Come Hither to Go Yonder


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Motivated by my respect and admiration for the “Father of Bluegrass,” I have written this personal memoir about my days as a member of Bill Monroe’s band, The Blue Grass Boys. Kristie, my wife and musical partner, has given me a great deal of help on this project, and without her encouragement the book would never have been finished. Lots of other folks shared their personal recollections with me during the writing of this book (which took nearly 4 years), and I owe each of them a tremendous debt of gratitude. Judith McCulloh, Assistant Director and Executive Editor of University of Illinois Press, deserves special thanks: she holds the place of honor as my primary supporter and mentor during this project.

“Come Hither to Go Yonder” is something I am very proud of, and I hope all my fellow bluegrass music fans will enjoy it. It’s my testament to the lasting influence of Bill Monroe on my own musical career, as well as the careers of all bluegrass musicians, and American music in general.

—Bob Black, Blue Grass Boy, 1974-1976


“…Poignant, expressive and enlightening…”
— Randall Franks, The Chattanooga Press

“…a vivid portrait of Monroe as mentor, musical collaborator, boss, and friend.”
— Michael Parrish, Dirty Linen

“Black writes clearly, in an easy-to-read and entertaining style. His portrait of Monroe is perceptive and sensitive, valuable because of its close perspective and also because Black has a different take on the man than many previous Monroe documentarians. A must-read for Monroe fans.
— Casey Henry, Bluegrass Unlimited

“This is a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone interested in Monroe’s music.”
— Tom Adler, folklorist and bluegrass historian

“This perceptive, highly readable, entertaining memoir will be a joy to bluegrass lovers, banjo players, and anyone who is a student of life.”
— Murphy Henry, Banjo Newsletter

“This fascinating book not only tells of Bob’s two years with Bill Monroe—which came at a pivotal time in Monroe’s career—but also gives a fine portrait of a musician whose modesty, talent, and spirit led him on a difficult but rewarding path.”
— Neil Rosenberg, folklorist, historian and author of Bluegrass: A History

“…beautifully written memoir…a fun, can’t-put-it-down read…”
— Mitch Finley, Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association

“The book is an easy and very enjoyable read, filled with anecdotes and serious glimpses of life on the road with the legendary band leader. Any fan of Monroe will surely enjoy this well-written book.”
— Dave Freeman, County Records