Locklar to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Published 3:00 am Friday, March 2, 2018

On Saturday, “Ol’ Rex” Locklar will finally get what’s comin’ to him.

The Father of Henderson Bluegrass will be inducted into the Alabama Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame.

“Ol’ Rex,” as he was affectionately called, probably wouldn’t think he deserved any such recognition but his family and friends think it was a long time coming.

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The induction ceremony will be at 4 p.m. at Spain Park High School in Hoover and will be a part of the daylong Alabama Bluegrass Music Association Showcase of Bands. Six new members will be inducted into the prestigious bluegrass hall of fame.

Wiley Locklar said his brother would think that at least a hundred people would be more deserving of the honor than him.

“Rex would say they are wasting time on him,” Locklar said. “He would play it down but I have to think that this would be a real honor even for Rex who never wanted any attention brought to him.”

Pete Austin, a longtime friend and admirer of Rex Locklar, said the recognition is way overdue.

“Rex started hosting bluegrass festivals in Henderson in 1965 and nobody has been more dedicated to the promotion and preservation of bluegrass music than Rex,” he said. “If it had not been for Rex, bluegrass probably would have dwindled down, maybe died out, in this part of the country. Nobody anywhere has done more for bluegrass music than Ol’ Rex.”

Locklar was born in Pike County to talented parents. His daddy was a fine fiddler and his mother was an outstanding singer. Rex Locklar came into the world “a bluegrass baby.”

“When Rex was not much more than a week old, he could play anything he picked up,” Wiley Locklar said with a chuckle. “He never had any lessons. He didn’t need any.”

Rex Locklar had fingers made for picking and bluegrass music running through his veins. And, he had the unyielding determination to keep bluegrass music alive.

When Locklar died in February 2014, his friends were determined to keep his memory and bluegrass music alive. A group of them, led by Austin, Shelby Carghile and Bobby Jackson, dedicated themselves to that challenge.

And, that meant continuing to pump life into Rex’s Henderson Bluegrass Festivals and not letting the memory of the Father of Henderson Bluegrass die.

“Everybody that came to Rex’s festivals thought he ought to be in the Alabama Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame and we nominated him several times,” Austin said. “While we waited for that to happen, we honored Rex by getting County Road 2262 from Springhill to Glenwood named for him – Rex Locklar Memorial Bluegrass Highway. That was good but not good enough. He deserved that and more.”

Locklar’s bluegrass friends got additional support for Rex Locklar’s nomination to the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame from Bill Johnson of Pensacola and David Foley, president of the association. On Saturday, the hope and dream of all Ol’ Rex’s friends will come true. Rex Locklar will be inducted into the Alabama Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame.

“No one deserves it more,” Austin said. “It’s unreal how many people carry love in their hearts for Rex Locklar. He touched so many lives. He was a very special person. He is finally getting what he deserved.”