The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

The Max Hunter Collection is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded between 1956 and 1976.

A traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, Hunter took his reel-to-reel tape recorder into the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks, preserving the heritage of the region by recording the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history. As important as the songs themselves are the voices of the Missouri and Arkansas folks who shared their talents and recollections with Hunter.

Designed to give increased public access to this unique and invaluable resource, this site is a joint project of the Missouri State University Department of Music and the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Missouri, where the permanent collection is housed.

The materials on this website were digitized and transcribed from Max Hunter's original reel-to-reel tapes and typewritten lyrics between 1998 and 2001. The project was led by Dr. Michael F. Murray, with assistance from Kathy Murray (tune transcriptions) and Mark Bilyeu (lyric transcriptions) from the Missouri State University Department of Music.