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Music of the Ozarks: Audio Recordings

A guide to research materials and special collections (including the Max Hunter Collection and the Gordon McCann Collection) available at the Missouri State University library

Streaming Audio

The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

This online collection of streaming audio recordings includes the first 400 songs from Max Hunter's research into the music and culture of the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks.The complete Max Hunter Collection is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded by Max Hunter between 1956 and 1976. A traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, Hunter took along his reel-to-reel tape recorder as he covered his sales territory, wanting to preserve the heritage of the region by recording the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history.

The Missouri State Library has additional sound files available for listening on CD-ROM, as well as copies of Max Hunter's own field notes. The original materials are owned by the Springfield-Greene County LIbrary.

 McCann Ozarks Folk Music (COMPLETE)

The complete, unedited recordings from the private collection of Springfield, MO native Gordon McCann are being made available to the public through the Missouri State University Libraries channel. We are presently about 1/4 through the collection, and new videos continue to be added.

The Gordon McCann Ozarks Music Collection (SAMPLER)

Eight representative excerpts from Gordon McCann's fieldwork, ranging in length from 10-15 minutes. The samplers include all of McCann's explanatory notes and written commentary from his notebooks.

University of Arkansas Ozark Folksong Collection

This online collection contains approximately 4000 transcriptions and over 4500 audio recordings, including:

  • more than 120 songs and tales from the African-American tradition
  • recordings in Cherokee of Christian hymns
  • 12 songs of migrant workers
  • 5 genres of folksongs -- fiddle tunes; play parties; square dances; regional versions of early commercial recordings; and songs written by indigenous performers