Myron Dillman passes

Myron Dillman (center) watching Jim Moss play the fiddle in a late night jam at Bean Blossom 2001 - photo by Lisa RihaMyron Dillman, 79, of Peru, Indiana, the father of Dwight Dillman, owner and operator of the Bean Blossom Bluegrass festivals, passed away on Sunday, November 3, while in St Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis. He was born on 17 June, 1934.

He had been fighting cancer, widespread and inoperable, for many years.

“Mr. D”, as Ralph Stanley called him, was a fiddle player and long-time bluegrass fan. 

The Bean Blossom festivals will never be the same again without Mr. Dillman, watering the dusty roads, delivering ice to the fans, and making appearances on stage to play fiddle with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.  

Stanley guitarist James Alan Shelton commented on behalf of the Clinch Mountain Boys  …..

“It was kind of a running joke that Myron Dillman, aka Mr. D., would tell the folks at Bean Blossom that he played with Ralph Stanley for something like 27 years. Of course he could never offer any real proof to back it up. Sometimes he would even give dates like ‘I was with Ralph for 27 years from 1948 to 1954,’ which made his claims even funnier and drew lots of laughs from the audience. I think he told it so much that he finally got to believing it himself! In actuality he only got up and performed with us as a guest fiddler each time that we played at the Bean Blossom festival. 

Ralph always went along with the joke because he really liked Mr. D and Mr. D really liked Ralph. I think that Ralph Stanley was Mr. D’s favorite performer and he made no bones about letting it be known to the other artists who came up there to play.

Whatever song he chose to do on the show was always in the key of D and he would always kick it off on the fiddle. He was a wonderful friend to all of the Clinch Mountain Boys and will be greatly missed.”

Bluegrass fan and regular attendee at Bean Blossom MaryE Yeomans added ……..

 “Myron is always there [at Bean Blossom] helping out.

He was a real jokester and around Bean Blossom everyone called him ‘Mr. D.’ When Ralph would arrive on the grounds, Mr. D would be right there to give him a ride all around the campground in his Mule (4 wheeler kind of ATV).

In June there was a large delegation of Japanese bluegrass fans at Bean Blossom. Mr. D brought Ralph over to Jim Peva’s campsite (the Japanese used that area as a home base), and Ralph met the folks and autographed instruments, etc, for these dedicated fans.

Mr. D was a really hard worker. The last time I saw him, in September at the Uncle Pen festival, he was very concerned about his cancer and was very subdued. We had the nicest and longest talk we ever had, and I am so glad we did. Bean Blossom will not be the same without him – he was truly one of a kind.

He loved – and collected – Allis Chalmers tractors; I don’t mean models, I mean the real ones.”

Funeral arrangements …

Viewing is on Thursday, November 7 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The funeral takes place on Friday, November 8 at 10:00am at Flowers~Leedy & Allen Funeral Homes in Peru, Indiana. He will be laid to rest at Green Lawn Cemetery, Peru.

We are grateful to Jim Peva for sharing the information about Myron Dillman’s passing, news regarding which is posted on the Bean Blossom Music Park web site.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.