Ozarks Watch Video Magazine: Podcast Edition

A classic Ozarks radio station, KWTO, was all about its charismatic, on-air personalities. The station offered rural-flavored old-time songs, Western swing, and pioneer music, and it launched in 1933. In this podcast, host Jim Baker talks with Ozarks historian Ed McKinney and radio broadcast historian Wayne Glenn on what the call letters KWTO stand for and the impact the station has had on the region over the generations.

Mitch Jayne, who had attended a teacher's college in Kirksville, was stunned to discover, within a few days as a one-room schoolteacher in rural, Shannon County, that his school children were speaking an offshoot of Middle English. "But that was the time of William Shakespeare," he said.  "I immediately wrote down 'sanction' and 'dilitory,'" he said, and then he asked his brother on the East Coast to send him the biggest dictionary he could find. 

Where did the word "Ozarks" come from, and what geographical boundaries define The Ozarks?  How are the "Hill Folks" of northern Arkansas different from those living in the Ozarks plains? In this podcast episode, host Jim Baker talks with Ozarks historian and scholar Brooks Blevins on the land and the individuals defining The Ozarks.

Ozarks songwriter Johnny Mullins was the brainchild behind many classic tunes; in this episode, we hear some of his music, and also the memories his family members have of his songwriting habits.  Instead of packing up and moving to Nashville, the successful songwriter chose to stay in the Ozarks, working as a school janitor for decades.

Lifelong Ozarks resident Gordon McCann shares some of his experiences developing Ozarks music and archiving local music history. He began with a simple tape recorder, he tells host Jim Baker.  "The more I taped, the more I started realizing the repertoire these people had," he said.  McCann curated a musical and oral history of the region.

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