[Harp-L] Re: Bluegrass Harmonica

As Cara says, Monroe was said to be a hard taskmaster, but for those aghast at the thought of him firing a great musician such as Vassar, it should be remembered; 1. Vassar played with him in the middle of the 1950's BEFORE Vassar had become a relative superstar and before his style had evolved to what we heard when he really "broke out" on the WTCBU album (with great harmonica play Jimmy Fadden *harmonica content*). What he recorded with Monroe during that era is pretty much straight ahead Bluegrass fiddle. 2. After Elvis and Rockabilly hit in the 1950's, Country music in general suffered commercially, and Monroe also found himself on the wrong end of a divorce settlement. I met a great fiddler (Ken Poovey) who had traveled with him during a period when Monroe and the band traveled in a station wagon*, yet still put in an amazing number of miles. Mr. Poovey had to quit after two weeks because he couldn't learn to sleep while riding in the car like Monroe did. The life of a professional touring musician is not usually nearly as glamourous as the movies make it out to be, and there are a lot of reasons musicians quit and got fired. 3. As I did not hear the story about Vassar and the 6th chord firsthand, I have no idea whether it is even true. Cheers, emily * Harley Bray (of the Bray Brothers) told me that during that period, Monroe showed up at a county fair in Missouri to play all by himself as he couldn't afford to hire a band at that time. The Bray Brothers offered to accompany him and earned his undying gratitude.
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