Yellow Springs and The Arts

A sampling of people in the arts that came from or through Yellow Springs, Ohio

The Yellow Springs MUSIC: [back to main index] The Yellow Springs

This is a work in progress. This is not intended to be a complete listing, but a reasonable representation of major contributors to the arts community who were also residents of the town. Please email any corrections, updates, additions, or suggestions to Tim Eschliman at



Richie Furay (musician, YSO native)

Richie Furay from Y S News article
"Richie Furay made a vital contribution to the birth of folk-rock as a founding member of Buffalo Springfield. As both a lead and harmony singer, the guitarist's clear vocals radiated warmth and optimism. As a composer, he helped pioneer country-rock with his classic song 'Kind Woman,' and at the end of the 1960s, he was the most important force behind one of the greatest early country-rock bands, Poco. Even prior to the formation of Buffalo Springfield, he had helped plant the seeds of folk-rock when he met and performed with Stephen Stills in the folk ensemble the Au Go Go Singers."

-- used with permission from Richie Unterberger, by author of: "Turn! Turn! Turn!: The 60's Folk-Rock Revolution," "The Rough Guide to Music USA," "Seattle: The Rough Guide," "Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll," and "Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock"

Richie Furay circa 1968
After Buffalo Springfield, Furay and Jim Messina (who had replaced Bruce Palmer in Buffalo Springfield) formed Poco with steel guitar player Rusty Young, George Grantham (ex-Boenzee Cryque), and Randy Meisner (ex-Poor). Poco recorded Pickin' Up the Pieces, and Meisner quit soon afterward. The band continued as a quartet, building a reputation at the Troubadour. Timothy B. Schmit was added as their second album, Poco, was released. After Poco's third album, Deliverin, Messina quit and was replaced by Paul Cotton (ex-Illinois Speed Press). Poco went on to cut albums such as From the Inside, A Good Feeling to Know, and Crazy Eyes before Furay left. At David Geffen's request, Furay formed the Souther Hillman Furay Band with Chris Hillman (ex-Byrds) and J.D. Souther. The band split after two unsuccessful albums in 1974 and 1975. Furay then converted to Christianity and formed The Richie Furay Band, a Christian group featuring Jay Truax, John Mehler (ex-Love Song), and Tom Stipe. After two albums -- Dance a Little Light and I Still Have Dreams -- the band recorded Seasons of Change for Myrrh Records, Furay's first album for a Christian label. Furay became a minister in Colorado and continued singing and recording. He rejoined Poco in 1990 for their comeback album, Legacy, which included the hit single "Call It Love." In 1997, Furay recorded his fifth solo album, In My Father's House, for the Christian Calvary Chapel label."

Richie Furay was inducted with the Buffalo Springfield into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in May 1997

-- excerpts courtesy of Mike Edmunds, All Media Guide and Torbjörn Orrgård's Richie Furay Site
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Asleep at The Wheel (multiple grammy-winning post-modern western-swing group, formed by Ray Benson, Antioch alumnus)

Asleep at The Wheel
Mr. Benson went to Antioch College in Yellow Spring, Ohio, to be a filmmaker. He even landed a plum New York job as an apprentice film editor. But it wasn't long before his curiosity about country - and other styles of music - got the best of him. "I was there for three months," he remembers. "After the third month, I said, 'I don't ever want to do this again. I don't want to see a dark room in New York or L.A. I want to play country music.'"

One of the most important things that happened there [at Antioch College] was Ray seeing a ragged hippie/rockabilly band from Ann Arbor called 'Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen'. They made an indelible impression on Ray and he started thinking of forming a band with a similar approach. He and old high school buddy, Lucky Oceans (steel player for The Wheel), corresponded and Lucky mentioned that a fellow student at Antioch-Columbia had offered the use of his father's apple orchard in Paw Paw, West Virginia, and they formed Asleep at the Wheel, and gigged locally in honky-tonks. They played country, back when it was called country-Western, and a slew of American roots music, including Western swing.

One day, three busloads of hippies came through town after hearing that one of their kind had a band there. Turns out the buses were from the Hog Farm (of Wavy Gravy fame), on their way to D.C. for a show. They recruited Benson, who obliged, and was soon sharing bills with Hot Tuna and Alice Cooper despite the fact that he didn't even have a real band. His brother had come along, and he hired a bass player in Washington. They continued playing clubs in the capital city until Benson's friend, George "Commander Cody" Frayne, invited him out to California. Benson accepted, anticipating a six-week stay, and ended up staying on the Left Coast for the better part of three years. It was in California that Benson met Doug Sahm and Willie Nelson.

