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Monday, May 2, 2016

'Bluegrass for Billy' festival held in memory of friend

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Submitted photo

Bill Reed passed away in Aug. 2005 from lung cancer.

Friends of the deceased Billy Reed have found a way to honor and cherish his memory.

Dave Amerman, a friend of Billy Reed, is helping to organize a way to honor him. The "Bluegrass for Billy" festival and benefit is a way to raise money for The Bill Reed Music Scholarship Fund and the American Cancer Society.

William Carl Reed was born in 1949 and raised just south of Clay City in Middlebury, Ind.

After serving in the Vietnam War, Billy resided in Saline City with his wife and three children.

For more than 30 years, Billy enjoyed playing bass, guitar and mandolin, but most of all, he was best known for playing the banjo. He enjoyed jamming with pickers of all ages and skill levels.

According to Amerman, "Billy always invited you to get out your instrument and pick with him."

Diagnosed with lung cancer in Jan. 2005, he lost the battle just seven months later.

"I've never met a person who had anything bad to say about Bill. He was very well liked and respected in the community. It is evident how well he was liked by the showing of support for this bluegrass festival,"Amerman said.

Amerman is trying to reach other friends of Reed and fans of Bluegrass to attend the festival. Admission and parking are free, but donations to the scholarship fund, items for raffle and silent auction are needed. One item already acquired for raffle is an Epiphone Guitar autographed by Grand Old Opry Artists and donated by Gibson Guitars in Nashville, Tenn.

They are also looking for a business or individuals to underwrite the cost of their T-shirts.

The one-day show will be video taped and offered for pre-sale the day of the event.

The festival will start at noon on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, in Saline City.

On the roster for the festival is Birch Creek (Reed was a member); Louie Popejoy & The Heir of Bluegrass; Troubled Waters; Circle City Bluegrass Band; Dewey, Cheatem & How; Old City Trio; Taylor Ridge; Blueridge Country; Timberline Drive and many other friends of Reed.

Emcees for the event will be Cary Fields, host of Fields of Bluegrass radio show on WICR-FM 88.7, and Dave Voltmer, host of Rosie's Pickin' Parlor Bluegrass radio show on WMHD-FM 90.7.

Bring your equipment, jamming is welcome and encouraged.

"I can't think of a better way to honor a man like Bill than with his very own bluegrass festival. I hope that this will become an annual event," Amerman said.

More information

-Primitive campsites are available, call Ralph or Janice Persinger at (812) 939-2617 for more information.

-For more information about Billy Reed, the festival and donations, go to www.bluegrassforbilly.com, contact Dave Amerman at (812) 939-2361 or e-mail him at dangdave@joink.com.

-To donate to the scholarship, make checks payable to: The Bill Reed Music Scholarship Fund. Mail to: The Bill Reed Music Scholarship Fund, c/o First State Bank, 502 Main St., Clay City, IN 47841.

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