Bill Monroe Centennial celebrations

The celebration of Bill Monroe’s life begins in earnest today (9/12) with three consecutive days of events organized by the Owensboro Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Although the Bill Monroe 100th Birthday Celebration is a year-long commemoration of bluegrass music and its history, the next three days include over 30 hours of activity and music to mark this important and historical occasion.

Among the highlights today were the presentation of the musical Young Monroe, written by Rick Miller and directed by Teresa Wills, with a cast of hundreds of area elementary school students, followed by the opening of the new Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibits (in the International Bluegrass Music Museum), the premiere of the 120-minute documentary Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, the Pioneer and Blue Grass Boys Recognition Ceremony and the Blue Grass Boys and Pioneers Jam, all of which take place at the RiverPark Center.

Additionally, taking place RiverPark Center’s Cannon Hall, there will be performances by all of the living members of the IBMA Hall of Fame. Artists appearing at the RiverPark Centre include the Rodney Dillard, Everett Lilly, Ralph Stanley, Bill Clifton, Curly Seckler, Earl Scruggs, Melvin Goins, JD Crowe and special guest James Monroe.

Most, if not all, of these events are sponsored by the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

At the same time and already started is a programme of events organised by the Ohio County Tourism Center.

On Saturday (9/10) there was a display of crafts by local artists at the Monroe Homeplace and on Sunday (9/11) there was Gospel Music at the Park (in Rosine Park)

Also on Monday morning (9/12) there was a presentation of what’s called the Bluegrass Hee-Haw at the Homeplace, and on Tuesday (9/13) there will be a birthday party on the lawn at the Homeplace, including a ceremonial cake-cutting at noon.

For more information about all these activities see the Bill Monroe 100th Birthday Celebration website.

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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.