In Ray's own words: "Asleep at the wheel was my 2nd coop job at Antioch. I entered school with the idea of becoming a director of TV and film and after my first coop job as an apprenticed editor with Antioch alumni Jack Sholders in NYC I decided to try music. I moved to West Virginia and basically started the band as a coop job. After three months it was obvious that playing music was what was gonna be IT for me so I never returned to school. After Cody played at Kelly Hall, Ed Ward asked me if they could stay in my apartment as they didn't have enough money for the Inn. I agreed and we jammed and hung out for a couple of days! That was all I needed as impetus to start a band and that's what I did. We did play in the [Antioch] cafeteria in 1971 after a year or so of woodshedding in West Va. and after Cody invited us to come to California we stopped in and played a set in Yellow Springs on the way out. There was a concert by Taj Mahal also that year and after the concert a small PA system was left on the stage. We tried to locate the persons who owned it and never found anyone who owned up to owning it so after 2 months of it sitting in SVAHA I took it with me with instructions on getting ahold of me when and if the owners showed up. No one ever did and we used the PA as our main PA for the 1st year of our band life. Other people from Antioch helped start the band. Ed and Truffy Freeman from Ed Chicken and the French Fries joined us in W. Va, as well as Lucky Oceans."

-- biographical info courtesy Ray Benson, the Charlie Burton biography at BullDogRecords, Lucky's Bio at Zydecats, and The Austin Chronicle
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Harry Partch (composer, theorist, inventor, performer, YSO resident)

Harry Partch

Photo courtesy of
Classical.Net
Harry Partch (1901-1974), one of the greatest and most individualistic composers of all time, was not only a great composer, but an innovative theorist who broke through the shackles of many centuries of one tuning system for all of Western music, a music instrument inventor who created dozens of incredible instruments for the performance of his music, and a musical dramatist who created his own texts and dance/theatre extravaganzas based on everything from Greek mythology to his own experiences as a hobo. Between 1930 and 1972, he created one of the most amazing bodies of sensually alluring and emotionally powerful music of the 20th century: music dramas, dance theater, multi-media extravaganzas, vocal music and chamber music---mostly all performed on the instruments he built himself.

With parents who were former missionaries to China, living in isolated areas of the American southwest, Partch, as a child, was exposed to a variety of influences from Asian to Native American. After dropping out of the University of Southern California, he began to study on his own and to question the tuning and philosophical foundations of Western music. During and after the Great Depression, he was a hobo and itinerant worker and rode the trains, keeping a musical notebook of his experiences, which he later set to music.

In 1930 Partch broke with Western European tradition and forged a new music based on a more primal, corporeal integration of the elements of speech with music, using principles of natural acoustic resonance (just intobnation) and expanded melodic and harmonic possibilities. He began to first adapt guitars and violas to play his music, and then began to build new instruments in a new microtonal tuning system. He built over 25 instruments, plus numerous small hand instruments, and became a brilliant spokesman for his ideas. Largely ignored by the standard musical institutions during his lifetime, he criticized concert traditions, the roles of the performer and composer, the role of music in society, the 12-tone equal-temperament scale and the concept of "pure" or abstract music. To explain his philosophical and intonational ideas, he wrote a treatise, Genesis of a Music, which has served as a primary source of information and inspiration to many musicians for the last half century.

-- biographical info courtesy of harrypartch.com (with permission) and Classical.Net
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Mad River (rock group): Gregory Leroy Dewey (YSO native), and Antioch alumni: Lawrence Hammond, David Robinson, Tom Manning & Rick Bockner

Mad River album cover
"In the onslaught of innovative San Francisco Bay Area psychedelic bands that recorded in the late 1960s, it was inevitable that some would get unfairly overlooked. Foremost among them were Mad River....one of the hardest psychedelic bands to get a handle on, their eclecticism, oblique lyrics, and tortuous multi-segmented songs defying quick summarization....often venturing into distraught visions in stark opposition to the feel-good stereotype of the San Francisco Sound. Mad River formed in late 1965 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, arriving in Berkeley in early 1967 after a detour to Washington, DC. In some ways they were a natural fit for the Bay Area rock community, with their affinity for winding, Eastern-influenced minor-key melodies, somewhat in the manner of Country Joe & the Fish (with whom Mad River often shared bills).

