[editor's note: To clarify any misunderstandings, the change is reported to be temporary only - during the holiday season - as they have done in years past with several other channels. Per a statement from the satellite company, Bluegrass Junction will return on Channel 61 on December 15th. Read the original story here: http://www.prescriptionbluegrassblog.com/2015/12/radio-hanukkah-takes-over-bluegrass.html]
Bluegrass mandolin instructor with the Dr. Banjo (Pete Wernick) Jam Camps, Mark Miracle entered the following comments on the Prescription Bluegrass Facebook page.
"This action by Sirius/XM is a bit of bad news. With that said, I must admit that I let my subscription lapse due to the fact that over the years of listening to Bluegrass Junction, the programming was focused more on dead and defunct artists than it was current bands trying to make a living in this genre. With every spin of our great father Bill Monroe, it could have been the latest title cut from an up and coming band...a band that just wrapped up a 2 week tour of small venues, living out of their van and trying to push cd sales during a poorly attended show. I know folks don't want to see Bluegrass go in the direction of Country music, but I seriously don't think that is an issue. You won't hear Merle on the same station as Chesney - at lest not on a mainstream station pushing the modern take down one's throat. Bluegrass, on the other hand, will ALWAYS play Ralph and Sam within minutes of each other...as it should be. Bluegrass has a legitimate and dedicated following that refuses to let its root be forgotten or even ignored. We are proud of our heritage and hold tight to it. But we need to be heard and supported. With that, if Sirius/XM does decide to ax Bluegrass Junction, then think of it as a way to give other Bluegrass stations - whether it's on the airwaves or online - your full support and effort. Bluegrass deserves it and its artists will appreciate it. Just my opinion. To all bands out there - be safe and flourish! I did sign the petition, btw." MM
The petition Mark refers to above was started by songwriter Donna Hughes and can be found here:
Jane Bee spoke up for the folks who listen in Canada and provided the email, phone numbers and physical mailing address for the company's Canadian offices and officials in charge.
- SIRIUSXM CANADA
- 135 Liberty Street, 4th Floor
- Toronto, ON M6K 1A7
- 416- 408-6000
- Fax: 416- 408-6005
So far more than 4000 bluegrass fans and artists have signed the petition to keep bluegrass music on SiriusXM. Donna also suggests that if you repost anything on social media regarding the petition that you include the following hashtags on all postings.
The Award-Winning Grascals weighed in with comments after signing the petition, saying, "Powers that be at SIRIUS XM RADIO: KEEP BLUEGRASS JUNCTION ON SIRIUS RADIO!"
Rhonda Vincent who heads up the most awarded group in Bluegrass History had the following to say: "I'm signing this as I have great concern in seeing your disregard for bluegrass music, to preempt it for any other style of music. Bluegrass is my sole reason for subscribing to SIRIUS XM!!
Andrea Roberts from one of Bluegrass Music's largest Artist Representation and booking firms, handling The Grascals, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle, Flatt Lonesome, Danny Roberts, Volume Five and Wildfire says she's been a Sirius subscriber since the early days of portable units and for only one reason - Bluegrass Music. "I respectfully request that you NOT preempt bluegrass music programming for any reason, any time, ever. There are other channels available (music, talk, comedy, sports, etc.) that duplicate content but Bluegrass Junction is the ONLY channel offered with my favorite music so I would submit that you use one of the other channels for this special programming," she wrote on the petition comments.