The Tradition

Pete Kuykendall smiles for a photo

IBMA Hall Of Famers Remembered

The Legendary Pete Kuykendall Brought To Life By Peter Rowan When it comes to featuring artists who are honored at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, located in Owensboro, KY, our goal here at Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine is to look deeper than what you may read on their wall plaque. We will continue…

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J. Ashby Rollins of the Potomac Valley Boys live at the Old School in Lucketts, Va. plays guitar on stage

Notes & Queries – December

NOTES In the September 2020 column, there was a discussion of legendary fiddler John Ashby of Warrenton, Va., and the Ashby clan of Fauquier County. One member of the clan is J. Ashby Rollins, a singer and mandolin picker who worked with Charlie Smith’s Potomac Valley Boys. This writer saw the band a number of…

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Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Birch Monroe, Lester Flatt

The Birth of Bluegrass Music

Peter Rowan has said, “When you are standing next to the fire that is Bill Monroe, you will ignite.”1  From the first time Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys stepped on the Grand Ole Opry stage on October 28th, 1939, and played Jimmie Rodgers’ “Muleskinner Blues” so fast that it astounded the Opry regulars…

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Smokey Davis with the Tenneva Ramblers

Bluegrass Funnyman

In the formative days of bluegrass, bands sought to offer a well-rounded entertainment package. Music, naturally, was the core of the programs but comedy was always an important component. Ralph Stanley, in speaking of the early days of the Stanley Brothers, recalled that “we used a comedian all the time; somebody would dress up and…

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Group photo of Pendleton “Uncle Pen” Vandiver, Arnold Shultz, Unkown, Luther Shultz (Photo courtesy of Roger Givens) playing their instruments

A “Hidden Legend” Steps into the Spotlight

The Arnold Shultz Fund is launched in honor of influential western Kentucky musician In July 2020, the IBMA Foundation established the Arnold Shultz Fund to support activities increasing participation of people of color in bluegrass music. Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky who had a profound influence on Bill Monroe’s…

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Jimmy Martin poses for a portrait with his guitar

Hall of Famers Unveiled

Jimmy Martin As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the bluegrass genre, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine will look deep into what made those first-generation bluegrass artists tick.  At the magnificent and sprawling Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, KY, the venue seeks to tell the story of bluegrass music by going…

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