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Mike Maddock, General Manager
2011-09-23 / Front Page

Bluegrass advocate receives Order of the Palmetto

By Pat J. Ahrens

Ted O. McGee Jr.(r) presented Wilford “Bill” Wells with the Order of the Palmetto September 9. Ted O. McGee Jr.(r) presented Wilford “Bill” Wells with the Order of the Palmetto September 9. On September 9, 2011, Bluegrass music advocate and ambassador, Bill Wells, owner of Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor, was presented the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor which was awarded by the Governor of South Carolina, Niki Haley. Established in 1971, the Order of the Palmetto is given to recognize persons who make contributions of statewide significance. On behalf of the governor, Ted O. McGee Jr. presented the award.

Now recognized as an important link in the generational transfer of traditional music, Bill Wells has performed an incalculable service to the citizens of our state. Bill’s dream was to have a place for acoustic musicians to meet and play together on a regular basis, so he estab- lished one. Located on Meeting Street in West Columbia, Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor has been “home” to Bluegrass musicians each Friday night for Open Stage and jam sessions for over two decades. Ever the advocate, Bill presents professional Bluegrass artists in concert throughout the fall and winter months.

A guitarist and lead singer, Bill has performed with his band, The Blue Ridge Mountain Grass for more than 20 years. He is truly a “Bluegrass Ambassador.”

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