People in northeastern Missouri love them some Rhonda Vincent. Watching her musical achievements over the years makes them so proud of the little girl from Kirksville, who many remember performing with her family, The Sally Mountain Show, starting back in the 1960s. She toured with the family band for much of the next 20 years, before launching her own career in bluegrass, then country, and now bluegrass again.
They also remember how she and her husband also managed a local restaurant in Kirksville when she was off the road, when most folks would have moved straight to Nashville, where they now reside.
Having now won just about every award available in bluegrass, the state of Missouri is now considering a bill that would designate a portion of US Highway 63 in Adair County as “Bluegrass Queen Rhonda Vincent Highway.” The bill, HB 2187, was introduced in the Missouri General Assembly by Nate Walker, who represents Rhonda’s home town of Kirksville in the state’s 3rd district, who says that he doesn’t anticipate any difficulty seeing the bill pass through and be signed by the governor.
“Rhonda and her family are like heroes here in northern Missouri. They’ve all been blessed with musical talent, and we are so proud of them.
The bill has been read twice, and should be assigned to committee soon. If voted out, there will be a hearing scheduled, and it will probably be ganged together with other similar bills into a single one.
I don’t see anything likely to stop this, but it’s not a done deal yet.The speaker’s office is supporting this, and no one has stepped forward in protest. Our legislative session ends in May, and once the governor signs it, would likely be effective August 28.”
Walker is looking for a time in Vincent’s schedule when she could return for a dedication after August. And he says that the road renaming is meant to not only honor Rhonda for her success in the music business, but for all the work she has done in the local community since moving away.
“She does a lot of things when she comes home to Greentop. She may go in and do volunteer performance somewhere, or make an appearance. Each summer she comes back for the Sally Mountain Park Bluegrass festival, and people from all over come to it. You get to see a lot of new talent there, and folks around here just love it.
We think its time that Rhonda gets this recognition, and her family as well. Out our way, we like to honor the people who bring positive things back to our community.”
He also mentioned the level of excitement around town since news of the bill was reported in Kirksville.
“At church this past Sunday, everyone was excited, and several people came up to me to talk about it. They were so happy to hear about the Queen of Bluegrass Highway.”
Walker wanted to recognize the work of Representative Steve Cookson from Poplar Bluff for his assistance in getting this bill presented.
Vincent’s reaction was as might be expected…
“Wow! What an honor. Please join me in thanking the Missouri Legislature, Nate Walker, Steve Cookson, and everyone who joined together to create the new Bluegrass Queen Rhonda Vincent Highway which will travel through my hometown of Greentop, Missouri!”