Bluegrass Generation

A Memoir
Author: Neil V. Rosenberg
Foreword by Gregory N. Reish
Bean Blossom, banjos, and bluegrass becoming bluegrass
Cloth – $125
Paper – $21.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 06/04/2018
Cloth: 06/04/2018
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About the Book

Neil V. Rosenberg met the legendary Bill Monroe at the Brown County Jamboree. Rosenberg's subsequent experiences in Bean Blossom put his feet on the intertwined musical and scholarly paths that made him a preeminent scholar of bluegrass music.

Rosenberg's memoir shines a light on the changing bluegrass scene of the early 1960s. Already a fan and aspiring musician, his appetite for banjo music quickly put him on the Jamboree stage. Rosenberg eventually played with Monroe and spent four months managing the Jamboree. Those heights gave him an eyewitness view of nothing less than bluegrass's emergence from the shadow of country music into its own distinct art form. As the likes of Bill Keith and Del McCoury played, Rosenberg watched Monroe begin to share a personal link to the music that tied audiences to its history and his life--and helped turn him into bluegrass's foundational figure.

An intimate look at a transformative time, Bluegrass Generation tells the inside story of how an American musical tradition came to be.

* Publication of this book is supported by grants from the Manfred Bukofzer Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

About the Author

Neil V. Rosenberg is the professor emeritus of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the author of Bluegrass: A History and coauthor of Bluegrass Odyssey and The Music of Bill Monroe.

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"An ode to a time and a place when college kids and country folks bonded over a love of bluegrass." --Wall Street Journal

"Bluegrass Generation: A Memoir is highly recommended to all students of bluegrass, but especially anyone who has fond memories of the Bean Blossom Festivals in the 1960s, 70s and 80s." --Bluegrass Breakdown

"[Neil Rosenberg's] the perfect guide--our Virgil--to a unique place and time in bluegrass music. This memoir is as essential reading as Bluegrass: A History" --Bluegrass Unlimited

"If you want the inside scoop on how bluegrass music came to be, this is it." --Inland Northwest Bluegrass Music Association

"His behind-the-scenes remembrances give valuable insight into the evolution of the bluegrass genre. This book is appropriate for both fans and researchers of bluegrass and country music. Recommended." --Choice

"Bluegrass Generation: A Memoir is well worth the read. Rosenberg’s style is fluid, clear, and reader-friendly; it is detailed without being stuffy, interesting without being narrow, and factual without being opinionated." --Banjo Newsletter

"The audience for this book need not be limited to bluegrass scholars and enthusiasts. Students of ethnomusicology may find it invaluable as an informal guidebook for ethnography. Readers who are dual musician-scholars or arts administrator-scholars will appreciate the synergy between Rosenberg’s research and industry activities." --CAML Review

"This work has historical import, not only for what it contributes to our understanding of the emergence of bluegrass music but also for highlighting the significant role that scholars have on recording music history." --Indiana Magazine of History

"Bluegrass Generation is a magnificent work whose significance radiates thoughtfully far beyond its own ambitions. In partitioning the early-sixties Jamboree from the larger bluegrass narrative, we are able to reclaim the limited historical visibility that these actors themselves encountered. Of the many pleasures this book affords, we can add Rosenberg's light-handed approach to the memoir genre." --Journal of Folklore Research


"Reading Bluegrass Generation was an enjoyable reminder of my time at Bean Blossom as a Blue Grass Boy. It brought back a lot of memories and reminded me of a few things I’d forgotten, too--and I even learned some things I never knew!"--Del McCoury

"A wonderful snap shot of a place and time in the history of bluegrass music. Neil traces his transition from musician to scholar and along the way offers vivid personal, musical and business glimpses of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe and his now-legendary Bean Blossom park."--Gary B. Reid, author of The Music of the Stanley Brothers


•  Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), 2018