Cast List and Short Bios, WOMEN OF OLD-TIME MUSIC


Cast List and Short Bios

By Holly Hobbs


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(in alphabetical order)


Liz Amos (Springfield, Missouri) competitive fiddler in southern Missouri trained by the late great fiddler Bob Holt


Mark Bilyeu (Ozark, Missouri) lead singer and songwriter of the band, Big Smith as well as a solo act


Judy Domeny Bowen (Springfield, Missouri) multi-instrumentalist and oral history enthusiast, Bowen is also a teacher and performs storytelling songs throughout Missouri


Idabell Brandt (Rosebud, Missouri) banjo player and folk historian who performs regionally with her musician husband


Linnie Bullard (Pineville, Missouri) folksinger recorded by Vance Randolph and included in his four-volume “Ozark Folksongs” anthology


Big Smith (Springfield, Missouri) a band of 5 cousins that recorded and toured extensively throughout the band’s history (1996-2012) and incorporated old-time, bluegrass, and early country influences as well as regional culture into their songwriting and repertoire. They are also the subject of the film HOMEMADE HILLBILLY JAM (2005), directed by Rick Minnich


Lois Haworth Carter (Springfield, Missouri) pianist and member of the band the Sweet Nothings along with Virginia Snyder


Vickie Layton Cobb (Galena, Missouri) Missouri writer and cultural historian, author of Ozark Pioneers (2001)


Edna Mae Davis (Ava, Missouri) celebrated jig dancer, cultural historian, and traditional dance performer and teacher in southern Missouri




Retha Ethridge (Springfield, Missouri) guitarist and member of the band the Sweet Nothings along with Virginia Snyder


Carol Frazier (Gainesville, Missouri) guitarist and folksinger based in Gainesville who performs at music festivals and performs some of the repertoire of her grandmother, the songwriter Verna Gardner


the Hammer Sisters (Neosho, Missouri) Ruth Hawkins and Lillian Baker, sisters, perform together in the group the Hammer Sisters, performing mostly on fiddle and guitar and specializing in regional old-time songs


Betty Craker Henderson (Monett, Missouri) author, cultural historian, singer and guitarist specializing in regional old-time repertoire


Violet Hensley (Yellville, Arkansas) competitive fiddler and fiddle maker who has been the subject of multiple documentation projects and has toured extensively, often seconded on guitar by her daughter, Sandra Flagg


Rachel Hoagland (Springfield, Missouri) young and talented female fiddler who helped lead the youth renaissance of old-time fiddling in southern Missouri


Bob Holt (Ava, Missouri) celebrated and much loved competitive fiddler who performed, recorded and taught extensively throughout the region and beyond


Vesta Johnson (Kirkwood, Missouri) North Missouri-style competitive fiddler who has performed extensively, including at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago in 2010 and selected as the 2013 Individual Artist by the Missouri Arts Council


Don Johnston (Springfield, Missouri) respected fiddler from Golden City, Missouri who performs with numerous groups, including The Sweet Nothings, featuring folksinger Virginia Snyder


Cinderella Kinnaird (Willow Springs, Missouri) Missouri folksinger and oral historian who performed at the National Folk Festival





Kim and Jim Lansford (Galena, Missouri) Kim (guitar, vocals, piano) and Jim (fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals) are recording artists and musical historians with multiple albums and an extensive touring schedule


Violet Long (Mountain Grove, Missouri) folksinger and musical historian seconded on guitar by her son, Vern Long, Jr


Mansfield Jamboree (Mansfield, Missouri) an old-time, bluegrass, and early country play party held periodically throughout the year


Gordon McCann (Springfield, Missouri) music and local culture historian and traditional American fiddle tune expert, McCann is also a guitarist and in-demand “second” (a musician who accompanies a lead instrument, like fiddle, on a secondary instrument, like guitar)


McClurg Jam Session (McClurg, Missouri) recurrent old-time jam session held at the old general store in McClurg


May K. McCord (Springfield, Missouri) folksinger recorded by Vance Randolph and included in his four-volume “Ozark Folksongs” anthology who became a well-known performer and storyteller throughout Missouri and on local radio


Garnett Peacock (Theodosia, Missouri) talented banjo player, musical contributor to the album “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks: Down in the Border Counties, Vol. 3” released by the North American Tradition Series, wife of old-time musician Gordon Peacock, also featured on the same release


Cathy and Jody Pearson (Ava, Missouri) relatives of Edna Mae Davis and members of the celebrated old-time jig dancing group, the Ava Old-Time Dancers


Neoma Pendergraft (Willard, Missouri) fiddler and musical historian specializing in regional old-time song repertoire


Virginia Snyder (Springfield, Missouri) guitarist, folksinger, teacher, oral historian and founder of the Snyder Music Park in Springfield


the Sweet Nothings (Springfield, Missouri) Springfield Missouri-based old-time and early country band led by Virginia Snyder featuring Missouri fiddler Don Johnston


Linda Thomas (Springfield, Missouri) recording artist, elementary school music teacher, and multi-instrumentalist who specializes in hammer dulcimer performance along with her musical partner, Dan DeLancey


Judy Jane Whittaker (Anderson, Missouri) folksinger recorded by Vance Randolph and included in his four-volume “Ozark Folksongs” anthology