WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed October 30, 2002
Bill Monroe's Mandolin Being Sold
Rosine – Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe paid about $150 when he bought his 1923 eight-string Gibson F-5 mandolin at a Miami barbershop in 1943. Today, the Rosine-based Bill Monroe Foundation is expected to pay more than 1 million dollars for the instrument. Monroe died from a stroke in 1996.
Monroe's son, James intends to complete the sale of the instrument today to the Foundation which also owns Monroe's home in Rosine. By agreeing to pay such a large amount for the mandolin, the Foundation surpassed potential buyers for private collections, the Smithsonian Institution and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Foundation funded the purchase through a bank loan and donations from individuals.