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Tom Adler Answers Questions Regarding Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

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Bean BlossomThomas Adler, author of Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals, has answered questions about the bluegrass music Jamboree on the University of Illinois Press web site. This is timely because the week-long festival begins June 9, 2012. The Q & A article addresses simple questions as well as personal and inspiring questions.

Bean Blossom, Indiana -- near Brown County State Park and the artist-colony town of Nashville, Indiana -- is home to the annual Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, founded in 1967 by Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass. Widely recognized as the oldest continuously running bluegrass music festival in the world, this June festival's roots run back to late 1951, when Monroe purchased the Brown County Jamboree, a live weekly country music show presented between April and November each year. Over the years, Monroe's festival featured the top performers in bluegrass music, including Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, the Goins Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, and many more.

Thomas A. Adler's history of Bean Blossom traces the long and colorful life of the Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Festival. Adler discusses the development of bluegrass music, the many personalities involved in the bluegrass music scene, the interplay of local, regional, and national interests, and the meaning of this venue to the music's many performers--both professional and amateur--and its legions of fans.

Because of Adler's close association with the festival and the research he did in writing the book, his insights in the University of Illinois Press Q & A with Bean Blossom author Thomas A. Adler are also a nice addition to the volume.

"Bean Blossom seems to be the ideal subject for an extended historical study such as this. Loaded with facts and details, the unfolding story is so interesting and engrossing. I read it with delighted recognition and remembrance."--John Wright, author of Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music

Thomas A. Adler is a folklorist, banjoist, radio show host, and the former executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and first attended Bean Blossom in 1968.

From the the first festival through 2008, there are cataloged graphics and images of the evolution of the Bill Monroe festival. The early black and white images are breathtaking in their own right. While few in number, they evoke an emotion of life during the early days of bluegrass music.

A great addendum to the book is provided by the Errata - a collection of corrections to the historical book. As Adler is informed or locates errors, he posts the correct information on the Bean Blossom Music Park History website. This could easily be printed out and kept with your copy of the Bean Blossom book.

A slide show on the site, however, is what Bean Blossom is all about. From its early beginnings to the present day, it illustrates the breadth, scope and growth of the landmark festival in Brown County. It highlights Monroe, the stage and the impromptu jams that happened each year at the festival.

Whether you own the book are going to get a copy or just hold a casual interest, you'll probably want to stop by and spend some time looking through this collection.

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