William Smith Bill Monroe was the youngest of eight children born to James Buchanan Monroe and Melissa Ann Monroe at the Monroe homeplace on Jerusalem Ridge near Rosine, Kentucky.
As a youngster, Bill worked on the family farm and attended Horton grade school. Through the seventh grade in his spare time he went fox hunting with his dad and learned to make music from his mother and his uncle Pen Vandiver.
Bill lost his mother when he was nine years old and his father when he was just sixteen. After living with his uncle Pen, Bill left his home in Kentucky and began the journey which led him to the creation of bluegrass music and to becoming one of the true legends in the American music industry.
In 1935, Bill Monroe married Carolyn Minnie Brown. They had two children Melissa Kathleen Monroe, born Sept 17, 1936 and James William Monroe, born March 15, 1941.
Bill Monroe became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, in 1939. During his career he would sell millions of records, win many national awards for his music and perform at the request of four United States Presidents.
God blessed Bill with a rare musical genius and the willpower and determination necessary to bring his music to millions of fans around the world for many of those fans and for all of us who are members of his family.
Bill Monroe is "Bluegrass Music!"
Walk softly around this grave for my father Bill Monroe rests here as the blue moon of Kentucky shines on.