Another honor for J.D. Crowe, from the Kentucky Legislature

Not surprisingly, tributes and condolences have poured in following the passing of banjo ace J.D. Crowe, who passed away on Christmas Eve last year (2021). These have come in a variety of formats; printed and on-line, TV bulletins and videos; on blogs and social media, as well as podcasts. 

A more official recognition of his storied 65-year career came on January 12, 2022, when the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s House of Representatives paid tribute to his memory. 

The formal acknowledgement of his importance to Crowe’s home state and the wider world was sponsored by Matt Lockett, State Representative for District 39, which includes parts of Fayette and Jessamine Counties, which embrace Lexington and neighbouring Nicholasville.

He relates … 

“I did not know Mr. Crowe personally, but had watched him perform on several occasions. He was from the district that I represent and I felt that this acknowledgement would be appropriate, and fitting given his contributions to the music world and our community.  

He was loved and revered by many in Jessamine County and will certainly be missed.”

David Crowe, J.D.’s son, reacts on behalf of the family … 

“The honor came as a surprise to us. We didn’t know anything about it until afterwards

I know dad would have been honored. It’s amazing to us to see how many people dad touched and all the outreach, tributes, and support we have received has been amazing.”

The citation reads … 

The House of Representatives

Commonwealth of Kentucky

In Memoriam

The House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

hereby pays tribute to the memory of

James Dee “J.D.” Crowe

and joins with 

Representative Matt Lockett

In expressing deepest sympathy to all who share in the loss of this esteemed citizen on December 24, 2021. The son of the late Orval and Bessie Crowe, he is survived by his cherished wife, Sheryl Moore Crowe; beloved children James David Crowe and Stacey Crowe; granddaughter Kylee Crowe; and a host of other family members, friends and loved ones. This highly regarded gentleman, a native of Lexington, Kentucky; a faithful member of Jessamine Christian Church; a musician of legendary skill and reputation who has been cited by virtually all leading banjoists in Bluegrass music today as being an important influence on their playing; the founder and leader of The New South, a group of musicians which continues to be thought of as one of the most influential bluegrass groups since the 1970s and which, over the years, counted many celebrated artists as members; the recipient of a Grammy award, the highest honor in the entire music industry; a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame; the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 2012; and the celebrated artist and American icon who demonstrated unparalleled achievement within the performing arts and continues to be a source of eternal pride to this Commonwealth and its grateful citizens, is remembered on this day for the many and generous contributions he made to his family, friends, the community, and this great Commonwealth. J.D. Crowe will be deeply missed by all whose lives were touched by his presence.    

Done in Frankfurt, Kentucky, this twelfth day of January, in the year two thousand twenty-two  


David W Osborne

Speaker, House of Representatives

Matt Lockett

Member, House of Representatives 

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.