To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Bill Monroe, the “father” of bluegrass, and as an informal kick off to IBMA’s “World of Bluegrass” week in Nashville, September 26 – October 2, The Del McCoury Band and special guests will perform on the grounds of the Ryman Auditorium on Tuesday, September 27 from noon until 2 p.m. Central.
The free outdoor bluegrass concert, open to the public, is hosted by the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, a non-profit whose mission is to support public enrichment programs of artistic, educational, historic preservation and literary value. The concert is made possible through the support of the Music City Music Council, The Ryman Auditorium and 650 AM WSM and the cooperation of the Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County.
Del McCoury, who first came to national attention as the lead singer for Bill Monroe in 1963, is also celebrating his pending induction into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, which will occur during the International Bluegrass Music Awards later that week on Thursday, September 29. McCoury’s new album, Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe (McCoury Music) is scheduled for release on September 27, the day of the free Ryman concert.
Bill Monroe was born September 13, 1911; the bluegrass music community is celebrating the Monroe Centennial around the world with tributes, concerts, broadcasts, recordings and other special events.
Rarely in the world of music can historians agree on the exact origins of a particular genre. Nashville, however, has the unique distinction of being able to pinpoint itself as such a birthplace when, in December 1945, a unique combination of Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys with the debut of Earl Scruggs on banjo and his three-finger style of playing electrified the audience of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium. The new style of music they performed would be so widely emulated by other groups that it would become known as “bluegrass” music, in respect to the band’s name. A Tennessee state historical marker was placed in 2006 at the northwest corner of the Ryman to celebrate this event.
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) hosts one of the most prestigious events in bluegrass each year in Nashville. Its “World of Bluegrass” week (September 26-October 2) includes the genre’s Business Conference, the IBMA Awards Show and Bluegrass Fan Fest. Collectively, more than 20,000 will attend the events hosted at the Nashville Convention Center and Ryman Auditorium, and hundreds of broadcast outlets carry programming from the event every year.