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Historical Marker to Recognize Bill Monroe's Connection to Asheville, NC

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Bill MonroeAsheville, NC -- WNCmusic.Org has launched an Indiegogo fundraiser to gather funds to commemorate "Father of Bluegrass" Bill Monroe's time in Asheville, North Carolina and is seeking to raise $6000 to cover the cost of a brass marker to be placed outside of the historic Flat Iron Building where Monroe played his first radio show at WWNC.

According to historian Wayne Erbsen, in 1938, Bill Monroe and Cleo Davis pulled a camper trailer from Atlanta to Asheville to take over the 15 minute radio show called "Mountain Music Time" at WWNC in the Flat Iron Building in Downtown Asheville. He then named the group "Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys," coining the term "Bluegrass" after his native Kentucky's famed blue grass.

Unfortunately, the state of North Carolina only considers applications for historical markers 25 years after the honoree has passed, which would be 2021 for Bill Monroe. WNCmusic.Org believes his legacy should be honored now and that it would have a positive effect on music tourism in Asheville, which would in return highlight the impact individual musicians and the music industry have historically had on the economy of Asheville and Western North Carolina.

Last year, WNCmusic.Org was tasked to research "Father of Country Music" Jimmie Rodgers' days in Asheville, and as a result, a state historical marker was placed and unveiled on his birthday, September 8th. This year, the goal is to celebrate Bill Monroe at the Flat Iron Building on his birthday, September 13th. The hope is to have the week between September 8th and September 13th to be henceforth considered "Asheville Music Appreciation Week" and celebrated throughout the city.

The campaign ends July 11th, 2014. Incentives for donors to the Indiegogo campaign include prints and an original Bill Monroe painting by local artist and musician Brad Pope, following his successful show of musical figures at PULP in the Orange Peel. In addition to the marker, WNCmusic.Org plans a small display of WWNC's many musicians inside the Flat Iron Building.

To donate to or share the Indiegogo campaign, please click here.

For more on the legacy of Cleo Davis and those early days of Asheville Music check out Wayne Erbsen's interview with Cleo here:

WNCmusic.Org is a local organization devoted to unifying, advocating for, and promoting the Western North Carolina music industry across all genres. It is our mission to recognize and support the many talented musicians in our community. Bill Monroe Day is an opportunity to highlight the legacy of the hard-working musicians in Western North Carolina, what they add to the culture, and the role they play in the economy.

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