Upcoming Episode

64 Autoharp Weekend 2016

This week, three world renowned autoharp virtuosos, Bryan Bowers, Karen Mueller, and Charles Whitmer perform live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park’s annual “Autoharp Weekend.” Mark Jones offers an archival recording of bluegrass legend Buck White performing the song “More Pretty Girls Than One.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center, in which Dr. McNeil discusses Ozark folk tales.

Bryan Bowers takes the auto harp to places not known to exist. Sounds strange, but it’s true. He possesses a powerful and soulful voice, and is a regular contributor to the Annual Auto Harp Weekend at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. From Washington State, Bowers became very popular with the audience of the comedy radio program The Dr. Demento Show with his 1980 recording of Mike Cross' song "The Scotsman.” In 1993, Bowers was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame whose membership includes Mother Maybelle Carter, Kilby Snow, and Sara Carter.

Karen Mueller is one of the top autoharp and mountain dulcimer players performing today. Her exciting and innovative performing style, featuring Appalachian, Celtic and contemporary music, has been applauded by critics and audiences from LA to Boston. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine has said "Karen Mueller's touch, timing and taste make her a true virtuoso. Her talent and clarity...deserve a wide audience.”

Charles Whitmer is a music educator and composer, as well as being an autoharp virtuoso. He currently has 612 traditional songs in print arranged for autoharp for which he is known internationally. In 2008 he was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame. He is a current staff member of The Autoharp Quarterly as a sheet music editor and was also a long time staff member for I.A.D. Publications, a former international quarterly magazine for autoharp enthusiasts.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of bluegrass legend Buck White of “The Whites” performing the song “More Pretty Girls Than One,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode focuses on Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center. For thirty years, from 1975 until his untimely passing in 2005, Dr. Bill McNeil served as the Ozark Folk Center’s folklorist and all-purpose advisor on all things dealing with traditional Ozark culture. During his tenure at the Folk Center, Bill McNeil guided the establishment of the Ozark Cultural Resource Center, an archival and teaching facility on the Folk Center’s grounds. This installment examines Dr. McNeil’s take on Ozark folk tales.

Radio from the Ozarks by People who Live There

Ozark Highlands Radio is a weekly radio program that features live music, jam sessions and interviews recorded at Ozark Folk Center State Park’s beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium in Mountain View, Ark. In addition to the music, our “Feature Host” segments take listeners on a musical journey with historians, authors and personalities who explore the people, stories and history of the Ozark region. From popular annual festivals to fun music workshops, there’s always a song in the air in the Ozarks.

You’re invited to be a part of the Ozark Highlands Radio audience. Shows run Thursday through Saturday (Mid-April through the end of October). Stay tuned for our 2017 show line up, so you can start planning your visits.

Admission to most evening shows is $12 and all seating is general admission, available the day of the show. Nightly concerts start at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. A few select performances will be all reserved seating, so watch our calendar for more information. Book a room at the Cabins at Dry Creek and check out the southern-style cooking at the Skillet Restaurant. Give us a call to learn about discounted combination tickets to Ozark Folk Center State Park and the Arts & Craft Village, annual festivals, season passes and other packages at 800-264-3655.


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Tune in to these listener-supported/public radio stations:

KUAR: Little Rock, AR
FRI 8 p.m. 89.1FM
KASU: Jonesboro, AR
SAT 2 p.m. 91.9FM
KUAF: Fayetteville, AR
Sat 6 p.m. 88.9 FM
KFFB: Fairfield Bay, AR
SUN 6 a.m. 106.1FM
KSMU: Springfield, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 91.1 FM
K255AH: Joplin, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 98.9 FM
KSMW: West Plains, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 90.3 FM
K204FX: Mountain Grove, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 88.7 FM
KKRN: Round Mountain, CA
SAT 12 Noon 88.5 FM
KSMS: Point Lookout/Branson, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 90.5 FM
K279AD: Neosho, MO
SUN 8 p.m. 103.7 FM
WETSHD2: Johnson City, TN
WED 9 p.m. and SAT 9.a.m. ET. 89.5 FM

WTIP: Grand Marais, MN
SUN 11 a.m. 90.7 FM
WBCM/Radio Bristol: Bristol, TN
SUN 2 p.m. WBCM 100.1 WBCM LP


Hosted by Dave Smith

Dave moved to Stone County in 1972 at the age of twenty and began attending the old-time musicals at Lonnie Lee’s house in the community of Fox. He was completely captivated by the old songs and tunes. He would spend Saturday night at Lonnie’s and the rest of week learning what he had heard. He plays guitar, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, button accordion, and along with Robert and Mary Gillihan, he’s part of the musical group Harmony.

