A week ago, Chris Joslin, executive director of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, played the national anthem on his banjo at the 2A Basketball Championships at the Owensboro Sportscenter.

The Hall of Fame and Visit Owensboro posted a video of the performance on their Facebook page and Joslin shared it to his private Facebook page.

And then, Facebook lit up with views and shares of the video.

Suddenly Joslin was the Jimi Hendrix of the banjo.

Hendrix’s performance of the national anthem on his 1968 Fender Stratocaster at Woodstock in 1969 is still talked about today.

By Wednesday night, Joslin’s video had been seen by 63,000 people and shared 897 times.

By noon Thursday, it had topped 72,000 views and had 996 shares.

And the numbers were still growing.

Carly Smith, marketing director for the Hall of Fame, said those numbers are “definitely higher than any video we’ve posted in the past.”

Joslin said a video with several nationally known bluegrass musicians playing their instruments in an elevator in the Hall of Fame had 28,000 views and 254 shares.

Smith said it’s highly unusual for a video to get as many views and shares as Joslin’s without paying for promotion.

“We didn’t do any paid promotions,” she said.

Smith said Joslin’s arrangement of the national anthem was probably what encouraged so many views.

“People are always looking for something new and fresh,” she said.

Dave Kirk, destination management director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “We are overwhelmed in a wonderful way by the amount of views on Facebook. We wanted to give the 2A audience, many of which have never been to Owensboro before, a true taste of Kentucky’s Music City, even at a basketball game.”

He said Joslin “is someone we can always count on to entertain and showcase what Owensboro has to offer. To see it live and the reactions on the crowds’ faces and pure joy in their cheers was incredible. However, we did not expect the video to be so popular on social media without a promotional campaign. We’ve put zero dollars behind it.”

Joslin said, “I’m kinda blown away. You just never how people will react.”

Last year, state Rep. Suzzane Miles invited Joslin to perform the national anthem before the opening of one session of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

He said he hasn’t had any other invitations this year.

But with him having gone viral on social media, anything is possible.

270-691-7301 klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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