| Once more, Mike Flynn is bringing music from the foothills of
the Ozarks in Siloam Springs, Ark., to radio listeners as far away as Australia
This well-know Ozarks music program actually began far away from the
Ozarks. In 1958, when he was working at a radio station in Chicago, Flynn
had the opportunity to begin a fifteen-minute program featuring the folk
music he'd loved almost all of his 20 years. "The Folk Sampler" was first
heard in 1959 on WMBI in Chicago.
Not long after, Flynn took a radio job in Tulsa, and returned to school
at the university there. "The Folk Sampler" moved to KBEZ in Tulsa, and
then to KRAV. Though the location had changed, the music hadn't. . . it
was still "music of the people," all the way, whether those people were
rural folk in the Ozarks, cowboys, or sea shanty dwellers.
For a time, Flynn and a partner
|also operated a storefront club in Tulsa called "The Dust Bowl,"
which featured folk music, pizza, and pop, on Friday and Saturday nights.
Mike, no mean musician himself, began to perform together, and made it
a permanent duo when they married in the late `60's. Not long after, they
helped form Tulsa's Folk Music Society.
Then success hit Mike Flynn big-time. After graduating from the University
of Tulsa, he became a new anchor on Tulsa's KOTV, Channel 6.
"The Folk Sampler" program faded and died, but Flynn's love of folk
music lived on, an unerasable part of the former radio man's life.
In 1977, the Flynns decided to leave the fast track in Tulsa. They moved
to the western edge of the Arkansas Ozarks, where he joined the communications
department at John Brown University in Siloam Springs.
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