The Mix: Ozark Mountain Music

fromKSMU

This audio is no longer available.

The hosts of "Seldom Heard Music," a show on Missouri public radio station KSMU in the Ozarks, selected more than 100 mountain songs for this edition of The Mix. i i

The hosts of "Seldom Heard Music," a show on Missouri public radio station KSMU in the Ozarks, selected more than 100 mountain songs for this edition of The Mix. Clint Spencer/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Clint Spencer/iStockphoto.com
The hosts of "Seldom Heard Music," a show on Missouri public radio station KSMU in the Ozarks, selected more than 100 mountain songs for this edition of The Mix.

The hosts of "Seldom Heard Music," a show on Missouri public radio station KSMU in the Ozarks, selected more than 100 mountain songs for this edition of The Mix.

Clint Spencer/iStockphoto.com

Your Hosts

KSMU Logo
KSMU
Seldom Heard Music host Mike Smith. i i

Seldom Heard Music host Mike Smith. Brent Slane/KSMU hide caption

itoggle caption Brent Slane/KSMU
Seldom Heard Music host Mike Smith.

Seldom Heard Music host Mike Smith.

Brent Slane/KSMU
Seldom Heard Music host Harry Moore. i i

Seldom Heard Music host Harry Moore. Brent Slane/KSMU hide caption

itoggle caption Brent Slane/KSMU
Seldom Heard Music host Harry Moore.

Seldom Heard Music host Harry Moore.

Brent Slane/KSMU

KSMU's Seldom Heard Music, one of the station's longest-running programs, first aired in 1982, with host Mike Smith offering a complex mix of bluegrass, old-time and traditional Ozark music, the likes of which hadn't been heard on the Ozarks' airwaves since the 1950s. It was undeniably music that was "seldom heard" outside the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Harry Moore, another collector in the genre, joined the show in 2004.

As one historian put it, "[Traditional Ozark music] is Irish music, and it's not; it is Appalachian music, and it's not. It runs between those cultures and adds elements of others — it's very distinct, but not in ways that are easily defined or captured."

Legendary Ozarks folklorist and performer May Kennedy McCord explained it more succinctly, when asked to define a folk song.

"Ye never heerd a horse sing, did ye?" she quipped, meaning that, in Ozarks parlance, a "folk song" is merely what folks sing.

Bluegrass, coming into being in the 1940s, is considered the child of the older traditions, and runs heavy in the mix. Its bright rhythms and brisk pace entertain the musicians as well as the fans. But always within the mix are the older themes, the turns of phrase, the adding of an extra beat when you find a note you really like, the hard-driving chop that breaks free of the established rhythm pattern, the lapse into modal structure when least expected, the sudden turn of a dance tune into something intensely personal. This is the older and wilder mountain tradition asserting itself. Listen for it in this collection, 60 percent of which is the best of Ozark mountain music and bluegrass. Perhaps it will speak to something older and wilder, and intensely personal, in your own heart.

Artists Featured In The Mix

  • Arkansas Red
  • Arlington
  • Art Galbraith
  • Ashley Hull
  • Big Smith
  • Bill Monroe
  • The Blackberry Winter Band
  • Bob Ensign & The Stump Jumpers
  • Bob Holt
  • Bob Paisley
  • Bobby Giles and Music Mountain
  • The Carter Family
  • Cedar Hill
  • The Chapmans
  • Charlie Haden
  • Cherryholmes
  • Claire Lynch
  • The Country Gentlemen
  • Creeks A'Risin
  • Curly Seckler & Willis Spears
  • Dan O'Callaghan
  • Dean Holman
  • Del McCoury
  • The Dillards
  • Dirk Powell
  • The Dixie Bee-Liners
  • Don Reno, Red Smiley & Bill Harrell
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Emily Higgins
  • Fred Stoneking
  • Gallier Brothers
  • The Gillis Brothers
  • Gordon McCann and H.K. Silvey
  • The Hillbenders
  • The Homestead Pickers
  • Horse Creek Band
  • Howe Teague
  • IIIrd Tyme Out
  • Jean Ritchie
  • Jim & Jesse
  • Jim and Kim Lansford
  • John Hartford
  • Julie Henigan
  • Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice
  • Larry Sparks
  • Laurie Lewis
  • Lester & Mike
  • The Link Family
  • Lonesome Road
  • Lonnie Hoppers and New Union
  • Lonnie Robertson
  • Midnight Flight
  • The Millers
  • The Missouri Boat Ride
  • Missouri Mountain Gang
  • Norman Blake
  • Old & In the Way
  • Osborne Brothers
  • Patty Loveless
  • Perfect Strangers
  • Persimmon Sisters
  • Peter Rowan and The Nashville Bluegrass Band
  • The Petersen Family Band
  • Poco Loco
  • Rachel Hoagland
  • Radio Flyer
  • Ralph Stanley
  • Red Allen
  • Red Bridge
  • Rhonda Vincent
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Rodney Dillard
  • Roscoe Holcomb
  • The Seldom Scene
  • SouthWynns
  • Steve Kaufman
  • String Theory
  • The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
  • Tim O'Brien
  • Tony Rice
  • The Undergrass Boys
  • Waterloo Boy
  • Wil Maring
  • The Wilders

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.