As many of you are aware, I am currently doing research on the life of Ozark folk song collector Max Hunter, of Springfield, Missouri. Mr. Hunter died in 1999 but several universities in Missouri, as well as the Springfield-Greene County Library and the Library of Congress, house his collections. I have started work on Mr. Hunter's biography, and if all goes well, I will publish through a university press. This is a long and expensive process since no funds will be forthcoming until down the road when several hundred copies are sold.
For those of you who don't know me, allow me to introduce myself: I am both a musical performer and a writer, with a particular interest in traditional old time music. Over the years I have written features and profiles for a number of publications including American Craft, Orion and Country Journal. I'm a frequent contributor to Fiddler Magazine and recently had a piece in the The Old Time Herald.
Max Hunter was among the last great collectors of folk song in the Ozarks. Mr. Hunter was unique among folklorists because he arrived at song collecting as a travelling salesman rather than as an academic. His first purposeful song hunting expedition took place in 1956, and he went to amazing lengths to find an "old song", all of which will be discussed in my biography. He was a deeply gifted individual and greatly loved by all who knew him.
I took my first research trip to Missouri in July. While I came home with a lot more material, I have a great deal of work ahead of me. This winter I plan to make a second trip to Mr. Hunter's hometown of Springfield, MO. Virtually everyone I've spoken with both inside and outside of Missouri agrees that Mr. Hunter deserves a biography. Now I just need the funds to complete this project. I would greatly appreciate any contributions that will help me cover research and travel expenses.
Click here for Max Hunter's amazing song collection.
- David Para
- Margaret Espinola
- john maguire
- Sandy Lafleur
Sarah Jane Nelson