Pickers and fans alike all seem to love Rager, and will celebrate his legacy — his unique guitar style, his humor, humility and his love of teaching others the joy of the western Kentucky guitar technique known worldwide as thumb picking.
Rager was born in Muhlenberg County April 2, 1911 and passed away May 14, 1986.
But the love of his music lives on.
Rager has long been credited with spreading the unique western Kentucky sound known as thumb picking. Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, along with Don and Phil Everly, gave much credit to Rager for teaching them new and exciting chords, tunes and styles of playing that continue to have a stronger than ever following today.
Joe Hudson, Executive Director of the National Thumbpickers' Hall of Fame, told SurfKY News the music will kick off around 11 a.m. on April 12.
"We'll have a meeting of the board of the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame at 10 a.m.," Hudson said. "Then we'll get to the fun."
Hudson said that the musicians enjoy picking the way Rager did.
"Mose would sit out on his porch, or in the yard of his house and play guitar," Hudson said. "Pickers and neighbors from all around would come and enjoy the music.
That's sort of the way we like to keep it. It's an open mic event and there's a potluck meal. There is no charge but we appreciate any contributions. We'll start eating whenever people are ready. It's all relaxed, and just a fun time — the way Mose liked it."
A monument to Rager sits across from the city hall, just a couple of miles from the TVA Paradise plant where Rager once worked in one of his many occupations.
"We'll play 'til the last tune is played," Hudson said. "It's always a fun day."Keep up with thumb picking events all year long at www.ntphf.com or www.merletravismusiccenter.com, or call (270) 977-0409.
SurfKY News Reporter
2013 File Photo by Paul McRee
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