24 August 2017

Pete Kuykendall, 1938-2017 (update)

Thanks to Richard Thompson for sending the sad news that Peter Van ('Pete') Kuykendall has died overnight while sleeping, at the age of 79. His passing has been announced in Bluegrass Today and by the staff of the IBMA in a message to all IBMA members, appearing also on the IBMA Facebook.

Pete Kuykendall was a positive, tireless, and often decisive force in every conceivable field of bluegrass activity: musician (he played all the bluegrass instruments), songwriter, discographer, sound and recording engineer, music publisher, event organiser, broadcaster, instrument collector, one of the moving spirits in forming and sustaining the IBMA, and - most conspicuously - editor of Bluegrass Unlimited, the leading bluegrass magazine, for over fifty years. John Lawless writes in Bluegrass Today:

It has been said that no one had a better grasp of the history of our music than Pete, and now that precious resource is gone.

Anyone who met Pete and his wife Kitsy will also have been aware of their unfailing warmth, kindness, and generosity. The BIB's deepest condolences go to Kitsy and the rest of the bluegrass world in this loss.

BIB editor's note: This year's Dunmore East bluegrass festival is now in progress; BIB readers may recall that Pete and Kitsy Kuykendall brought a Bluegrass Unlimited stand to the 1997 Dunmore East festival, and met many of us during their stay.

Update 15 Sept.: A major feature on Pete Kuykendall can be read on the Bluegrass Unlimited website, and is expected to appear in the October issue of the magazine.

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