory man. Featuring over 120 interviews, this scrupulously researched worka Chicago Tribune Choice Selection, New York Times Notable Book, and Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000stands as the authoritative biography of a true giant of American music.
About the Author
Richard D. Smith is the author of Bluegrass: An Informal Guide and Images of America: Princeton and has written for the New York Times, Bluegrass Unlimited, and the Journal of Country Music, among others. A musician who plays the mandolin and guitar, he lives in Rocky Hill, New Jersey.