Popular bluegrass artists include Bill Monroe, the Foggy Mountain Boys and Uncle Earl. Monroe is often referred to as the Father of Bluegrass. The genre is actually named after his band The Blue Grass Boys.
William Smith Monroe was born on Sept. 13, 1911 and passed away on Sept. 9, 1996. Monroe was an American singer, songwriter and mandolin player who created the music genre bluegrass. Monroe, who was the youngest of a family of eight children in Kentucky, grew up playing the mandolin. After the death of both his parents, he settled in with his uncle Pendleton, who inspired Monroe's song "Uncle Pen" recorded in 1950 and later the album "Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen” which was released in 1972. In 1929, Monroe moved to Indiana. Together with his brothers Birch and Charlie and two other friends, they formed the Monroe Brothers. When they disbanded in 1938, Monroe moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to form the first edition of the Blue Grass Boys. Monroe started to gain commercial success with the folk revival of the early 1960s. The word "bluegrass" first appeared around this time to describe the sound of Monroe and similar artists.
The Foggy Mountain Boys was an American bluegrass band founded in 1948 by guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs. The duo were former members of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. Band member Scruggs started to play the banjo at the age of 4 and was famous for his syncopation.