Pulaski, Kentucky, who started out singing with his brother and father, a
traveling preacher. He and his
brother, who billed themselves creatively as the Matthews Brothers, decided
to start their own band.
Along with Culley Holt and Bob Hubbard, Bill and Monty Matthews
founded The Jordanaires in 1948 in Springfield,
Missouri. It was not long
before the quartet moved to Nashville, Tennessee. The following year, they were
already playing The Grand Ole Opry, backing Red
One of their
earliest recordings was “I Want to Rest”, which they released
on the Capitol label in October 1950.
Another was 1951’s “Swing Down Chariot”, which
they recorded with pianist Gordon Stoker. (Stoker would become a fixture in
By 1953, Bill
and Monty Matthews had left The Jordanaires. They still owned the rights to the
name, though, so the new members billed themselves as The Foggy River Boys
until they had enough money to buy the name The Jordanaires. In 1954, Bill and Monty took the
name The Foggy River Boys and hired Charlie Hodge to sing lead. Alas, the Matthews brothers, who had
started The Jordanaires, did not enjoy their same
continued to work in the recording studio with his son Randy in the
1970s. He helped him remix
Albrecht, Roley and Moore’s 1977 release, Gently Flowing Feeling.
In 1980, he sang backing vocals on Randy’s self-titled
The CD era offers
a number of opportunities to hear Monty as a member of the Jordanaires, including The Singing Ranger compilations of Hank Snow. In part because of these early
efforts, Monty is enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel
Music Hall of Fame, and the Vocal Music Hall of Fame Foundation, along with
the rest of the Jordanaires.
He passed away
on 5th April 2005 at the age of seventy-seven. His music lives on, not only on
vinyl, but on paper. Monty is
responsible for writing “Peace in the Valley”, which is based
on a “traditional” melody, and was recorded by Elvis Presley,
and for co-writing “Glory, Glory, Clear the Road”.