A glimpse of the past . . .

Kenny Baker and Bill Monroe

Kenny Baker and Bill Monroe – William Purcell photo

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.

Just A Little Talk With Jesus


About Peter Feldmann

Peter Feldmann has long been a musical mainstay in Santa Barbara and Southern California. Besides actively performing bluegrass and old time music with a variety of groups, Peter is also known as a bluegrass historian, collector, music consultant, teacher, and producer, both of live concerts and radio/tv programs throughout the area. His music has been heard in clubs, concerts, saloons, universities, pre-schools, at weddings, wakes, parties, barn-raisings, calf-ropings, rodeos, auctions, fund raisers, wine tastings and chili cook offs. Peter founded Santa Barbara's Old Time Fiddler's Convention (1972), UCSB's Old Time Music Front (1964), and The Bluebird Cafe (1971). Through these and other outlets, he was the first to bring many prominent folk, blues, and bluegrass artists, including Bill Monroe, Mance Lipscomb, The Stanley Brothers, The New Lost City Ramblers, Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Rose Maddox, the Balfa Brothers, and many others to the Santa Barbara area. Peter also helped others access the music by teaching privately, and in group classes for Santa Barbara Continuing Education, UCSB Extension, and McCabes Guitars. He was the first on the West Coast to produce and market instruction Lps - three on How To Play Country Fiddle, and one each on Clawhammer Banjo, and Maybelle Carter Style Guitar. He still presents lectures on country music history at UCSB, Santa Barbara area libraries, and for various interest groups, festival workshops, etc. In 2006, he presented his monograph titled "The Big bang Of Bluegrass Music" (describing the origins of bluegrass 1938 - 1946) to the worlds first International Music Symposium at the University of Kentucky at Bowling Green. He has also been very active in radio, television, and film work, producing weekly shows on country and bluegrass music over a 21 year period on various commercial and public stations. Peter currently maintains three music-related websites, a music blog, and an entertainment service company, "BlueGrass West!", based in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California. Peter performs tunes and songs from the heart of America's musical treasure chest. His shows can include fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Well-known as a historian and teacher, Peter is first and foremost an entertainer, sharing his respect, energy and love for the music with his fellow musicians, friends, and audiences.
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4 Responses to A glimpse of the past . . .

  1. Doug Hutchens says:

    Thank you for sharing a special moment….that would have otherwise been lost to the ages…… Thanks for all you do Peter.


  2. Doug, coming for you, well, that’s quite an honor.

    My best wishes to you!


  3. Severin Neely says:

    Peter, you have brought many memories to me, and my choice in music is taking a turn (for the better). I cant thank you enough.


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