Owensboro Named National Music City

What do Macon, Georgia; Branson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; and Owensboro have in common?

They all “gave birth to music movements and helped raise the musicians who played major roles in our lives,” according to Select Traveler, a Lexington-based publication that calls itself “America’s only magazine for bank, alumni and chamber travel planners.”

“Between the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Friday After 5, I’m not surprised that Owensboro has been featured as a music city,” Dave Kirk, destination management director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Tuesday. “Well over 30,000 people came to Owensboro for ROMP, and Friday After 5 attracts thousands over its season.”

Select Traveler was the second magazine to name Owensboro as a national music city.

In 2013, ConventionSouth magazine — described as “a national multimedia resource for planning events that are held within the South” — named Owensboro as one of its 20 “South’s Top Cities For Music & Meetings.”

Select Traveler’s article focuses on Owensboro’s bluegrass heritage and Bill Monroe’s birthplace in Ohio County, ROMP and Friday After 5.

“The timing of this article couldn’t be better as we work towards the opening of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum” in October, Chris Joslin, executive director of the museum, said Tuesday. “We look forward to working with group travel planners to put on an incredible show on Saturdays for their customers.”

Kirk said he’s hoping publicity like that will bring more bus tours to town.

Teresa Thomas, executive director of Friday After 5, said, “We’ve had several groups already come through Friday After 5, and they are amazed that we provide this kind of entertainment at no cost to the consumer. This publication will only add to that number of visitors.”

Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Seattle was home of the grunge rock movement. Macon was the home of Little Richard, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers. And Branson has a number of music theaters that draw tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Article written by Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com