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 through the Ozark hills with historians, authors, and personalities who explore the people, stories, and history of the Ozark region.
This week, mysterious time traveling minstrel Meredith Axelrod recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this amazing musical apparition. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of David Prine, brother of famed singer-songwriter John Prine, performing the tune “Southern Railroad Blues.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates the history of panthers & wolves in the early Ozark region.
Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.
The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire, is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and / or sheet music) which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia, and Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music; she has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers a 1979 archival recording of David Prine, brother of famed singer-songwriter John Prine, performing the tune “Southern Railroad Blues,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
From his series entitled “Back in the Hills,” writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates the history of panthers & wolves in the early Ozark regions of Arkansas & Missouri.
- Folk & Singer-Songwriter