197 episodes

Ozark Highlands Radio is a weekly radio program that features live music and interviews, recorded at Ozark Folk Center State Park’s beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium in Mountain View, Arkansas. 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.

Ozark Highlands Radio Ozark Folk Center State Park

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 35 Ratings

Ozark Highlands Radio is a weekly radio program that features live music and interviews, recorded at Ozark Folk Center State Park’s beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium in Mountain View, Arkansas. 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.

    OHR Presents: Jimmy Driftwood II

    OHR Presents: Jimmy Driftwood II

    This week, legendary songwriter, performer, folklorist, historian and Ozark original Jimmy Driftwood recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park. Dave Smith gives an historical portrait of the life of this remarkable Ozarker.

    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 Ozark Folk Center performances.

    Mark Jones' “From the Vault” segment offers an archival recording from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives of Jimmy Driftwood demonstrating playing a tune on a hickory leaf.

    Author and historian Brooks Blevins provides a native’s view of the people, music, and colorful events that shape the Ozark region. This week, Brooks presents a brief history of the very first Arkansas Folk Festival and folk singer Jimmy Driftwood’s efforts in starting the event that has been held annually in Mountain View, Arkansas since 1963.

    • 58 min
    OHR Presents: Dulcimer Jamboree!

    OHR Presents: Dulcimer Jamboree!

    This week, It’s Dulcimer Jamboree! A whole host of mountain & hammered dulcimer national champions recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. Also, interviews with the some of these interesting and eclectic musicians.

    For over 35 years, Ozark Folk Center State Park has hosted the annual Dulcimer Jamboree. The annual event takes place in mid-April and features three days of specialized instruction and performances from the country’s top mountain and hammered dulcimer players. The mountain dulcimer remains one of the more popular folk instruments today. Its celebration in the Mountain View, Arkansas area as a core folk instrument has never waned over the years, with an active community of players and instrument makers. With origins dating back to Biblical times, the hammered dulcimer is an unique instrument in the percussion family. Like the mountain dulcimer, it found a home in the Ozark region among folk musicians and instrument makers alike. Music this week includes performances by Ted Yoder, Rick Thum, Bing Futch, Jeff Hames, Tull Glazener, Jess Dickinson, and Judson Steinback.

    In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original dulcimer master craftsman Lynn McSpadden and his wife Catherine performing the traditional tune “Castle Grand,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

    Renowned folk musician Aubrey Atwater profiles influential folk music icons Jean Ritchie and the Ritchie Family, exploring the traditional Appalachian music and dance that the Ritchie Family helped to perpetuate into the modern American folk lexicon. This episode focuses on Jean Ritchie’s introduction of the mountain dulcimer to the New York City folk revival of the 1960’s, and features Jean Ritchie performing an haunting version of the traditional song “Pretty Saro.”

    • 58 min
    OHR Presents: Mark Alan Jones

    OHR Presents: Mark Alan Jones

    This week, Ozark original multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, audio engineer and OHR host, our very own Mark Jones recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Mark as well as with his long time friend, country music superstar Marty Stewart.

    Anyone who listens to Ozark Highlands Radio will be familiar with the fun loving and friendly voice of Mark Jones, the keeper of our “Vault.” In August of 2021, we lost Mark to Covid-19. His passing was a profound loss to all of us, both professionally and personally. Please join us as we pay tribute to the life and legacy of our dear friend, Mark Jones.

    Mark Alan Jones was born in 1955 to Country Music Hall of Fame & Grand Ole Opry performers Louis "Grandpa" Jones and Ramona Jones in Nashville, Tennessee. As a young man, he toured across the country with his famous parents making appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and the television show "Hee Haw.” He performed with numerous other artists including the Willis Brothers, the Wright Brothers, and Jimmy Driftwood's Rackensack Folklore Society. He also worked as a sound engineer for the Statler Brothers.

