Upcoming Episode

61 Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton

This week, old time blues, jazz, & traditional music prodigy Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. Also, interviews with Jerron.

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton is an American musician from Los Angeles. A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Paxton's style draws from blues and jazz music before World War II and was influenced by Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and '30s, the blues of Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson.”

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark legend Bookmiller Shannon performing the traditional murder ballad “The Banks of the Ohio,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

From his series entitled “Fine Fiddlers of the Ozarks,” old time and Ozark fiddle aesthete Roy Pilgrim profiles traditional Ozark fiddler Absie Morrison. This installment features archival recordings of the traditional Ozark fiddle tunes “Dry & Dusty, The Concord March, and The Ozark Waltz.”

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


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

39 Tribute to Jimmy Driftwood

This week, legendary songwriter, performer, folklorist, and historian Jimmy Driftwood performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Dave Smith gives an historical portrait of the life of this remarkable Ozarker. Also, Ozark Highlands Radio host Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover discuss the fine points of what makes “folk music,” and Mark Jones offers an archival recording of another Ozark original, Jean Simmons, performing the song “Unclouded Day,” in her pioneering mountain dulcimer style.

There was never a more popular, outspoken or controversial musician or personality to come out of Stone County, Arkansas than James Corbitt Morris (better known as Jimmy Driftwood). Driftwood was a driving force behind the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and a successful singer songwriter who penned “The Battle of New Orleans” and “Tennessee Stud” among other notable songs. Jimmy helped put Stone County on the musical map and left a legacy that is still talked about to this day. Our program this week features special and seldom heard songs from some of Jimmy’s archival OFCSP performances.

Ozark Highlands Radio host Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover discuss the fine points of what makes “folk music,” drawing from interviews & perspectives of various folk musicians.

Mark Jones' “From the Vault” segment offers an archival recording of Ozark original Jean Simmons, performing in her pioneering mountain dulcimer style the song “Unclouded Day,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.


59 Shane Adkins & Kirby Easler

This week, international guitar thumbpicking champion and songwriting humorist Shane Adkins performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Shane. Featured as well, a performance and interviews from up and coming modern thumpicking prodigy Kirby Easler.

Alabama guitarist Shane Adkins comes by his talent honestly. As a boy, he learned from guitar legend and family friend Mose Rager in the heart of thumbpicking country, Drakesboro, KY. Shane applied those lessons and went on win the International "Home of the Legends" Thumbpicking Contest in Muhlenberg County, KY and the International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS. A talented songwriter, Shane takes a page from friend and fellow musician Mike Snider, writing songs with southern wit and humor. This performance was as one of the featured musicians who appeared at the Ozark Folk Center State Park’s annual Thumbpicking Weekend in May of 2016.

Kirby Easler is a Nashville-based guitarist from Charleston, South Carolina, specializing in solo acoustic performance and fingerstyle arranging. At 22 years of age, Kirby is a protégé of Grammy-winning guitarist John Knowles, CGP, and has worked and performed alongside some of the industry's top guitarists, including Thom Bresh and Tommy Emmanuel, CGP. In 2015 Kirby placed second in the Contemporary division of the National Thumpicker's Hall of Fame guitar competition, and in April 2014 Kirby and her Yorkshire Terrier, Grabel, were featured on The Late Show with David Letterman for an episode of "Stupid Pet Tricks.”

In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Dave Leatherman performing the song “From Mother’s Arms to Korea,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

From his series entitled “Fine Fiddlers of the Ozarks,” old time and Ozark fiddle aesthete Roy Pilgrim profiles the Ozark tradition of square dances. This installment features archival recordings of actual Ozark square dances held in Galena, MO and Mt. Gaylor, AR in 1950.



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