Their knack for glistening, wavering interlocking guitars -- particularly those of lead axeman David Robinson and second lead guitarist Rick Bockner -- was somewhat reminiscent of those heard in Quicksilver Messenger Service, though Mad River played with more frenetic angularity. What set them aside most, however, was lead singer and primary songwriter Lawrence Hammond's nervous quaver of a voice....Mad River drew strong grass-roots support in the Bay Area, partly through playing events associated with San Francisco radicals the Diggers. They also had a renowned fan in author and poet Richard Brautigan, who gave the band food to tide them over in rough times. Yet this disc, combining both of their Capitol albums, testifies to their place among the most durable and intriguing San Francisco bands of their era."

-- excerpt used with permission from Richie Unterberger, from the liner notes for the combined release of the "Mad River" and "Paradise Bar & Grill" Capitol albums
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Gregory Leroy Dewey (musician, YSO native)

Gregory Leroy Dewey

Photo courtesy of
The Reptile Brothers
Greg Dewey is a drummer, singer, songwriter and washboard player who left Yellow Springs in 1967 with Mad River (see above) to enter the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. He subsequently recorded and toured with Country Joe & the Fish (with whom he performed at Woodstock, as seen in the film), Marty Balin, Jerry Corbitt, Commander Cody, and many others. Greg appeared in and performed music for the underground cult film Zachariah with Country Joe & the Fish, where Country Joe is the leader of a band of outlaws in the old west, carrying amplifiers on their horses and calling themselves "The Crackers."

Greg formed The Christmas Jug Band with his Mill Valley, California housemate Paul Wenninger (road manager for Van Morrrison) other Yellow Springs natives, Nicholas Q Dewey (his brother) and Tim Eschliman, as well as Dan Hicks.

Additional note: Nicholas also had success as the songwriter for the Jefferson Starship's platinum recording, "Runaway," and he and Greg's dad, George Dewey taught a creative writing class to Rod Serling at Antioch and worked with the award-winning ad YSO ad firm, Odiorne Industrial Advertising.

-- biographical info courtesy Globe Records and The Country Joe & The Fish bio by Bill Belmont at The Well
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Cecil Taylor (Pianist, composer, leader, Antioch faculty)

Cecil Taylor

Photo courtesy of
Eyeneer Music Archives
One of the most important musicians to emerge from jazz roots since WWII, he has been described as a 'Bart¢k in reverse', taking what he wants from European music without ever compromising his blues roots; treating piano as percussion instrument: '88 tuned drums'; opens new doors every couple of years. With his complete command of the instrument he was the successor to Art Tatum, but he admired Fats Waller 'for the depth of his single notes'; also infl. by the thick chord clusters of Dave Brubeck. 'Taylor and Ornette Coleman are the nominal heads of the jazz avant-garde, but they are very different. Coleman refuses to record or play in public unless he is paid handsomely. Taylor until recent years often played for pennies -- when he was asked to play at all. Coleman's music is accessible, but he is loath to share it; Taylor's music is difficult, and he is delighted to share it ... The American aesthetic landscape is littered with idiosyncratic marvels -- Walt Whitman, Charles Ives, D. W. Griffith, Duke Ellington, Jackson Pollock -- and Taylor belongs with them' (Whitney Balliett in the New Yorker).

The real story of Cecil Taylor may only be approached indirectly through words. It would take a poet of unusual invention to describe his musical composition and performance. In his many performances throughout the world, on the concert stage, in clubs, in colleges, and, happily, more and more frequently on records, Taylor inspires his listeners into the most ecstatic and involved response. Cecil Taylor's music goes far beyond the astonishing combination of physical stamina and technical virtuosity needed to carry them out - it is an adventure into the most remarkable and nourishing realms of the mind and spirit.

As always seems to be the case with "dense and intense" jazz, Taylor's music appealed to, and was more readily accepted overseas. And in 1986 he received a very high honour. He was invited to a "Cecil Taylor Week" sponsored by the Berlin Free Jazz Society. All the sessons were recorded by Free Music Production (FMP Records) and are available on an eleven CD box set. Taylor has also been voted number one pianist in the Down Beat (Magazine) international Critics Poll for nine consequtive years.

