Have You Ever Visited the KY Homeplace of This Music Icon?
Most people can't remember what they were doing on a specific day 27 years ago. That is, unless something momentous happened--something they won't ever forget.
On September 9th, 1996, I was in Nashville listening to the legendary WSM--a radio station as old as radio itself--and the host was asking folks to call in with their stories about Bill Monroe, the bluegrass icon who had passed away that day. I never met the man, but I felt like I knew him after hearing those stories. I got that he was as kind and as generous with his time as any fan would want him to be. Effortlessly.
The Bill Monroe Homeplace -- Rosine KY
That day and those testimonials were coursing through my brain as I visited tiny Rosine KY a few years back and toured the legend's homeplace.
As you can see, it has been remarkably restored and offers a simple but effective overview of the man's life and his contributions. It's a fitting "monument" to the artist who essentially INVENTED a style of music that's celebrated the world over.
How to Get to Rosine KY and What Else You'll Find
Now, it's not hard to find Bill Monroe's homeplace. There are signs on U.S. 231 in Beaver Dam KY directing you to head east on U.S. 62. And you'll see them coming from either direction. And when you go, you'll also want to check out the Bill Monroe Museum, which you saw in the previous video.
Monroe is also buried in Rosine, and it's a magnificent monument.
And one more thing...Bill Monroe wrote a song about his Uncle Pendleton Vandiver, one of Kentucky's best fiddlers. The song is called "Uncle Pen." It was a top 20 hit for Porter Waggoner in 1956 and a chart-topper for Ricky Skaggs in 1984. And when you visit, don't miss Uncle Pen's cabin.
Music Festival Guests Should Take Some Time to Visit Rosine KY
I always think about Rosine and the Bill Monroe experience whenever there are huge bluegrass music events like ROMP or the upcoming Jerusalem Ridge Festival. I wonder how many folks take some extra time to take the tours when they're here for those events. Well, especially for ROMP, since that's in Owensboro. Jerusalem Ridge is where the Bill Monroe home is located, so that wouldn't be an issue.
I wonder that because fans of this music should absolutely carve out some time to enjoy the old stomping grounds of the man who's responsible for its popularity.
Bill Monroe wasn't known as the Father of Bluegrass for nothing.