Local entrepreneur Terry Woodward’s Owensboro Walk of Fame star was installed Friday afternoon on the sidewalk in front of the Bluegrass Music Museum Hall of Fame & Museum.
Woodward is the 13th person to be inducted into the Owensboro Walk of Fame and was recognized for his work as a key player in the selling, organizing, and publicizing of bluegrass music locally — along with his efforts during all stages of the former and current bluegrass museum developments.
The Owensboro Walk of Fame was created in 2012 as a way to honor Owensboro natives who have achieved excellence in their field.
“I feel honored; I feel grateful. The mayor read off who’s been included in the Walk of Fame, and it’s quite a list of people, and to be included in that group, it’s very special,” Woodward said.
Woodward’s work with bluegrass dates back to his time at Wax Works in 1952. At the time, it was his father’s business and Owensboro’s lone record store.
Woodward graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1964, and in 1968 he returned to Wax Works working full time. By the 1980s, Wax Works had expanded to include a chain of retail outlets called Disc Jockey.
He said that he always wanted to come back to his hometown after school and wanted to give back where he could.
“I just grew up loving this community because they were very helpful to me growing up, and I was blessed that I have a successful way that I can give back with my money and my time,” Woodward said.
Shortly after Woodward was back home, the city wanted to make Owensboro a mecca for bluegrass music. The first event was a free-to-the-public event called Bluegrass with Class, which was hosted by the Daviess County Tourism Commission board and Woodward as their chair.
The 1985 event garnered more than 12,000 attendees. A chance meeting allowed him to get in contact with officials that led to the International Bluegrass Music Association housing office space in Owensboro.
IMBA went on to create the Bluegrass Trade Association, Bluegrass Festival Award Show, annual conventions and a bluegrass museum — all of which were at one time located in the city of Owensboro. However, the IBMA eventually moved it’s office to Nashville, and the other events have also since relocated.
In 1989, Woodward served as the RiverPark Center board chair and helped develop the bluegrass museum that now sits at the corner of Frederica and 2nd streets.
In 1999, Wax Works sold it’s Disc Jockey division, which included 230 retail outlets in 37 states making it the fifth-largest music chain in the nation.
They shifted their attention to DVD sales, and today a large number of DVDs ordered through Amazon and Walmart.com are routed through the Wax Works warehouse downtown.
In 2015, Woodward was presented the Distinguished Achievement Award by IBMA.
He has continued to focus on the current Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and other efforts that led to Owensboro’s self-proclaimed title as the Bluegrass Music Capital of the World.