-- biographical info courtesy of Eyeneer Music Archives, MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, and The Jazzline
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Pop Wagner (singer, songwriter, storyteller, YSO native)

Pop Wagner
Pop has quite the reputation as a singer, picker, lasso twirler and downright funny guy. He appeared quite frequently on Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion during the show's formative years and for the last quarter century he has worked his cowboy magic throughout 44 states and ten countries. His cowboy anthems crackle with the warmth of a prairie campfire and his old time fiddle tunes set toes a-tappin' while he serves up spellbinding rope tricks and tall stories -- all with a good dose of friendly humor.

Pop Wagner has won several awards including a Northern Lights Arts and Music Award, Minnesota Community Television Award and a British Gramophone Best Opera of the Year Award. He also performed on a Peabody award-winning episode of A Prairie Home Companion, obtained grants from Metro Regional Arts Council, has been a Hometown USAS Video Festival finalist.

"Search as you might, you will never discover another individual with the unique talents and accomplishments of Pop Wagner. When you hear that smoothly-rolling John Hurt-inspired guitar and that cowboy drawl, or dance to that rowdy old-time Cajun-blend hoedown fiddle and his often-hilarious calls, or marvel at the unlikely sight of a man standing on a horse's back twirling a lasso around his torso, then you're sharing in the spell that only Pop can cast. An all-around showman, you ask? Verily, the man's communicative skills are so extraordinary that he can make even a council or board meeting a pleasant experience" -- Inside Bluegrass

Note: Bodie Wagner, Pop's brother, has also had success as a folk performer and has worked often with the great folk artist, U. Utah Phillips

-- biographical info courtesy of Pop Wagner (with permission) and Inside Bluegrass
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Ian Buchanan (singer, guitarist, music teacher, Antioch alumnus)

Ian Buchanan
Ian Buchanan, a student of Reverend Gary Davis, graduated from Antioch College in 1963. Born November 10, 1939, Ian grew up in Queens, New York City. He took up the guitar in his teens and developed an early interest in what was then called the country blues, becoming a passionate collector of old 78s pretty much unknown to anyone else, re-recording them on his professional reel to reel tape recorder.

Ian had an enormous collection of carefully catalogued tapes of old 78s of then largely unknown of blues artists from the 30s and 40s. In his late teens he sought out Reverend Gary Davis (who lived in the South Bronx at that time) and began lessons with him; he studied with Davis off and on for maybe 5 years. Ian remained close to Davis for many years after he stopped studying with him and would visit him at his house and also occasionally attended church services when Davis was preaching. Davis in turn was very fond of Ian, often laughingly referring to him as "my white son." Davis was not his only influence, however. Ian's tastes in the blues were broad ranging from Lonnie Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leroy Carr/Scrapper Blackwell (Blues before Sunrise) , Furry Lewis, and particularly songs by Big Bill Broonzy (especially "Keys to the Highway"), Hopkins and everyone in between.

His taste in the blues was for harmonically complex but understated blues; he disliked electric guitar, although eventually he took it up to create a small blues band. Ian began college at NYU's engineering school but then in 1958 transferred to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio--a school that more closely matched his own unconventional style. When Ian began at Antioch, there was a lot of interest in bluegrass but much less in the blues; there were few white acoustic blues guitarists. Ian quickly became a kind of legend on campus because of the dramatic complexity of his playing and singing. While at Antioch among his fellow student who he taught were John Hammond Jr. and Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna). After graduation from Antioch Ian performed in Greenwich Village blues clubs as well as other venues in the tri-state area; in 1969 his Pigmeat Blues Band opened for Country Joe and the Fish at Woolsey Hall, New Haven, CT.

From 1970 on Ian struggled with severe mental illness, although he continued to teach blues guitar, influencing later generations of acoustic blues players. He committed suicide in December 1982. Ian can be heard on three recordings: on The Blues Project (EKS-7264; 1963) he sings "Winin' Boy;" Pigmeat Blues Band: Whatever Happened to Ian Buchanan? (GRT 10013; 1967) is an LP recording with 9 blues sung and played by Ian; and on the recently released Gary Davis style (Inside Sounds CD 508) he sings and plays "Hesitation Blues."

-- biographical info courtesy of Kirsten Dahl (with permission), see also Stefan Wirz's page on Ian
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John Hammond, Jr. (singer, musician, Antioch alumnus)

John Hammond

Photo courtesy of
Jefferson, Sweden.
He received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Recording (1985) and recorded the sound track for the movie, Little Big Man. Hammond received W.C. Handy awards in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Hammond has worked with many of the masters, including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf. He has recorded over twenty five albums and hosted the BRAVO TV special and Sony Home Video, The Search for Robert Johnson.

