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Eddie Pennington, Guitarist


Eddie Pennington

Eddie Pennington is a well-known Kentucky musician who is carrying on the unique style of guitar playing known as thumbpicking. The style originated in Western Kentucky and was made famous by such musical greats as Merle Travis (who had been influenced by Drakesboro guitarist Mose Rager), Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed.

Eddie was the national thumbpicking champion in 1986 and 1987, and he plays regularly at such events as the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville, the annual Everly Brothers Homecoming Festival back home in Western Kentucky’s Central City, and the Kentucky Folklife Festival in Frankfort. And he is not just a renowned musician: He has also devoted his life to conserving the rich Kentucky tradition of thumbpicking by sharing his talents with young musicians—and by leading the development of the Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame in Drakesboro. It is through the dedication of musicians like Eddie that Kentucky maintains its reputation as home to an abundance of diverse musical traditions.


Program 324

Spotlights the 2000 Governor’s Awards in the Arts with Geri Combs, director of the Kentucky Arts Council; quilt artist Rebekka Seigel, who created miniature quilts to be given to the winners; and Music Award recipient Eddie Pennington. (#324)





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