Happy 100th Birthday, Big Mon! (And a Get Well Soon to Wade Mainer!)

happy 100th birthday to Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music. I sure wish I’d seen you live in concert.

It’s not hyperbole, SG readers, to say that bluegrass music changed my life… although if you asked me if that was for better or for worse, I’d have a much more difficult time answering that one.

Bill Monroe’s troubles have been over for years, and it sounds like Wade Mainer, 104 years old, may soon be seeing the last of his. Here he is, in 2008 at the age of 101, performing with his wife Julia:

if you talk to bluegrass and country geeks like me, you’ll get a spirited discussion over whether Bill really invented bluegrass, and that debate is largely due to Wade Mainer, whose banjo work with his brother J.E. and the Crazy Mountaineers predates and precurses Earl Scruggs’ 3-finger picking, which the signature sound of bluegrass.

Here is one of my favorite Mainers’ Mountaineers song,, Run Mountain.