Personnel: Bill Monroe (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Clyde Moody (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Tex Willis, Lester Flatt, Mac Wiseman, Charlie Monroe (vocals, guitar); Earl Scruggs (vocals, banjo); Tommy Magness (vocals, fiddle); Bill Wesbrooks, Birch Monroe (vocals); David Akeman, Rudy Lyle (banjo); Robert Chubby Wise (fiddle); Wilene Forrester (accordion).
Liner Note Author: Drew Kent.
Recording information: 02/17/1936-10/22/1949.
Another great JSP boxed set of archival music at a budget price, All the Classic Releases 1937-1949 collects a great selection of Bill Monroe's recordings both with his Bluegrass Boys and with his brother Charlie as the Monroe Brothers. The extensive (though not really informative) liner notes don't really shed any light as to whether these are all of Monroe's recorded output from 1937-1949, if these are just complete album releases, singles, and B-sides, or some other permutation, but in listening to the discs it doesn't really matter. The recordings are all truly classic, even if they're not necessarily the versions the listening public is most familiar with ("Kentucky Waltz" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" both seem to be slightly different versions than the ones that have been established as the Monroe standards). Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise, Clyde Moody, and other Bluegrass Boys alumni all make appearances, and nearly all of Monroe's best-loved songs are represented. While this four-disc set would not be the starting point for bluegrass beginners, die-hard fans of the genre will be quite satisfied with their selection. ~ Zac Johnson