Monroe’s mandolin – further update

Bill Monroe mandolin at the Country Music Hall of fame and Museum - photo by Karen ThompsonFollowing our recent story about the agreement between the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Trustees of the Estate of the late Robert W. McLean concerning the ownership of instruments such as Bill Monroe’s mandolin and Maybelle Carter’s guitar, the HOF has started a $1.1 million fundraising campaign so that they can retain the instruments.

The museum has already raised $300,000 for the Precious Jewel Fund from the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles and $150,000 from RPM Management in Nashville, where former museum board member Scott Siman is president. However, the museum still wants to raise $650,000.

The full story about the campaign, including suggestions for fund-raising from Ricky Skaggs, can be found at The Tennessean website.

According to a report in Country Standard Time, under the terms of the agreement, the museum is required to pay the $750,000 settlement by February 22.

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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.

  • I talked to Charlie Cushman about this a year ago, with hopes that part of the fund-raising could come from the Monroe instrument itself.
    Back in the late forties, Bill’s mandolin was played regularly beside the Gibson banjo that belonged first to Earl Scruggs, then Don Reno, called “Nellie.”

    I have picture of Bill and Don playing those instruments face to face during a jam many years later. It’s been a long time since those famous Gibsons sang together.
    What would be cool is for Mike Compton and Charlie Cushman to play and record some old Monroe tunes together, using those instruments. It seems that a portion of the funds needed could be gathered from the bluegrass fans who would pay to hear history repeat itself. I know I would….


  • That is a fine idea, Dean.