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Jam Sessions in Southwest Missouri

Introduction

Featured Jam Sessions:

Anutt
(D&D Little Branson)

Fremont

Gainesville
(Hoerman Park)

Kissee Mills
(Johnson Community Building)

Long Beach
(Mtn. Grove School)

Long Lane

Manes
(Manes Music Makers)

Mansfield

McClurg

McDowell

Mountain View (Weaver's)

Souder

Springfield (North Town Mall)

Strafford

Wasola (Stone's)

Related Events:

Opry's:
Webster Co. Opry

Picnics:
Vanzant Picnic

Fiddle Competitions and Festivals:
Branson Fiddle Contest, Compton Ridge, and Ozarks Celebration Festival

Dances:
Ava and Ebenezer

Homecomings:
Horsecreek Church

McDowell Gold Jubilee
McDowell, MO
Every other Saturday
Between October and May 

The well-attended event, which was started principally by Raymond and Norma Clevenger, has been around for decades.  Today Betty and Benny Henderson manage the program, which features country music and bluegrass.  The Hendersons also play in a band called Country Colors, pictured on the right (Betty on bass; Benny on guitar on the right; Bob Nichols on guitar on the left, and Raymond Thomas on fiddle).

 

Country Colors performs at the McDowell Gold Jubilee.

The weekly gathering is held in an old school building in the small town of McDowell, and is similar to an opry in that bands rotate on the stage.  Although it is not a "true" jam where musicians gather in a circle, it is open to everyone and has an informal non-commercial quality.  Anyone is allowed to perform, admission is free (donations encouraged), and it has a strong community atmosphere.  The event, which starts at 7:00, will often last until after 1:30 A.M.  Each single performer is allowed three songs, and each group is allowed twenty minutes.  Unlike the other music events profiled in this project, the McDowell Gold Jubilee is closed throughout the summer.

Directions from Springfield: drive southwest on US-60 for about 29 miles to Aurora; drive south on MO-39 for 4 miles; drive west on MO-Z for 4 miles; drive south on MO-VV for 5 miles; the building is on the left just before you enter the town of McDowell [See map].  Photographs from November 11, 2000.

Betty Henderson adds names to a list on a large blackboard. As bands arrive and express an interest in playing, Betty Henderson adds their names to a list on a large blackboard.  Typically around twenty-five bands play in a single night.
Flatcreek Bluegrass with Dallas Hick sing old-time bluegrass music.  A flashing light over the piano lets the groups know their time is almost up.  Flatcreek Bluegrass with Dallas Hick sing old-time bluegrass music. 
This band features Flonnie Henry on vocals and her husband Bill on guitar next to her.  Instruments typically include guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and occasionally piano and dobro. This band features Flonnie Henry on vocals and her husband Bill on guitar next to her. 
Betty Daniel sings with the group Country Line. Over the years, the organizers have decided that establishing some rules helps the performances run smoothly.  Here Betty Daniel sings with the group Country Line.
Mariah Hartkoff and Mandy Ennis sing a Dixie Chicks song. Occasionally younger singers will bring contemporary country songs to the audience.  Here Mariah Hartkoff and Mandy Ennis sing a Dixie Chicks song.
In one of the side rooms off from the main performance room, musicians enjoy jamming with each other. In one of the side rooms off from the main performance room, musicians enjoy jamming with each other.
Betty Henderson sits in front of the concession stand.  The light at the entrance to the old school building shines bright until late at night. Betty sits in front of the concession stand. The light at the entrance to the old school building shines bright until late at night. 

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Last modified: July 17, 2006
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