BGCS Newsletter Vol. II #15, December 11, 2019
All Things Bluegrass Country Soul -
Past, Present and Future!
Last month when we returned from the premiere of the newly restored Bluegrass Country Soul at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, we felt a sense of accomplishment and relief at successfully restoring the last remaining 35 mm print of the film and donating a high-quality DCP (digital cinema package) of the movie to the museum. We took a couple of days off and then turned our focus to completing the DVD and CDs for our box sets!

There were a few artists who we hadn't been able to interview yet, and, as luck would have it, they were all available last month. So we traveled back East and recorded the memories, wit and wisdom of Del McCoury, J.D. Crowe, and Sam Bush, and down the road a bit to interview Everett Lilly, Jr. in sunny Southern California (more below). Our interviews for this project are now complete and we couldn't be more thrilled with the terrific line-up of artists you'll see on the Special Features.

With this, our last newsletter in 2019, we thank you for following along with us on the long and winding road that is the Bluegrass Country Soul restoration project and wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to sharing more news with you next year.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments or stories regarding Bluegrass Country Soul.

Best regards,
Albert Ihde Ellen Pasternack
Producer/Director Executive Director
Del McCoury, J.D. Crowe, Sam Bush and Everett Lilly, Jr.!
Sam Bush Holding the BGCS Book
Sam Bush holds a copy of the 168-page companion book included in the box set.
Del McCoury and Albert Ihde
Del and Jean McCoury welcomed Albert and Ellen to their home near Nashville.
Here are just a few of the fascinating things we heard in our interviews with these distinguished gentlemen of bluegrass:
Sam Bush told us that Bill Monroe corrected him on the pronunciation of his name. As Sam explained it, “His family used the Kentucky pronunciation – MUN-roe.”

Everett Lilly, Jr., spoke about how his father brought Bill Monroe to Japan.
J.D. Crowe said that bluegrass singers who transition into country music are so good because “they have soul.”

Del McCoury told us about the time Carlton Haney first brought up the idea of creating a multi-day bluegrass festival to Bill Monroe, who replied, “Carlton, that’ll never work.”
These fascinating interviews and several surprise additions promise to make our multi-media box set an historic and entertaining look at the world of bluegrass music in 1971, and show how far it has come today. As an example, Sam Bush mentions during his interview a T-shirt he wears in concert that reads, “Bluegrass, It Ain’t Just 4 Boys Anymore.” We'll leave it at that.
In Memoriam:
Saburo “Sab” Wantanabe-Inoue
12/3/1949 - 11/21/2019
Sab in the Banjo Finale of Bluegrass Country Soul
From Akira Otsuka:
“Sad news from Japan. After fighting cancer for almost three years, Saburo 'Sab' Watanabe Inoue passed away in Japan. He played banjo with the Bluegrass 45 for 53 years and has been publishing Moonshiner magazine (the only monthly bluegrass magazine in Japan) for 37 years. It received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association just two months ago. He also produced Tony Rice's first LP in 1973, and he and his brother, Toshio Watanabe, started Takarazuka Bluegrass Festival in 1972 - they celebrated their 48th this past August. RIP, Sab.”

When you watch The Bluegrass 45 performing in Bluegrass Country Soul , Sab is always wearing a contagious smile. Clearly, he loved playing music and performing with his band mates. When he plays opposite Earl Scruggs during the Banjo Finale, you can feel that Sab is on top of the world.
Akira once told me that our movie "made us immortal." Our hope is that our recording of Sab's banjo playing in Bluegrass Country Soul will continue to thrill bluegrass music lovers everywhere for many, many years to come.

Domo arigato, Sab.
Bluegrass Country Soul Receives International Press
BGCS in Moonshiner Magazine
Moonshiner Magazine recently published an article on Mike Ihde (Albert's baby brother) and the incidental music he composed for the restored movies credits and Special Features. Mike used The Hiro Arita Trio , a Japanese group, to record the music!
BGCS in No Fences
Our announcement about the premiere of the restored Bluegrass Country Soul made it across the Atlantic Ocean to appear in an article in No Fences, Germany's bluegrass magazine.

To learn more, contact Harald Harland at
Haven't purchased your box set yet? There are still a few copies of the First Edition, Golden Anniversary, Legacy Edition available. Order now and we'll send you your numbered bookplate and a multi-page, color brochure describing the box set's contents in all their glory. Don't miss this opportunity to own or gift what is certain to become a Collector's Edition!
Box Set with Contents
Please pass along our web address to everyone you know who loves bluegrass music:
© Copyright 2019 Bluegrass Country Soul