For Sale: Bill Monroe's Name, Likeness And Childhood Home | Nashville Public Radio

For Sale: Bill Monroe's Name, Likeness And Childhood Home

Jun 12, 2017

The family of Bill Monroe is looking for someone to take over his legacy.

The estate of the bluegrass legend and Grand Ole Opry star is selling his name and likeness, along with his hundreds of personal items and live recordings. Fans of the father of bluegrass have the chance to buy the rebuilt cabin and 2 1/2 acres in Kentucky where Bill Monroe lived and played music with his Uncle Pen.

The buyer will also own the rights to Monroe's name and image, which can be used in things like advertising and TV shows, along with his merchandise story.

But Monroe died in 1996. So why is this happening now?

"The simple, honest answer is that there's only one heir to this estate, which is his son, James," says Tony Conway, the agent for the family's estate. James "feels like there's someone out there who can do a much better job."

Conway says James is looking to sell his father's assets to someone who will preserve and promote his legacy. In fact, conditions written into the contract will require that the buyer actively markets Bill Monroe for the next few decades. It will also stipulate that they won't involve his name with a product the family considers immoral.

"It's not necessarily about just who has the money, but who has the money and can do the best job," Conway says.

Conway wouldn't say how much money the family is hoping for.

In a separate bundle, they're also selling personal objects from Monroe's collection, like old pocket watches, Christmas cards and even his will. Last summer, the family sold off items individually at an estate sale in Gallatin. 

More: No Million-Dollar Mandolins, But Fans Find Treasures At Bill Monroe's Estate Sale

Meanwhile, a statue of Bill Monroe was unveiled this week outside Ryman Auditorium, next to the marker commemorating the birth of bluegrass music.