Upcoming Episode

68 Ramona Jones

This week, old time fiddler, composer, actress, singer, Grand Ole Opry star, and country music royalty Ramona Jones performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Ramona and her talented progeny. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Onis Morrison singing the traditional Ozark song “Dry & Dusty.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Ramona Jones through the lens of archivist Bill McNeil.

Ramona Jones was a musician, actress, and composer known for Hee Haw (1969,) R.I.O.T.: The Movie (1996,) and He's So Fine (1993.) Born Ramona Riggins in Indiana, Jones met her first husband, country entertainer Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones while both were working at Cincinnati radio station WLW. They moved to Nashville in 1947. Grandpa Jones was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a longtime Grand Ole Opry member. They were married 52 years until his death in 1998. A musician from a young age, Jones learned the fiddle from her father, then taught herself several other stringed instruments, competing in (and winning) several amateur contests during high school. She made her solo debut on the Opry in 1947, and performed all over the world with Jones, including shows for service members on the front lines during the Korean War. They later toured U.S. military bases in Italy, Austria, and Germany. In the mid-Fifties, the couple regularly appeared on the Washington, D.C.-based TV series Town and Country Time. She would go on to record numerous duets with her husband as well as a handful of solo singles for Monument Records, and albums that spotlighted her fiddle work. From its 1969 debut — and for the next 25 years — the couple appeared on TV's Hee Haw.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Onis Morrison performing the traditional Ozark song “Dry & Dusty,” 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 Ramona Jones through the lens of legendary archivist Bill McNeil.

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

67 Anna & Elizabeth

This week, prodigious purveyors of the past, multi-instrumentalists, singers and story tellers, Anna & Elizabeth perform live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these unique performers. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals The Hall Family, performing the traditional song “Cowboy’s Dream.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of world famous cowboy poet & singer Glenn Orhlin.

The collaboration between Anna & Elizabeth spans worlds — between their homes in Brooklyn and rural Virginia -- between deep study of mountain ballads with old masters and explorations into the avant garde — between music, performance, and visual art. Anna & Elizabeth have performed across the country and in Europe. Highlights include: The Newport Folk Festival; NPR's Tiny Desk Concert; The Chicago Folk Festival; The High Museum of Modern Art (Atlanta); and the Cambridge Folk Festival (UK.)  Their work has been featured on BBC Radio 2 and BBC3's Late Junction, Vice’s Noisey, the Huffington Post, and No Depression. They have shared the stage with Alice Gerrard, Mick Moloney, Sam Lee and Riley Baugus, Bruce Greene, Abigail Washburn, Wayne Henderson, and also National Heritage Award winners Sheila Kay Adams and Billy McComiskey.

Elizabeth Laprelle lives on a farm in Rural Retreat, Virginia, where she grew up, and  has pursued her interest in mountain ballads for over a decade. Since the release of her debut album at age 16, she’s been hailed as one of the most dedicated students of the traditional unaccompanied style of her generation. The student of master singer Ginny Hawker and National Heritage Fellow Sheila Kay Adams, Elizabeth was the first recipient of the Henry Reed Award from the Library of Congress at age 16, and won the 2012 Mike Seeger Award at Folk Alliance International. She has released three solo ballad albums, and was called “the best young Appalachian ballad singer to emerge in recent memory” by UK’s fRoots Magazine.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt is a voracious and curious multi-instrumentalist originally from Vermont, described by Meredith Monk as a "radiant being." She fell in love with the sound of banjo in college, moved to the mountains, and learned with master musicians in Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina, becoming a blue-ribbon fiddler and banjo player (WV State Folk Fest, Kentucky Fiddle Contest.) She was a fellow at the Berea College Archive, a 2014 OneBeat fellow (Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation,) artistic director of Kentucky’s traditional music institute, the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, and curator of Baltimore's Crankie Festival.  She has recently delved into new musical worlds, including recent work with composers Brian Harnetty, Nate May and Cleek Schrey, Matmos, David Rothenberg, Susan Alcorn, and saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore. She has contributed writing to No Depression and The Old Time Herald.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals The Hall Family, performing the traditional song “Cowboy’s Dream,” 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 world renowned cowboy poet, balladeer, and story teller Glenn Orhlin.


66 OHR Offstage: Fiddles! Fiddles! Fiddles!

One of the unique experiences for visitors to the Ozark Folk Center is the intimate matinee performances by our guest musicians. The shows are a unique way for musicians and guests share a time and space much different than a traditional indoor performance venue. There are often Q &A sessions, jokes, stories and of course, the occasional request from an audience member that make these sets so popular.

These performances take place in the backdrop of the Ozark Folk Center State Park Craft Village, a large outdoor area, home to over 20 artisans who demonstrate traditional and contemporary craftsmanship on site. Nestled in the center of the Craft Village is an old wooden covered stage. The area seats about 50 people but is always overflowing with people for the matinee sets by our guest artists.

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are veterans of the acoustic music scene on the East coast and have been performing together for well over 20 years. Jay and Molly’s performance at the Ozark Folk Center State Park highlights all aspects of their musical style and ability. Ungar was born in the Bronx, the son of immigrant Jewish parents from Eastern Europe. He frequented Greenwich Village music venues during his formative period in the 1960s. He is probably best known for "Ashokan Farewell" (1982,) originally composed as a lament, which was used as the theme tune to the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War (1990.) Molly Mason has been a regular performer on Prairie Home Companion. In 1991, Ungar married Molly Mason, whom he had first met during the 1970s. They continue to perform as a duo, with their band, Swingology, and as the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band with Jay's daughter Ruthy Ungar (her mother is Lyn Hardy) and Ruthy's husband Michael Merenda. In 1992, Ungar and Mason provided the soundtrack to the acclaimed documentary film Brother's Keeper. In 2006 they headlined the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle.

Dennis Stroughmatt is a renaissance man. His passion for the Creole fiddle and French music of the Southern Illinois/Missouri region has lead him on a journey to the backwoods of Louisiana and the University of Quebec. He has nearly single handedly revitalized the original Creole music and French culture of the Illinois-Missouri region by rekindling a love and passion for the culture and song.

Masters of Texas style swing, fiddle and three voice harmony, The Quebe Sisters bring it like few can. Like other family and sibling performers we’ve featured on Ozark Highlands Radio, the Quebe Sisters (Grace, Sophia, and Hulda) have formed a sound and style that is both traditional and familiar, yet all their own. Each sister an accomplished fiddle player and singer, the trio specializes in western swing tunes with their signature three part harmony.

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Shirley Greenfield singing the traditional song “Don’t Sing Love Songs, You’ll Wake My Mother,” 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 interest in the evolution of folk music traditions.



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