Ozark Folk Center in the 1970s

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
6 years ago
413 posts

At that time Buck White had a honky tonk band (Buck White and the Countrymen) in Ft Smith, Ark. which played at a nightclub.  He was also the star of Little Joe's Country Caravan, a 30 minute country music show sponsored by Norcross Dodge, on KFSA (now KSFM) TV in Ft Smith.  I remember that for 2 reasons: I sang on that show a few times and I got a crush on one of his girls who sang on one of the same shows I did.

I also remember that old man dancing at the folk center for over half the show.  I wondered how in the world he had the energy to do that.  Even tho' my Grandfather was from Timbo, we didn't go to Stone County much.  Wish I could go back to that time and learn from some of those folks.

 

dronestyles
@dronestyles
6 years ago
7 posts

We went to Mt View/Timbo starting in 1966.  We made almost every festival until about 2 years after they built the folk center.  It was REALLY folksy when they had the festival in the high school gymnasium.  The Beers Family happened to be there in 1966 and they sang "Dumbarton's Drums."  Thought we were in heaven for sure.  When we got to the square on Saturday morning, a family in a van pulled up and started playing.  Nothing unusual about that.  But these people called themselves the "Down Home Folks."  Actually they were the Whites.  They are the group who played on the flatbed truck in "O Brother Where Art Thou?"  

The photos below show two memorable scenes: 1. Pickin' and dancin' on the square.  The man in the center was a tireless step dancer.

2. Jimmie Driftwood giving the audience the cue to start clapping so the performers knew their time was up!

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updated by @dronestyles: 11/01/15 04:35:04PM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 years ago
796 posts

At McSpadden I bought a couple of books, picks and noters, no dulcimer, but I had just built my first dulcimer.

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
6 years ago
413 posts

Jimmy, I was there in either 73 or 74.  We saw a show; Jimmie Driftwood was one I remember, and Aunt Ollie Gilbert and some old man who did the buck and wing all through the 2nd half.  At the center the next what sticks out is the old men there working, volunteers, or hanging out, and getting them talking about my Grandfather.  

Ken, we stopped at McSpadden, too.  Didn't get a dulcimer but do remember the records I bought there: Old Time Mt Guitar and Leake County Revellers.  Hope to be back up there really soon.

 

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 years ago
796 posts

You're welcome, Jimmy.

Jimmy Sample
Jimmy Sample
@jimmy-sample
6 years ago
3 posts

Ken, thank you so much for posting these photos, that sure brings back memories.  

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 years ago
796 posts

Hello Jimmy. We visited McSpadden and the Ozark Folk Center in 1974. My wife and I camped at Blanchard Springs Campground. We visited with Lynn McSpadden and also took in an evening concert at the Folk Center. I remember Jimmy Driftwood as part of the concert and some other folks from Mt. View. I'm not sure, but I think Elliot Hancock played the dulcimer during the concert. Most of the photos from that trip are on paper and I haven't scanned them in the computer. I do have these two photos of the Dulcimer Shoppe.

Jimmy Sample
Jimmy Sample
@jimmy-sample
6 years ago
3 posts

Does anyone have stories, memories, or photos from Mt View and the Ozark Folk Center from the 1970s?  I spent many summers going to Mt View right after the Folk Center opened.  I only lived about an hour and half away and my family and I spent a good amount of time there on vacation. I remember the first dulcimer shop McSpadden opened before he moved into the current location.  Those memories from that period are still so vivid to me, but I don't have a single photo from that era.  I heard Jimmy Driftwood, Bookmiller Shannon, Aunt Ollie Gilbert, Floyd Holland...those original performers were so fascinating.  And, of course, the dulcimer came into my life because of those trips.  Can't find a thing on youtube from those early years, and it would sure make a great documentary.   Anyway, I would love to hear any experiences you folks might have had way back then.


updated by @jimmy-sample: 01/13/19 05:09:18PM