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Recent Episodes

63 The Lost & Nameless Orchestra

This week, Austin, Texas based fiddle driven folk pop and renowned Contra Dance band “The Lost & Nameless Orchestra” performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this unique group of musicians. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of a much younger Mark Jones performing the song “Mountain Whippoorwill.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center, focusing on Dr. McNeil’s attention to historical scholarship with regard to traditional music.

They may call themselves Lost & Nameless, but all it takes is a few notes for listeners to recognize this foursome is anything but. With original compositions featuring complex, turn-on-a-dime arrangements and performing histories dating to childhood, the members of this Austin-based band are seasoned professionals who whip up an unforgettable sonic whirlwind wherever they play. Lost & Nameless can be traced to St. Louis, where Arkansas fiddle champion Chris E. Peterson met vocalist/guitarist Patrick Conway in 1993. They began jamming together and did some busking and recording in Europe, then went their separate ways. Peterson eventually moved to Austin to attend graduate school and in 2006, Conway followed. They decided to form “a great live band” and within a week, found keyboardist Nathan Quiring. Vocalist/fiddler Kimberly Zielnicki, winner of the 2012 Old Settler’s Music Festival Youth Talent Competition, became a full-fledged member in 2008, at age 11. Together, they imbue their music with a playful energy and soulfulness. Their sound simultaneously evokes Ireland and Appalachia, old-time folk and timeless pop, with an orchestral fullness.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of a much younger Mark Jones performing the song “Mountain Whippoorwill,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode focuses on Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center. For thirty years, from 1975 until his untimely passing in 2005, Dr. Bill McNeil served as the Ozark Folk Center’s folklorist and all-purpose advisor on all things dealing with traditional Ozark culture. During his tenure at the Folk Center, Bill McNeil guided the establishment of the Ozark Cultural Resource Center, an archival and teaching facility on the Folk Center’s grounds. This installment focuses on Dr. McNeil’s attention to historical scholarship with regard to traditional music.


62 The Side Street Steppers

This week, the witty & convivial Americana ragtime, blues & early jazz quartet, “Side Street Steppers” perform live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these fascinating performers. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Buddy Lancaster performing the traditional song “Back up & Push.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center, focusing on Dr. McNeil’s knowledge of traditional ballads.

Christian Stanfield and Miss Vera Victoria founded the Side Street Steppers in June of 2009.  What began as a simple duo of musicians unearthing material from the Golden Age of American Gramophone recording has grown into a full-blown Memphis institution. The Side Street Steppers are a page from Americas past, playing rare and popular music from the 1920s and 30s. Dubbed the Golden Age of Gramophone Recording, the two decades between 1920 and World War II saw the rise of jazz and the birth of the blues, the demise of ragtime and the emergence of hillbilly music that would become known through the world as country music. The Side Street Steppers present a pastiche of this transformation of the American musical landscape, performing on vintage and homemade instruments. Get ready for plenty of hip-shaking, foot stompin', caterwauling and croonin’.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Buddy Lancaster performing the traditional song “Back up & Push,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode focuses on Dr. Bill McNeil, the long time archivist at the Ozark Folk Center. For thirty years, from 1975 until his untimely passing in 2005, Dr. Bill McNeil served as the Ozark Folk Center’s folklorist and all-purpose advisor on all things dealing with traditional Ozark culture. During his tenure at the Folk Center, Bill McNeil guided the establishment of the Ozark Cultural Resource Center, an archival and teaching facility on the Folk Center’s grounds. This installment focuses on Dr. McNeil’s knowledge of traditional ballads.



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