County road will bear Henderson legend’s name
Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Pike County Commission voted Monday night to honor Rex Locklar, the founder of the Henderson Bluegrass Festival, by naming a stretch of a Pike County road in his memory.
Exactly what the road from Springhill to the Crenshaw County line will be named has not been decided but it will be a memorial highway, said Pike County Commission Joey Jackson, who along with Commissioner Ray Goodson, petitioned for the naming of the highway.
“How this came about was the bluegrass association wanted to do this for Rex because of his love of bluegrass and how he promoted it for all those years,” Jackson said. “Everybody knew Rex, and I don’t know anybody that didn’t like him. So, naming the road was a no brainer. I got with Ray and we got the ball rolling.
“We got 110 signatures on the petition to name the road in memory of Rex and it was a unanimous vote by the commissioners. Now, we’ve got to know what to put on the signs and get them ordered.”
Goodson said Locklar was known for his love of bluegrass music, but he was also an icon of the Henderson community.
“I don’t care where you went to bluegrass festivals, when people found out where you were from, they always asked if you knew Rex Locklar,” Goodson said. “Rex was known all over for the bluegrass festivals he put on. And, he had that store right on the road and there was always somebody sitting out there on the porch with Rex. I’d go by and sit with him and he could tell you some stories.”
For 44 years, “Old Rex” hosted bluegrass festivals each October and April at the old Henderson Schoolhouse. Pickers, grinners and toe-tappers came from hundreds of miles to be apart of Rex’s Bluegrass Festivals.
Locklar died on Feb. 23, 2014. His contributions to bluegrass in Alabama were recognized by the State Legislature.
Locklar’s brother, Wiley Locklar, said the Alabama Bluegrass Association initiated the efforts to name the Springhill to Glenwood highway in memory of Rex Locklar.
“I was contacted by the bluegrass association about naming the road in memory of Rex and I really appreciated that,” Locklar said. “I talked with Commissioner Jackson and he was all for it. He and Commissioner Ray Goodson got the process started. Rex would be humbled by it.”
The naming of County Roads 2262, 2290 and 2276 will not affect E-911 numbering. The memorial signs will be placed at each end of the stretch of roadway. About half of the roadway is in District 4 and half in District 6. The funding for the signs will come from Commissioners Goodson and Jacksons’ discretionary funds.