Yeah, I know. I’ve been hassling you a lot here lately to ink your John Hancock on all kinds of things, whether it be the Reinstate Hank petition, or the petitions to get Gram Parsons and Johnny Paycheck into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
But petitions and movements are one way the Underground and grass roots can rise up and gain the attention of a wide audience or pay respects wherever respects are needed.
So bit your quitchen, bear down on your bic round stick, and let’s get this done.
Rarely you can point to one musician who was the father, the inventor of a type of music. Sometimes genres of music evolve organically, with multiple parties responsible. And it is even more rare when that inventor, that original musician also happens to be the best there’s ever been in that genre.
Bill Monroe was the father AND the King of bluegrass, despite whatever Jimmy Martin’s handle was.
The words “superpicker” and “ringer” don’t even begin to describe Bill Monroe. He was a maestro; the essence of instrumentation and music when it came to the mandolin and bluegrass. Bill Monroe wasn’t just the best at his craft, he was his craft, and all branches descend from the lofty, almost unattainable perch he created.
Bill Monroe plays second fiddle to none when it comes to his importance to country music, and to American music in general. It is as simple as that. But is he even near Elvis, Michael Jackson, BB King, Jimmy Hendrix, even Hank Williams in the public consciousness?
The organizers of the Bill Monroe stamp movement are asking people to send letters voicing their support to the committee that decides which 25 people each year will be chosen for commemorative stamps. You can send letters to:
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
US Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St. Rm 5013
Arlington VA 22209-6432
You can also download petitions by clicking here, and carry them to events (along with your Reinstate Hank petitions) to have people fill them out.
You can even purchase Bill Monroe stamp duds at grassware.com (no you don’t smoke this grass, this grass is BLUE baby!).
More info can be found at billmonroestamp.org
Bill Monroe wasn’t just a superlative mandolin picker and string arranger, he was a brilliant, down-to-earth and wise lyricist with an amazing set of pipes; talents you often don’t hear him getting credit for. Bill was the full boat. This is one of my favorite Bill Monroe tunes, highlighting his astounding vocal range:
A world without Bill Monroe would be a world without bluegrass. And that is a world I wouldn’t want any part of.