Click here for a list of Ozark Folksongs by Song Title
Click here for a list of Ozark Folksongs by Singer
Arkansas Folk Festival 1963
John Quincy Wolf began collecting Ozark ballads while an undergraduate at Arkansas (now Lyon) college. His first serious professional interest in Ozark folksongs dates from his attendance at the Old Settler's folk music festival at Blanchard Springs in 1941. He and his wife Bess began to seek out folksingers in the White River and surrounding areas, often placing advertisements in local newspapers for people who knew "old songs."
Wolf recorded hundreds of Ozark folksingers between 1952 and 1963, including Almeda Riddle, Neal Morris, Oscar and Ollie Gilbert, and Jimmy Driftwood. He observed how many of these singers would add their own adaptations to songs, and chronicled this in "Folksingers and the Re-Creation of Folksong" in Western Folklore.
The Wolf Folksong Collection at Lyon College contains hundreds of recordings. Transcriptions and other materials are being added to this online collection on an ongoing basis.
Back to Regional Studies Center