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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

See Exhibit: Broadcasting the Ozarks at Library Center July 1-Aug. 31, and Programs

June 15, 2023 —  The public is invited to stop by the Library Center July 1-Aug. 31 for a trip through the Ozarks’ radio history – an exhibit “Broadcasting the Ozarks: A History of RadiOzark Enterprises.”

Created by the State Historical Society of Missouri – Springfield Research Center, the exhibit showcases the history of Springfield's RadiOzark Enterprises, the company behind syndicated radio programs such as The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, The Red Foley Show, and Shorty Thompson's Saddle Rockin' Rhythm. 

Learn more! At the exhibit, listen to audioclips from the RadiOzark Record Collection housed at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Springfield Research Center.

The exhibit is made possible by the Melinda J. McDaniel Charitable Trust, UW, Bank of America, N. A., Trustee.

While there, enjoy a series of programs that celebrate some of the Ozarks' music and radio leaders. All programs are in the Library Center auditorium.

 KWTO Radio: Keep Watching the Ozarks, Thursday, July 20, 7 p.m. Review the highlights of the dominant radio voice of the Ozarks in its first 50 years. "The Old Record Collector" Wayne Glenn discusses how KWTO radio and manager Ralph Foster entertained and influenced the Ozarks’ culture. Presented in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri.

On Record: The Artistry of Michael Bunge of Granny’s Bathwater, Tuesday, July 25 6:30 p.m.  Michael Bunge (1947–1976) was a talented and charismatic musician with a powerful presence in Springfield music in the 1960s and 70s with his band Granny’s Bathwater. Hear rare music and conversation with Bill Jones, of Granny’s Bathwater and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, along with other musicians and friends of Michael Bunge. Hosted by Michael Kuelker, author of “The Ozark Mountain Daredevils on Record.” Books will be available for purchase and signing.  

Si Siman and Country Music at the Crossroads of Route 66, Thursday, August 3, 7 p.m. Springfield native Si Siman began his professional radio career in 1946 at KWTO, where he sold advertising and promoted the hillbilly radio show "Korn’s-A-Krackin'." But his most significant contribution to Ozarks music history was his role in the Ozarks Jubilee. Join Dr. Kitty Ledbetter for a look into Siman’s work creating and developing Ozarks Jubilee, and his indelible mark on country music in the Ozarks. Presented in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri. 

On Tour: Great Concerts in the Ozarks, Thursday, August 17, 7 p.m. For decades, artists like Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Tina Turner and the Eagles have entertained audiences throughout the Ozarks. Local History Associate Michael Price will discuss these and other memorable musical performances, from Hammons Student Center to Branson. Presented in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri. 


Vickie Hicks
Community Relations Director
(417) 616-0564
Morgan Shannon
(417) 616-0566

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