By KEITH LAWRENCE Mclatchy News Service - Published: November 28, 2009
When William Smith Monroe was born on Sept. 13, 1911, few people other than the neighbors of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa Vandiver Monroe knew about it.After all, the baby, named for two of his uncles, was the eighth child born into the farm family on Ohio County, Ky.'s Jerusalem Ridge.It was hardly news that Malissa Monroe was having a baby.But on Sept. 13, 2011, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Monroe is expected to make Jerusalem Ridge a tourist mecca.
And bluegrass fans from around the world are expected to flock to "Monroe Country," a 265-mile trail stretching from Nashville where the "father of bluegrass music" found fame on the Grand Ole Opry to Bean Blossom, Ind., where he launched what is now the world's longest-running bluegrass festival 43 years ago.Rosine, Ky., Monroe's birthplace and burial site, and Owensboro, Ky., home of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, are right in the middle of the trail.And both are hoping to take advantage of the Monroe Centennial.The annual Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Celebration, held next to Monroe's boyhood home, drew 15,000 fans from 49 states and eight countries this October, organizers say.
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