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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Max Hunter, c. 1950
Max Hunter, circa 1950. Photo courtesy Springfield-Greene County Library

Max Hunter Collection

Max Hunter's legacy preserves the musical heritage of the Ozarks. With the advent of radio and TV, and its pervasive influence on the popular culture, the folk patterns of the Ozarks were endangered. People no longer had reason to sit on the porch and entertain themselves with story and song. Thanks to the diligent work of musical folklorist and former traveling salesman Max Hunter, a comprehensive annotated audio archive of Ozark folk music exists to preserve and disseminate these important recordings of our collective past. Hunter, a native of Springfield, Missouri, housed his collection of original recordings in the Springfield-Greene County Library. The entire body of work has been transcribed into a series of notebooks, also archived at the library. Hunter died in November 1999 at age 78 in Springfield.

In cooperation with Southwest Missouri State University Department of Music, in a continued effort to preserve and update the medium on which this priceless collection is stored, the work was transferred to digital audiotape and from there to compact disc in 1998. This project contains an archive of almost 1,600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded between 1956 and 1972 by Max Hunter, on a collection of 40 2-disc CD sets. The permanent collection is housed at the Springfield-Greene County Library.

Originally submitted by: Roy Blunt, Representative (7th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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