The 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Monroe is still four years away, but long term strategic planning is already underway to commemorate the occasion. This morning’s (6/25) edition of the Owensboro, KY Messenger-Inquirer has a story about this effort, and the collaboration among a number of entities to bring it all together.
The article notes that the centennial efforts hope to tie together the Birthplace of Bill Monroe in Rosine, KY (and the nearby site of the Jerusalem Ridge festival), The International Bluegras Music Museum (IBMM) in Owensboro and the Bean Blossom festival which Monroe started more than 40 years ago in Indianna. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) is also expected to be involved.
From the article by Keith Lawrence:
"We need a commission to work on this," said Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the bluegrass museum. "This has enormous potential for Kentucky – if we’re unified in our approach. In one short weekend, you could walk the paths Bill Monroe walked as a boy, visit his boyhood home and grave and explore the whole history of bluegrass music at the museum."
"I strongly suspect it will be big," said Dan Hays, executive director of the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association. "Some folks are already talking about what needs to be done. It is, and rightly should be, a big deal. We’ve got it on our long-range planning agenda."
The article doesn’t seem to be available online from The Messenger-Inquirer without a paid subscription, but it is posted at PopMatters.com.