    Mark toured with renowned guitarist, Doyle Dykes, playing in churches throughout America. He was a regular performer at the Grandpa Jones Dinner Theatre in Mountain View, Arkansas, and was a founding member of the Arkansas Beanfest. Mark spent several years playing banjo and running sound and lights at Silver Dollar City and Shepherd of The Hills Outdoor Drama in Branson, Missouri. He also worked as a performer and sound engineer at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas.

    Throughout his life, Mark taught private music lessons helping to preserve traditional folk music. Even though his life was deeply engrained in music, he enjoyed working with the intellectually disabled and often used his musical talent as a therapeutic tool. Mark is a 2021 inductee of the George D. Hay Society Hall of Honor.

    In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers archival recordings of himself and a few of his friends demonstrating his true passion, the clawhammer banjo. Hear Mark playing the tunes Mountain Whippoorwill, Cripple Creek and John Hardy, 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 week, Charley celebrates 50 years of the Buffalo National River. This episode recalls early efforts to conserve and protect America’s first national river. Featured is an interview with long time area resident and photographer Ed Alexander, who’s father, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist Harold Alexander was one of the early pioneers in seeking to protect the river.

    • 58 min
    OHR Presents: More Hogslop String Band

    OHR Presents: More Hogslop String Band

    This week, Nashville, TN based high energy neo-traditional oldtime music sensation The Hogslop String Band returns to Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this rowdy rabble.

    “Staying true to tradition while maintaining a bold irreverence is something that rarely goes hand-in-hand but Hogslop String Band manages to walk that line. With their roots in old-time string band music and their energy based in wild rock-and-roll, you could almost call them punk purists.

    It’s an unlikely combination, but given the talents of singer and fiddler Kevin Martin; guitarist, harmonica player and singer Gabriel Kelley; mandolin player and singer Will Harrison; banjo player and singer Daniel Binkley, and bassist and all-round entertainer Pickle, they pull it off with natural ease. The name alone hints at their wacky ways, but catching them live will give you a true sense of these bizarre, seemingly contradictory descriptions.

    They thrive on crossing genres, casting off the confines of straight old-time and bluegrass, delving into a deep repertoire of rock, folk, psychedelic, and original numbers that can only be described as, 'The Hogslop Sound.' It’s clear that these boys are going places, and they've quickly become one of the most unique and exhilarating outfits on the scene today. 'It only gets weirder from here,' they often say from stage. They're not kidding.” - http://www.hogslopstringband.com

    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 week, Charley continues our celebration of 50 years of the Buffalo National River. This episode describes the park staff and volunteer support structures as well as the immense logistical challenges of maintaining America’s first national river. Featured are interviews with Buffalo National River Chief of Interpretation Cassie Branstetter, area native and long time Buffalo National River staff member Zed Davenport, Buffalo National River Partners Board Chairperson Terrie Martindale, park ranger and interpreter Lauren Ray, and long time area resident and photographer Ed Alexander.

    • 58 min
    OHR Presents: Mary Parker & Sylamore Special

    OHR Presents: Mary Parker & Sylamore Special

    This week, Ozark original and Mountain View, Arkansas based seventeen year old award winning fiddle prodigy Mary Parker and her band of rising bluegrass superstars, Sylamore Special, recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this up and coming fiddle wunderkind.

    For over ten years now, Mary Parker has been a regular performer here at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. That’s extraordinary, considering that she’s only now seventeen years old. The middle in her family of nine children, Mary has distinguished herself as a world class oldtime and bluegrass fiddle player and vocalist. She’s won ten state fiddle championships, as well as numerous bluegrass competitions with her many different bands. Most recently, her band “Sylamore Special” won first place at the Youth in Bluegrass Competition in Branson, Missouri. With her seemingly indefatigable sunny disposition and a voracious appetite for learning new music, Mary appears destined to carry on her already auspicious career in music. Mary is joined in this performance by her award winning band “Sylamore Special.” The band features another championship musical prodigy, Lillyanne McCool on banjo, also bass player and vocalist Mercy Grace, guitar picker and vocalist Turner “Turnip” Atwell, and mandolinist & jig dancer Gordon “Sugar foot” Parker, Mary’s footstep following younger brother.

