Bill Monroe had many great fiddle players, but Chubby Wise stands out as one of the best (photo courtesy of the International Bluegrass Music Museum)
7-Song History of the Fiddle in the South
Bluegrass is often described as the invention of one man: Bill Monroe. While it is true that the fast and technical sound of bluegrass would have never existed without Monroe and his mandolin playing, credit has to go to the members of his band, the Blue Grass Boys. Monroe’s fiddlers helped add elements of jazz, blues, and Western swing to string music, creating the mixture of genres that came to be known as bluegrass. The Blue Grass band had a number of excellent fiddlers, including Chubby Wise (who erroneously claimed to have written “Orange Blossom Special”) and the legendary Vassar Clements. The fiddler with the most influence on bluegrass, however, was not a member of the band, but Monroe’s uncle, Pendleton Vandiver, whom Monroe immortalized in the song “Uncle Pen.” The song showcases the blend of the modern and traditional that characterizes bluegrass music.
To hear the Bluegrass master, Chubby Wise, go here and listen to Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys –