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Bean Blossom Music Park History

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I've created a small "Google Sites" website as a public online addition and amplification of my recently-published book in the University of Illinois Press's "Music in American Life" series.  The book is Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Festivals." 

The website is called "BEAN BLOSSOM MUSIC PARK HISTORY," and it's located at:  

I'm slowly adding pictures, source documentation, and additional materials to the site, as well as acknowledging mistakes and errors that crept into the text despite my best efforts to Get It Right.   

Hope you may find it of interest!

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Playing Since: 1958
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: IT/Publications consulting

Gender: Male
Age: 76

My Instruments:
The first 37 years: 1957-8: 4-string tenor "mother-of-toilet-seat" $10 no-name-- then I heard EARL. Next: Kay 5-string "Professional" with resonator, that I played from 1959-1962. Then the Ode Model 22, bought for $98 plus $25 for drilled-in "D-tuners." Next: 1953-54 bowtie Gibson Mastertone that I got in a straight swap deal from Berea banjoist Vester Parker for the $98 Ode Model 22.

Since fall of 1999: Osborne Chief #17, which I bought from Sonny.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Flatt'n'Scruggs c. 1951-55; Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys; Osborne Bros; Allen Shelton; Courtney Johnson; Bill Keith; Jack Hicks; Noah Crase, etc. etc.

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Visible to: Public
Created 6/27/2006
Last Visit 7/11/2023

Born in Chicago, 3/31/47. Started playing banjo on a tenor c. 1957, then had my corn shucked for good c. 1958, when a friend played me some Flatt and Scruggs -- been a 5-string man ever since. Hung out a LOT and worked at The Fret Shop in Hyde Park, near the Museum of Science and Industry; the owner, Pete Leibundguth, drove me and another underage banjopicker, Jerry Rossen, to Champaign, IL in May, 1962, where I first saw Flatt and Scruggs (still haven't gotten over that!) Went to Univ. of Chicago Laboratory High School, played in "The Blackstone Alley Boys," and "The Bluegrass Blades" with my pals Tom Kruskal, Peter Hayward, and sometimes Leo Manta; also jammed at times with Jeremey Raven, another classmate. Off to college, first at Carleton in Northfield, MN, where I played with Rodney Bellville and Jeff Gilkerson; then at the Univ. of Illinois, where I met my mentor, Archie Green, who directed me on an academic path into folklore. Played a lot in Champaign, as a member and later President of the Campus Folksong Club, with folks like Suzy Palauski and, in some loose bands, with Bob Sayers and Lee Kaufman. Then on to grad school for an M.A. in folklore at the Cooperstown Graduate Programs, where I met my wife, Betsy Mosby; we married August 21, 1971, and the next day left for Bloomington, where I entered the doctoral folklore program in the footsteps of Neil Rosenberg. Kept on picking throughout, with folklore colleagues Gary Stanton, Jens Lund, and Roby Cogswell, as the "Pigeon Hill String Ticklers." Went to Bean Blossom a LOT. Supported myself and Betsy in the mid-1970s with my minimal sinecure as a Teaching Assistant, and by playing banjer with some guys I met at Bean Blossom who had a band in Lafayette, IN, called "The Kokomo Bros." [NOT "brothers," but "Bros," with a long "o" sound!] Got my PhD in 1979-80, moved to Lexington, KY and taught folklore in the English Dept. at the Univ. of Ky, with several bluegrass courses taught there. In Lexington I met Frank and Marty Godbey and many others I still know and love who enjoy and play/sing the Bluegrass Music. Went into computer work in 1986 for a few years, then started doing digital video for Post Time Video in 1991. Moved temporarily to North Rosine, KY (aka O'boro) for a brief time to work as Executive Director at a start-up museum there (IBMM). Got fired for reasons still unclear to me, returned to Lexington in 1996 and started as IS Mgr./Collections/Network/Database Administrator and dog-walker at Kentucky Sports Medicine Clinic. As of 2008, I do IT/IS support and publications support for the Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Kentucky, where I toiled until my retirement in September, 2013. Ruby'n'em is now defunct; but I've got a new band here in Lexington: "Lookin' Mighty Squirrel!" which has me on banjo, Jack Willoughby on bass, Billy Meyers on guitar, and my very talented son Noah Adler on mandolin. And I still get out to local jam sessions when I get the chance. Lookin' Mighty Squirrel, the band, is defunct, but I'm playing as much as possible with LIBERTY ROAD and with the BLUE EAGLE BAND. My book on the history of the country music park at Bean Blossom, IN, and the institutions (Brown County Jamboree and Monroe's bluegrass festivals) based there, was published in July, 2011, by the University of Illinois Press. Check it out!

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