    In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, OHR producer Jeff Glover offers a 1981 archival recording of Mary Parker’s mentor and Ozark original fiddler Roger Fountain performing the tune “Listen to the Mockingbird,” 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 week, Charley continues our celebration of 50 years of the Buffalo National River. This episode recounts the controversy over, and political maneuvering that resulted in the creation of America’s first national river. Featured are interviews with writer, professor, and regular Ozark Highlands Radio contributor Dr. Brooks Blevins, and Buffalo River area native and long time Buffalo National River staff member Zed Davenport.

    • 58 min
    OHR Presents: The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys

    OHR Presents: The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys

    This week, Gatlinburg, Tennessee based neo-traditional bluegrass quintet The Po' Ramblin’ Boys recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Ramblin’ Boys guitarist and vocalist, Josh Rinkel.

    “At a time when most people feel constantly distracted by technology and barraged by the news, authenticity and straightforward honesty are paramount. There’s something about the music of The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys that cuts right through the noise of the world and speaks plainly to the soul. Formed in the Smoky Mountains, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are at once exactly what you would expect and not at all what you would expect from a tattooed East Tennessee Bluegrass outfit. No strangers to hard work, the boys are as much at home riding in their restored Eagle tour bus as they are crawling underneath to fix it when it needs maintenance. But they take pride in being ambassadors of their genre, and the group has brought their music from rural bluegrass festival stages to the rock clubs of Europe, and even the GRAMMY Red Carpet, with stunning results. ‘I think to a certain extent everyone is just craving music that they can feel, and any music that feels real will reach any audience’ says CJ Lewandowski, the groups founder, ‘We want to put bluegrass right where it’s least expected.’ Perhaps this mindset is why the group earned the title of Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 IBMA Awards.”
    https://www.theporamblinboys.com

    In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, OHR producer Jeff Glover offers a 1981 archival recording of Ozark original Ervin Freeze performing the traditional song “Charming Betsy,” 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. In this episode, Charley continues our celebration of 50 years of the Buffalo National River with a profile of the Buffalo National River Partners, a civic organization that supports the river in innumerable ways.

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

jdlorenzo8 ,

Entertaining

Wow ... I discovered this podcast last year when I was searching for podcasts involving David Holt.
The library of past shows is wonderful and I greatly anticipate each new broadcast. I greatly enjoy traditional country, bluegrass and folk music and this podcast offers all of those forms with great intelligence and humor. I enjoy learning about the artists who are featured, most of whom I was unaware of previously. I hope Ozark Highlands Radio continues to broadcast for many years to come. It truly enriches my life and makes a difficult, stressful urban commute to work much more enjoyable. Thanks for producing it and keeping it fresh and engaging each week! May God grant you many years!

PS … I was glad to see you finally produced a program honoring Mark Jones. His segment was always a highlight of each program. I especially liked the Christmas program you did a few years ago and how involved he was in it and his use of “distilled water” in his eggnog. LOL

color pencil cliff ,

Great show!!!!

I LOVE this show!!!

Snarkclaw ,

Great Performances of American Folk Music

I love Ozark Highlands Radio! This podcast has taught me a lot about American folk music, including a fun multi-part segment from 2017 attempting to define folk music. It has been fascinating to learn American history through music, including the reason for different instruments and sound. There is a lot of great music to be enjoyed on this podcast and a lot of interesting stories to be heard. :-)

Top Podcasts In Music

The Joe Budden Network
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts
Barstool Sports
No Jumper
REVOLT
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
Dallas Taylor
The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
Texas Monthly
NPR
NPR