Tom Ewing

(guitar - 5/18/1986-12/31/1988, 3/31/1989-1996)
Photo by Michelle Putnam.

Born: 9/1/1946

As a Blue Grass Boy: Tom Ewing was the guitarist and lead singer for the last ten years of Bill Monroe's career. Among guitarists, only Wayne Lewis, whom he replaced in 1986, was with the band longer. He first performed with Monroe onstage in 1972, as a guest; in 1974 he arranged an audition for the band, but Monroe had already hired Ralph Lewis. Twelve years later Ewing got another chance at his dream job. He appears on Monroe's last three studio albums, including the Grammy winner "Southern Flavor", and several live albums.

Recording Sessions: 8/19/1986, 9/7/1987, 1/4/1988, 1/5/1988, 1/8/1988, 1/12/1988, 1/13/1988, 1/14/1988, 6/14/1989, 7/17/1990, 11/14/1993, 1/9/1994, 5/22/1994

Before and After: Tom Ewing played with Sandy Rothman in the B Natural Boys in the early 70s, followed by a stint with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys. Among other bands, he was a member in the early 80s of the All-American Boys, which also included Tony Ellis. After Monroe's death, he played for a time with the Warrior River Boys. He edited the book The Bill Monroe Reader, published in 2000, and is a regular contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, including the "30 Years Ago This Month" column which he took over from Neil Rosenberg in 1994.

Further Reading: The Bill Monroe Reader, edited by Tom Ewing, collects articles and interviews from throughout Monroe's career, with notes and elaborations by Ewing.