Tom Adler on Bill Monroe and Bean Blossom

In 2011 Bean Blossom historian Thomas A. Adler gave a presentation at the International Country Music Conference in Nashville, during which he spoke about the possible reasons why Bill Monroe bought the Brown County Jamboree site at Bean Blossom in 1951. 

Three suggestions had been expressed by others in the past; it was a good source of ready income; it had vistas similar to those that Bill Monroe found close to his home near Rosine, Kentucky; and it was a matter of keeping up with the Jones’s, with other notable country music musicians such as Roy Acuff who had music parks at the time.  

Adler also put forward a fourth reason …. well, I’ll leave that to Adler to reveal in this nine-minute video, entitled Bill Monroe’s Decision to Buy the Brown County Jamboree, an adaptation of his original Powerpoint presentation, thus allowing more to learn about the acquisition. 

See what he thinks …….


Whatever the reason or reasons, Monroe was certainly decisive in making the purchase just after Christmas 1951, very little more than two months following his first visit. 

Thomas A. Adler is the author of Bean Blossom : The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals (University of Illinois Press), published in 2011.  

The park has changed ownership a few times since Bill bought it, but still carries the name of Bill Monroe Music Park, and hosts a pair of bluegrass festivals each year, along with other events.

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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.