Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mountain Music

Living in the Ozark hills of Missouri means a sort of hillbilly and country music atmosphere to our life.  Folks play mandolins, guitars, banjos, fiddles and hammer dulcimers.  Elegant instruments that could be constructed by the settlers in area during the 1800's.  Simple tunes to entertain during the cold winters.  Music to set folks feet to doing a jig.  Local craftsmen still offer these handmade items for sale in shops.

My husband's family has lived in the Ozarks Plateau area since the 1870's.  The family roots were all bound to the earth, all farmers.  Farmers with a penchant for music.  The generation born in the 1900's to Perry and Edith, 8 total, 7 surviving to adulthood, all played music.  This was not 'high tone' music but the simple rhythms of mountain music.  The family hosted frequent gatherings at the home.  The sparse furniture in the two downstairs rooms would be moved to make room for folks to dance.

These two performed on radio.
Two of the sisters performed on the KWTO.  This radio station had live performers to entertain its listeners. The Springfield area played an important roll in the evolution of the country music industry.  The Ozarks Jubilee was on another station KTTS television.  The program had such names as Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, etc.  Basically the list includes all the 'big names' of country music from 1955 through 1960.  The area was enough of a mecca that one guy, Willie Nelson, bused tables at Aunt Martha's Pancake House while attempting to catch a break.  Willie never appeared on the show.

Part of the Adcock clan, circa 1939.
Only the pictures and a few oral stories remain of the family's singing history.  Aunt Lorene's mandolin is the last of all the instruments still to be found.  It is not playable.  Yet others carry on the traditions.  The sounds of the stringed instruments still float across the hills during summer gatherings and fall festivals. Mountain folks playing mountain music.

mountain man hands -
plane glides across the oak planks
building a song

©  Janice Adcock

Looks like they would rather have been playing some jigs instead of getting 'all dressed up'.

Submitted to Ligo Haibun Challenge
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