Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | 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 2015 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
2/6/2014 - posted

Stock Report

button coupons
1 DOW 17,387.21
-291.49 (-1.65%)    
2 S&P 2,029.55
-27.54 (-1.34%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,681.50
-90.27 (-1.89%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
2/6/2014 - posted
button classifieds

In Other News...

Edge Ice Center Public Skating Hours Change Due to Invitational Team Figure Skating Competition

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/27/15) — The City of Owensboro's Edge Ice Center will be hosting the Fourth Annual "Living on the… Read More

Breakthroughs for Circuit Clerks' Organ Donation Awareness Program

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/27/15) — The Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky made 2014 a momentous year in the fight to save… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 9254

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7345

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 6667

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 6252

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 5820

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 5402

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 21, 2015 4989

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 26, 2015 4922

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 23, 2015 4664

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 22, 2015 3788

Local Family Business Changes Hands

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 26, 2015 4922

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 26, 2015 3561

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 3496

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 26, 2015 3058

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 2921

Madisonville Post Welcomes New Troopers

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
January 26, 2015 2648

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in General News For All Sites by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 26, 2015 2590

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 26, 2015 2415

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepared for Snow into the…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 26, 2015 2032

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Circuit Clerk's Office
January 27, 2015 2030

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight, Hopkins Circuit Clerk

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flr subscribevideoitunessocial rss