Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Thumbpicking Organization Encourages Keeping Tradition Alive

 Trouble viewing this gallery on your device? Click here for photos.

MUHLENBERG COUNTY (10/18/13) — A few months ago, several avid supporters of what is now known world over as "Muhlenberg thumbpicking" decided that a great way to promote the county's thumbpicking legacy would be to place "a guitar in every window".

The idea was inspired by Marilyn Kirtley and Marilyn Bedell along with the help of many other avid lovers of our Muhlenberg musical heritage.

Although some of the guitars are the real thing, most are simply made from wood, transformed into beautiful hand painted decorations. The sight of these was quite impressive to the hundreds of visitors who attended the September "Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Weekend" at the Merle Travis Music Center in Powderly, said Kirtley.

"After attending the 'Chet Atkins Appreciation Society' for 20 years, and finding out how much people from all over the world love Merle Travis and his music, we realized the people in Muhlenberg County are not aware of how much this music means to the world,” said Kirtley. “Marilyn Bedell and I decided we wanted to do something to educate the people of Muhlenberg County about our musical heritage.”

Kirtley said while there are thumbpicking events every month, they are poorly attended.

"Louisville and Lexington are known for horses, and they don't hide them away in the barn after the Kentucky Derby. So why can't we let visitors year round know that Muhlenberg County is where thumbpicking really started,” she said. “Our goal is to publicize the thumbpicking heritage of our county. Just because our big thumbpicking weekend is over, that's no reason to take the guitars down. When tourists to the area see all these guitars, they want to know why they are there, and this is the perfect chance for us to explain the exciting musical history of our county."

Kirtley said she was a bit disappointed when the September events ended and people began to take the guitars down.

"We really want people to be proud of our heritage. So we hope people will keep those guitars up in their windows, or use them as yard decorations,” she said. “Any way to let visitors know we are the thumbpicking capital of the world."

Kirtley said guitars are still available for purchase. To buy one, call 270-338-5961.

“We have sold at least 50 guitars, and more are being worked on now,” she said. “We can create just about any design on the guitars, for your business, or whatever you want."

The Muhlenberg High School art class was featured in a Surfky.com article in September.

"This has been an idea in the back of a lot of peoples' minds for a long time,” said Bedell. “The young people involved may not be familiar with Mose Rager or even Merle Travis, but these men are the roos of the Muhlenberg music legacy. The Muhlenberg thumbpicking style is popular all over the world."

SurfKY News
Paul McRee

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,262.56
+89.32 (0.55%)    
2 S&P 1,842.98
+12.37 (0.68%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,034.16
0.00 (0.00%)    
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks

In Other News...

Dawson Springs Police Reports Filed

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (4/14/14) ― The Dawson Springs Police Department released the following reports Monday, April 14.… Read More

Lions Club Spring Pancake Day

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/14/14) — The Madisonville Lions Club will hold its Spring Pancake Day Friday April 25 at the Lions… Read More
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 15, 2014 15446

UPDATE- U.S. Bank Robbery, Bomb Threat…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 5291

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 5058

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 4859

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 4337

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 4859

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4155

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 3758

Couple Charged for Trying to Use Funny…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 12, 2014 2649

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 11, 2014 2447

Hopkins County Crime Stoppers Tip Leads…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 1040

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 13, 2014 798

Two Daviess County Men Busted for…

in Top Stories by Scott Gibbs
April 11, 2014 706

Business Spotlight: Local Entrepreneur…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 11, 2014 467

Daviess County Student Honored in KDA…

in Top Stories by Ted Sloan
April 14, 2014 437

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 11, 2014 5291

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 11, 2014 4337

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 3501

Meteorologist Hart Shares Weather Tips,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 13, 2014 2077

Muhlenberg 4-H is Buzzing

in Top Stories by Janie Culton
April 14, 2014 1423

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03