William Smith Monroe (September 13, 1911--September 9, 1996) was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the 'Blue Grass Boys,' named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass. Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan 'Buck' and Malissa (Vandiver) Monroe. His mother and her brother, Pendleton 'Pen' Vandiver, were both musically talented, and Monroe and his family grew up playing and singing at home. Bill was of Scottish heritage. Because his older brothers Birch and Charlie already played the fiddle and guitar, Bill Monroe was resigned to playing the less desirable mandolin.
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