Bill Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American mandolinist who helped create the style of music known as bluegrass. The genre takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys", named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass. William Smith Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa (Vandiver) Monroe.