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Bill Monroe Funeral videos and photographs

Accession Numbers


Physical Description

 .1 l.f. including one VHS format video tape

3 print file contact sheets and negatives (consisting of 100 images)

2 v.f. items


September 12, 1996, Summer 1997


The videotape is strictly for viewing by Center patrons.  


The videotape of a WLEX television broadcast was donated by Frank Godbey of Lexington.  The photographs were taken by Center director, Paul Wells.  The verticle file materials consisted of a written report of the by Paul Wells, one published in an electronic mailing list and the other published in the “Sonneck Society for American Music Bulletin,” volume XXIII, No. 2 (Summer 1997).

Biographical Sketch

Country music singer, songwriter and mandolin player Bill Monroe (b. 1911) formed his band the Blue Grass Boys in 1938 after several years of radio appearances and commercial recordings had won him national popularity. The group joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1939. During the 1940s he developed an innovative ensemble style based on earlier string-band music of the southeast. The sound was copied during the late 1940s and by the 1950s had become known as bluegrass music. He was one of the first artists to be honored with a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to American culture.

--New Grove Dictionary of American Music, vol. 3, p. 260.  

Scope and Content

One hundred (100) frames of pictures capture images of Enoch Sullivan, Del McCoury, Sandy Rothman, James Monroe, Butch Robbins, Bertha Monroe, Raymond McClain, Jr., Pete Kuykendall, Alan O'Bryant, Dana Cupp, Bobby Osborne, Clarence "Tater" Tate, Laurie Lewis, Art Stamper, Bob Whittaker, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Scaggs, Sharon White, Buck White, Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, Mrs. McCoury, Glen Duncan, Butch Waller, Peter Wernick, Alma Randolph, and various gravestones of the Monroe family.

The articles by Center for Popular Music director Paul Wells provide a first-hand written summary of the visitors and the events of the funeral. Visitors listed included the above plus Wayne Lewis, John Hedgecoth, Butch Baldassari, and David Grier.      

The video provides a typical local television news coverage sketch of the funeral highlights: church scene, singing by Ricky Scaggs, the walk to the graveyard and the carrying of the casket.  


Video tape is filed by tape number with other audio-visual materials. Photographs are filed alphabetically in the Center biographical iconographic files. The articles are filed in the biographical vertical file.


.l l.f. including one video tape (VHS-0210) of a WLEX television broadcast, 3 print file contact sheets and negatives consisting of 100 images of Bill Monroe's funeral. Also includes written report by Paul Well published in an electronic mailing list and the other published in the "Sonneck Society for American Music Bulletin." Photo log prepared by Paul Wells. Audio visual log prepared by Bruce Nemerov.


Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University


Monroe, Bill, 1911-


Godbey, Frank, Wells, Paul

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MTSU Box 41
1301 E. Main Street
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Room 140
Bragg Media & Entertainment Bldg.

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