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Kentucky Music

Music in Kentucky

Kentucky is the birthplace of bluegrass music and of dozens of music stars from many genres, especially country music.

You can ride along U.S. 23 in eastern Kentucky, known as the Country Music Highway, and find the birthplaces of stars like The Judds, Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs and Billy Ray Cyrus. In Paintsville you’ll find the Country Music Highway Museum, in Renfro Valley the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Owensboro the International Bluegrass Music Museum and in nearby Rosine, the birthplace of the father of Blueqrass, Bill Monroe. Don’t be surprised if you also stumble upon a Kentucky bluegrass festival or one of many other Kentucky music festivals. When you leave you’ll want to listen to bluegrass music (and you might be humming a happy tune).

Over 100 years of Bluegrass

Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass music was born just south of Owensboro in Rosine and the family home has been restored and is open for tours. It is also the location for one of the biggest Bluegrass celebrations every Autumn at Jerusalem Ridge – four days of live performances by Bluegrass bands and individuals from across the country, many of whom played with or knew Bill Monroe personally. Monroe is buried with his family in the Rosine cemetery.

Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour

In Lexington is Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour which broadcasts live from the historic Lyric Theater every Monday night, and is played on radio around the world. With a format similar to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, host Michael Jonathan brings the best in bluegrass and blues, folk and country, rhythm and blues and rockabilly to his audiences.

Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster is known as the father of American Music. He is an American songwriter who wrote well known songs such as "Oh! Susanna”, "Old Folks at Home" (the official state song of Kentucky) and “My Old Kentucky Home" (the official state song of Florida).  In My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, a musical, dedicated to Stephen Foster and called The Stephen Foster Story has been performed since 1958. The musical takes place in the outdoor Amphitheatre and  is performed every summer. Many Foster songs are performed by actors in Antebellum period costume, retelling Foster's life.


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