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
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
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
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
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
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
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
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 22, 2014 9902

18 EPA Earth Day Events Take Action on…

in News by EPA
April 21, 2014 5287

Meet The Hopkins County Magistrate…

in News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 23, 2014 4604

Dawson Springs Letter Carrier Sentenced…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 22, 2014 4241

Three Juveniles Charged in Connection…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 3751

Fire Destroys Old Tobacco Building in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 22, 2014 2603

Madisonville Woman Charged with Internet…

in Top Stories by Christopher Rogers
April 19, 2014 1598

Fifth Third on Main Street Comes Down

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 19, 2014 1443

MPD Arrests Juveniles for Recent Rash of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 23, 2014 1247

MPD Detectives Investigate Hanson…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 19, 2014 1125

Louisville Man Charged in Madisonville…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 21, 2014 3252

'Heath & Molly' Benefit Concert…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 1693

Owensboro Chamber Plans First ‘Lunch…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 22, 2014 820

DCPS Among Top 100 Nationally for Finance…

in News by Lora Wimsatt
April 22, 2014 639

New Hwy. 54 Traffic Light to Go Into…

in News by Keith Todd
April 22, 2014 312

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art Plans Exhibit

in Top Stories by Mary Hood

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 22, 2014 4241

Three Juveniles Charged in Connection…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 3751

Fire Destroys Old Tobacco Building in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 21, 2014 1966

One Injured in Rosewood Wreck

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 22, 2014 1452

Muhlenberg Last Day of School

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 22, 2014 1159

Parsons Named Student of the Month

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs

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