If you haven't heard of Jimmy Rose by now, chances are you've been living under a rock this summer. It seems like the whole state has been watching the world with rose-colored lenses lately, and that was prominently on display in Pineville.
Jimmy's welcome back party included entertainment, a question-and-answer session, a cake presentation, and of course, music. Members of his family were there rooting him on.
At the beginning, we didn't know how far this would go, but as I said in the beginning, he's going to be a winner either way,” Jason Rose said.
Rose has been getting a lot of praise for his musical abilities, but here in eastern Kentucky, politicians have been taking notice as well. Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock recently told W-Y-M-T that "he's done more in seven minutes than has taken place in the last 10 years, as far as our fight to bring attention to what's happening here as it applies to coal"
Despite what you might think, Jimmy says he wrote “Coal Keeps The Lights On” without the intention of making a political statement. However, that didn't stop him from saying that issues related to that industry make him angry.
“Seeing what's happened to coal, seeing what's happened to the little man, that sort of lights a fire in me, seeing families that are broken apart and not helping each other, it ain't like it used to be. That angers me. That stirs something up in me,” Rose said.
Jimmy says he learned to deal with that frustration through song writing, in addition to spotlighting the issues relating to coal, Jimmy says he hopes his new-found fame will help absolve stereotypes.
“ I’m stereotyped just like we all are, we're from Appalachia, we're looked at as uneducated hill-billies, no teeth, dumb, and that kind of upsets me but hopefully I've shined a little bit of light on that. We’re educated, we can talk, we can stand with the best of them and we can look just as well as the others,” he said.
Political aspirations or not, his heart, words and music seem to be on the pulse of folks around here. No matter what the future holds, this hour belongs to Jimmy Rose.