About The Artist
Melissa Kathleen Monroe was the older of the two children of bluegrass music creator Bill Monroe. As a teenager and young adult, she often traveled with Bill and his Blue Grass Boys, and recorded eight country songs for Columbia.
In later years, she suffered from health and emotional problems which curtailed her career.
In August 1950, not quite age 14, she cut four numbers for Columbia. The most memorable was "Oh How I Miss You" that had earlier been recorded by Pete Cassell. Some of Bill's band and a couple of session musicians backed her up. The next year she cut four additional numbers for Columbia.
The addition of Melissa to the Columbia label was part of a roster shuffle at the label by Don Law, the Folk A&R manager. The label added eight artists over a period of weeks such as Okie Jones, Billy Brown, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs (from the Mercury label), Riley Crabtree (from Talent label), Billie Starr (from London label) and a newcomer, Lefty Frizzell. Other additions during that period were the Masters family along with Melissa.
As Melissa grew older, she began to have emotional problems, While her father was very protective of his daughter, apparently firing band members who became too familiar with her, he did not practice what he preached. Openly flaunting his relationship with bass player Bessie Lee Mauldin seemed more than Melissa could handle. On November 30, 1963, while appearing with Bill at the WWVA Jamboree, after finishing her song, Melissa "burst into tears and was inconsolable the rest of the evening."
Not long after this Bessie no longer worked in the touring band with Bill. Meanwhile, Melissa continued living with her mother until she died in 1984. Thereafter, Melissa lived in assisted living until the spring of 1990 when she moved in with her father. That fall, after suffering a stroke and other ailments, she fell into a coma and died six weeks later
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