Bluegrass Unlimited, the long time bluegrass music magazine, has been acquired by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, KY. The Museum will continue to publish the magazine.
Bluegrass Unlimited was started in 1966 by a group of Washington-area bluegrass musicians and fans, including Pete Kuykendall, Dick Spottswood and Gary Henderson. Initially published as a mimeographed broadside, it grew into a slick monthly magazine that now has subscribers in all 50 states and 17 countries.
Founding editor and publisher Pete Kuykendall, who died in 2017, was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 1996. His Hall of Fame citation describes Bluegrass Unlimited as “a publication affectionately referred to as the ‘bible of bluegrass music’.”
The magazine is an important part of the history of Bluegrass Country. The first bluegrass show on WAMU-FM, hosted by Dick Spottswood, was called “Bluegrass Unlimited.” Today the magazine’s national bluegrass music survey is conducted by Bluegrass Country’s Lee Michael Demsey.
Transition to the new management is now underway, and the Museum expects to publish its first issue of Bluegrass Unlimited in November. They’re also planning an upgraded website that will offer subscribers more ways to interact with the magazine.
Established in 1991, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum moved into a new building in downtown Owensboro in 2018. The Fall of Fame includes two floors of interactive exhibits, the Katherine E. and Peter V. Kuykendall Research Library, a performance theater, outdoor stage, education facilities and more.
According to Hall of Fame executive director Chris Joslin, “I view Pete Kuykendall as one of the most important people in our industry because of his vision with Bluegrass Unlimited, along with his leadership and tireless work with the International Bluegrass Music Association as well as the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. It’s an honor to continue his work and to grow Bluegrass Unlimited.
“The Hall of Fame strives to be the world center for the presentation of the history, culture, and future of bluegrass music, and Bluegrass Unlimited is one of the many important ways we will live out this vision. Kitsy Kuykendall and the BU staff want to ensure the publication continues to innovate and flourish for both current and future generations, and we intend to honor that and to build on the tremendous legacy of the print publication.”