Woodford County welcomed one of their own hometown heroes and global music phenomenon, singer, songwriter and actor, John Sturgill Simpson. Sturgill Simpson was born in Breathitt County, but would move to Woodford County where he spent most of his youth growing up. Simpson was a Woodford County High School graduate and has since gone on to be a Grammy award winner and named on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Albums list and NPR’s 50 Favorite Albums list. In September 2019, Simpson released his fourth album, “Sound and Fury.” Also on hand to be honored were drummer Miles Miller, and Assistant Tour Manager, Gayle Franklin, both who were raised in Woodford County.
At the Versailles Fire Station, Mayors Brian Traugott of Versailles, Mayor Grayson Vandegrift of Midway and Judge-Executive James Kay of Woodford County along with Woodford County Tourist Commission to honor Sturgill Simpson with a road that led to his childhood home, Sturgill Simpson Way. Miles Miller was also awarded a Key to the City of Versailles and Thursday (February 27th) was named Miles Miller Day. All three were gifted bottles of Woodford Reserve signed personally by Master Distiller Chris Morris, Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall. A crowd of about 150 attendees braved the cold winter weather to celebrate.
“I’ve got to be completely honest, the irony is rich here. I have no idea how many mailboxes I smashed on Big Sink Pike in high school. So I am very sorry. and I just can’t tell you, this is incredible, so thank you,” Sturgill Simpson said.
“As a fellow graduate of WCHS, it is an honor to recognize one of our own who has gone on to global success. We are proud of the work Sturgill does both on and off the stage. I am also privileged to recognize Sturgill’s band member and Woodford Countian Miles Miller in this ceremony as well”, commented Brian Traugott, Mayor of Versailles.
“Woodford County is excited to welcome home and recognize Sturgill Simpson and Miles Miller before their Good Lookin’ Tour show at Rupp Arena. We are so proud of their success and accomplishments, representing Kentucky and Woodford County.” Judge Executive James Kay remarked.
Friday night, Sturgill Simpson will be joined by Tyler Childers to perform to a sold out crowd at Rupp Arena. It doesn’t seem like yesterday that both young men were working their way through the small bars and honky tonks, onto festivals, and beyond. Needless to say, Kentucky is very proud of the music creators representing our state.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.