I was going through some boxes of old reel to reel tapes the other day, trying to digitize them before they crumbled into dust. I found a couple of tapes that I didn’t recognize, and I’m still not quite sure who they came from. I easily recognized the performers and the venue though, and I thought readers might like a glimpse of a performance that may not have been heard since May of 1963, when it was recorded.
I am speaking of Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys (“BGB”), with Bessie Lee Maudlin on bass, Del McCoury on guitar, Bill Keith on banjo, and Kenny Baker on fiddle. They were playing the Ash Grove, 8162 Melrose Blvd. in Hollywood, for a six-night appearance. That evening, the BGB were joined on-stage by former BGB Gordon Terry, who Bill invited to perform with them. One of the numbers Bill decided to do was “Just A Little Talk With Jesus”, and he drafted Terry to do the bass lead singing on the chorus Not all the BGB participated in this song. The result was a bit of impromptu arranging, with a little insight on how Monroe could put people “on the spot”. You’ll notice a bit of a pause before Gordon got the hint to start the chorus. To all of us gathered around the little stage, the “School Of Bluegrass” was in session . . .
Click on the title below to listen to an MP3.