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Ozarks Traditional Music: Ozark Jubilee Digitization Project

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

What Is the Ozark Jubilee?

Springfield, Missouri's Ozark Jubilee was one of the first live music variety shows on television. It aired weekly from January 22, 1955 to September 24, 1960, with a few name changes along the way (Country Music Jubilee beginning on July 6, 1957; Jubilee USA beginning on August 2, 1958). The program was broadcast from the 1100-seat Jewell Theatre in downtown Springfield, and celebrity host Red Foley was recruited away from his gig at the Grand Ole Opry to join the Ozark Jubilee team. The show featured a mix of musical, dance, novelty, and comedy acts, attracting both "big names" and up-and-coming stars to its stage.

Looking Back at the Ozark Jubilee (March 17, 2017)

ticket to the final Jubilee show

Watch the Show! April 30, 1955

About the Project

Approximately 60 kinescope episodes of the show had been held in storage at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Over a number of years, the Missouri State Libraries worked with the archives to digitize and make available all viable episodes on a dedicated Missouri State Libraries YouTube channel. That multi-year project was completed in the spring of 2022. We continue to solicit and accept donations or loans of existing kinescopes in order to complete the collection.

Our other Jubilee-related resources include: 

The Bisney Collection - materials from Bryan T.E. Bisney (1908-1995), producer/director of the Ozark Jubilee

The Jubilee Backstage Collection - a collection of fan photos and autographs taken backstage and in Nashville (1957-1960)

The KWTO Dial - program listings, news, and biographical sketches/photos of personalities involved in the pre-Jubilee years in Springfield, MO (including the nationally-syndicated Korn's-A-Krackin" show)