15 ~ Kentucky (June 1, 1792)


Nickname: The Bluegrass State

Statehood: 1792; 15th state

Population (as of July 2015): 4,425,092

Capital: Frankfort

Biggest City: Louisville

Abbreviation: KY

State bird: cardinal

State flower: goldenrod

State tree: tulip poplar

State wild game animal: grey squirrel

State song:

In 1853 the great American composer Stephen Foster (1826-1864) composed the song "My Old Kentucky Home." Kentucky chose it as the official state song in 1928.

Kentucky also has an official state bluegrass song called "Blue Moon of Kentucky" that was designated in 1989. It was written by William Smith "Bill" Monroe, who is mentioned in the Carson Peters/Ricky Skaggs video below.

PDF sheet music here

Lyrics here

Other songs about Kentucky:

Listen to the official state bluegrass song "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Bluegrass music is the official "state music" of the state.

Bluegrass is a musical style named and popularized by Bill Monroe, the composer of this next song. It's influenced by jazz, country, and gospel music, uses lots of improvisation, and is played with acoustic instruments such as upright bass, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle.

Hear the fiddle for "Blue Moon of Kentucky":

Here is the Elvis Presley version of the same song.

(Warning: Preview for pictures in this video, or just play the audio.)

The state musical instrument of Kentucky is the Appalachian Dulcimer. See that instrument here. (Watch through 3:30.)

"Run for the Roses" by Dan Fogleberg is about the Kentucky Derby horse race.

"Coal Miner's Daughter" by Loretta Lynn

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