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Brown County Jamboree
WIBC, WIRE
Bean Blossom, IN
Year Started:  1941
Date Started:  September 28, 1941

Brown County Jamboree

NOTE: If you have any stories, photos or striking memories of the Brown County Jamboree show, please contact Tom Adler at t.adler1@insightbb.com and help him with a project he's working on. We'd appreciate that. Thanks!
Beginning in September, 1941 (and informally for about two years before that), the Brown County Jamboree was presented every Sunday from about April through October (roughly Easter through Thanksgiving). There were usually two shows a day, afternoon and evening, and in the early years (1941 through 1957) a one-hour segment of the show was often broadcast over various Indianapolis and Columbus (Indiana) radio stations. Most often it was broadcast over WIBC, but WIRE and a few other stations also broadcasted the show.

Brown County Jamboree

The Brown County Jamboree began first as a free show, put on literally at the side of the road (State Hwy. 135) in Bean Blossom. It was used by local merchants, especially the Bean Blossom Lunchroom and several local grocery stores, to help promote business.

In September 1941, it moved to the Bean Blossom property of Francis Rund, and the first show (which was broadcast by radio station WIBC) was held on Sunday, September 28, 1941. An enormous tent was put up for the show. That tent was used for the first couple of years for the regular Sunday shows. During that time (especially in winter) the Brown County Jamboree also traveled widely to other venues in Indiana and even Kentucky. The WIBC radio broadcasts in the 1950s were hosted by announcer Jack Morrow.

Brown County Jamboree

—Left to right: Richard Morrow, Carol Morrow, Jack Morrow (Brown County Jamboree emcee / WIBC announcer), Linda Lou (champion fiddler), unknown, unknown)

The artists that appeared on the Brown County Jamboree were local, regional, and national in reputation, and included such luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon, Curly Fox and Texas Ruby, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Pee Wee King, Little Jimmie Dickens, Rex Allen, and hundreds more.

In 1942 Rund began constructing a "barn" for the show, and built a radio control room near the stage to use for the radio broadcasts. The barn remained the main site of the weekly shows until after the death of Birch Monroe, in 1982. The barn was eventually razed by James Monroe in 1987.

That effectively was the end of the Brown County Jamboree, though the annual bluegrass festivals which Bill Monroe began to hold at the same site in 1967 went on, and continue to this day. The park was sold in 1998 to Dwight Dillman, a former Blue Grass Boy, and he runs the place, promotes the festivals, and is considering rebuilding "the barn" or another facility that would permit him to hold weekly Brown County Jamboree shows again.


Claude Sweet


Billy Starr


Jack Perry


Campbell Sisters


Paul Grove and his Kitchen Barn Dance Gang


Kentucky Boys


Prairie Songbirds

 

Credits & Sources