Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 NonfictionJuly 1, 1982 |

Bill Monroe at Capitol Center

In April 1977, when he was sixty-six years of age, Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, appeared with Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones, and other stars of the Grand Ole Opry at the Capitol Center in Largo, Maryland, near Washington. The Capitol Center is a giant convention hall comparable in size to Madison Square Garden or the Cow Palace, with a floor spacious enough for hockey and basketball games, three-ring circuses, ice pageants, and rodeos and a seating capacity running to nearly twenty thousand—approximately the population of Batavia, New York. For the country music show a high platform has been erected at one end of the arena, to which the performer ascends in near darkness by a narrow flight of raw-plank stairs. Ahead of him he sees a human multitude diabolised by a lurid red glow reflected from the stage, which drifts upwards toward the huge outcroppings of darkness at the back of the hall; glacial shafts of concentrated light converge upon him from above

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From the Space Sonnets

By Dick Allen

In April 1977, when he was sixty-six years of age, Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, appeared with Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones, and other stars of the […]

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