Erika Brady In the fall of 2002, I drove a carful of newly arrived Western Kentucky University graduate students from Bowling Green to Rosine to participate in the opening of the restored boyhood home of bluegrass music great Bill Monroe. In the course of the 40-minute drive, I took the opportunity to point out the common misapprehension that Bill Monroe came from the southern mountains. They took in my rant, gazing solemnly out at the low rolling hills of Ohio County. Heading to the stage area, we made our way through the ring of concession stands, where my group was wickedly thrilled to see the official commemorative T-shirt for the event, featuring a (blue) Kentucky moon rising above snow-capped peaks. These inverted Dixie cups might have resembled a stylized representation of the mountains of Telluride but nothing to be found in the Commonwealth--as the graphic designer and the event planners very well knew. In a collision between bluegrass geography and iconography, geography was the inevitable loser. The excellent articles in this special issue balance the common assumption that country music is exclusively and innately southern, and that the many exceptions to this rubric are unnatural deviations--if not downright
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
Published: Apr 24, 2014
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