I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #49

From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.

  • November 18, 2005 The Indiana Historical Society presented a musical tribute to Bill Monroe at the Basile Theatre, Indiana History Center, Indianapolis. The presentation, Back to Bean Blossom: The Life and Music of Bill Monroe, included performances of 15 of Monroe’s songs, several visual displays and a narration of Monroe’s life story. Part of the program focused on the story of Monroe’s thriving music park located in Bean Blossom, Indiana. The musicians were Mike Butler, Aaron Law, Talmadge Law, Homer Pass and three members of the Blue Grass Boys; Roger Smith, Vernon McQueen and Dwight Dillman. The narrators included one of Monroe’s friends, Colonel Jim Peva, as well as Cary Fields and Sam Goldsberry.

Jim Peva began attending events in the small town of Bean Blossom back in the days of the old Brown County Jamboree and he and his family remain an integral part of the festivals.

He is the author of Bean Blossom: Its People and Its Music (Infinity Publishing, 2006, ISBN-10: 0741432102, ISBN-13: 978-0741432100), a photographic history of Bean Blossom, Indiana. It highlights the many interesting people, including Bill Monroe, who have contributed to its success as a venue for the performance of music, including bluegrass, since 1940.

Alongside the pictures are some of Peva’s fascinating recollections of times at Bean Blossom and a short story about the friendship between his family and Bill Monroe.

In 2003 Peva initiated the campaign for the issue of a commemorative postage stamp depicting Bill Monroe. To date, the US Postal Service has not announced an intention to do so.

Jim’s efforts have now developed into a full-fledged citizen’s campaign, with networks of bluegrass lovers across the US collecting signatures and sending petitions along to the USPS.

To find out how you can become involved in this effort, visit BillMonroeStamp.org.

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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.