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A Prairie Home Companion Celebrates Bill Monroe

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Bill MonroeMurray, KY -- A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor will honor the life of Bill Monroe with a special performance on Saturday, November 5th at Murray State University's CFSB Center in Murray, KY. The performance will feature an impressive lineup of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys performing Monroe's music and sharing stories of life on the road with the legendary artist. Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1939 and soon became a popular touring band out of Nashville's WSM Studios. Over the years, Monroe's elite group of Blue Grass Boys have included many successful musicians, such as Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, and Del McCoury, who would eventually move on to form their own highly successful bands.

Monroe maintained a very busy touring schedule until his death in 1996, surviving a waning interest in early Country and Bluegrass music in the 1950s, only later to enjoy its resurgence during the folk revival of the early sixties. During his career, Monroe performed worldwide and was honored with the first Grammy Award ever given for Bluegrass music, for 1989’s Southern Flavor, and he was later handed Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He performed for several United States presidents and was presented the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award and the National Medal of Honor. His original songs have been recorded by numerous musicians in various genres of music, including Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Because of his far-reaching musical genius, Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Bluegrass Hall of Honor and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

A Prairie Home Companion will celebrate Bill Monroe and his music on November 5th with a musical tribute that will include revered musicians who performed with Monroe at various times throughout his career. Scheduled to appear are: Roland White, mandolin; Blake Williams and Bob Black, banjo; Bobby Hicks, fiddle; Tom Ewing and Peter Rowan, guitar; and Mark Hembree, bass. Joining the Blue Grass Boys will be noted session musicians Stuart Duncan and Kathy Chiavola.

Tickets range from $15 to $39.50 for the two-hour live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor on Saturday, November 5, 2011, starting at 4:45 p.m. Murray State students may receive a discount with student identification. To purchase tickets, please visit Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 or the CFSB Center Box Office.

A Prairie Home Companion is heard by more than 4 million listeners each week on some 590 public radio stations, and abroad on America One and the Armed Forces Networks in Europe and the Far East. Garrison Keillor recalls, "When the show started, it was something funny to do with my friends, and then it became an achievement that I hoped would be successful, and now it's a good way of life."

A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Prairie Home Productions and distributed nationwide by American Public Media. The program is underwritten by Ford Motor Company. A Prairie Home Companion's performance in Murray is made possible by Murray State University, CFSB Center of Murray State, MSU's public radio service — WKMS-FM — and the MSU Department of Music.

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