Tom Adler, former executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, and a noted bluegrass folklorist and radio host, has released a book timed to honor this year’s celebration of Bill Monroe’s centennial.
Bean Blossom – The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals details the history of what is widely regarded as the longest, continuously running bluegrass festival in the world.
The story starts in 1951, when Monroe took over the Brown County Jamboree in Indiana, which he operated with his brother Birch. The Jamboree was a highly successful, weekly country music show, and Monroe was immediately smitten with the property when he first performed on the program.
In 1967, the story intersects with legendary bluegrass impresario Carlton Haney, then working as a manager for Monroe. After being successful with a pair of multi-day outdoor events in Fincastle, VA, Haney prevailed upon Monroe to try one on his property in Indiana. And so begins the story of Bean Blossom.
The book runs to 288 pages, with 29 black and white photos and a number of maps. It will be initially available… wait for it… at the 2011 Bean Blossom Festival this weekend.
Bean Blossom – The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals is published by The University of Illinois Press, and can be ordered from their web site in either cloth or paperback editions.