John Hammond has created his own niche as a solo blues performer armed with only his guitar, a harmonica and a rich singing voice that forages through historic explorations of country blues. Emerging out of the American folk movement of the 1960s, Hammond first brought his rich sense of the blues history and adept musicianship to the coffeehouse circuit in California and later to the burgeoning Greenwich Village scene in New York. The son of noted and deceased Columbia Records executive John Hammond, Hammond grew up with his mother. After a short stint at Antioch College in Ohio, Hammond hitched his way to Los Angeles. At the age of 20, he inked his first record deal and began an impressive recording career that spans 25 years and more than 30 albums. Hammond is not a songwriter but has dedicated his life to re-interpreting blues classics, and in doing so, he has resurrected tunes that might have disappeared.

John from an interveiew with Palle Paulsson (Jefferson Blues Magazine): "I kind of invented myself... I had been a blues fan for throughout my early teens. I was in school in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I picked up a guitar there and started to play and it sort of changed my life. It really got me into another way of I seeing things. I left college at Antioch and started playing professionally. I went as far away from home as I could get to. And I started playing little clubs, made some money and got a car and drove back east, through Minneapolis and Chicago. I got back to the East Coast and started playing in nightclubs in New York. And I got signed up to Vanguard Records. I had been playing less than a year. So, it was an amazing beginning.

"I used to go to see the Allan Freed Rock'n'Roll shows in New York when I was in my mid teens, I guess I was 15-14. I saw artists like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. The Allan Freed shows were really spectacular, and that they put on shows with like maybe 10-12 artists. So you got to see any sort of angle of Rock'n'Roll. At that time Rock'n'Roll was like blues and R&B, you know. And you got to see all the various sources. It was galvanizing to me, it really made me focus on the music that I was just attracted to. I don't know, it's hard to find one reason, you know.

"In 1960 it was another folk revival. And blues was prominently represented by a lot of rediscovered artists like Son House and John Hurt. Just the originators of the music, were being rediscovered and playing on college campuses and coffee houses, and stuff. I came along at the right time, at the right place, you know. I fit right into what was going on, I was of that generation that was reexamining American folk music, seeing all the sources. I felt very inspired and motivated to get out there and do it.

"Yes, I began both guitar and harmonica at the same time. And I knew Bob Dylan when he first started playing. I met him in New York when he had hit the folk scene. He and I became very good friends and hung out together a lot. He also loved blues very much. He was a big fan of the country blues, as well. "

-- biographical info courtesy of Jefferson Blues Magazine (with permission) and Matt Alcott of Blues on Stage. See also Ian Buchanan
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Jorma Kaukonen (musician, singer, Antioch alumnus)

Jorma Kaukonen

Image cortesy of
Moneypenny Agency
Though Jorma Kaukonen's incendiary work in the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna marks him as one of rock's all-time great electric guitarists, his first love was country-blues finger picking -- Delta to Piedmont, ragtime to folk and gospel. Kaukonen began his music career in the early '60s, playing small solo gigs and backup for Janis Joplin in San Francisco clubs before joining psychedelic-pop greats Jefferson Airplane in 1965. As a member of Jefferson Airplane, Kaukonen made groundbreaking rock for turbulent times. His inventive mix of rootsy finger picking with edgy solos and sustained feedback pulled from his semi-hollowbody Gibsons became a signature of the band. In 1969, he and Airplane bassist Jack Casady formed Hot Tuna as a "side project" that continues to record and tour today.

Kaukonen's affinity for teaching guitar led to a series of instructional videos and eventually he and his wife started the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in the foothills of southeastern Ohio. The camp's workshops for guitar styles, percussion and keyboards are taught by a long list of instructors including Casady, Hot Tuna's Michael Falzarano and Pete Sears, Roy Book Binder and lots of special guests.

He says, "I started out pretty much as a strummer and a singer. It wasn't a question of being a guitarist. I just liked singing songs. I'd learn accompaniments and I really loved the fingerstyle guitar players. And while I was going to Antioch College I had an opportunity to learn how to fingerpick from my teacher, Ian Buchanan. So I probably emulated Ian more than anybody. People like Rev. Gary Davis also influenced me a lot. I also listened to Brownie McGhee, Blind Blake, Pink Anderson, and Scrapper Blackwell, a fingerstyle blues guitarist who basically played lead in guitar-piano duets." Ian is the man he credits with setting him on his life's path. "We lived in this house together, and it occurred to me much later that my playing was probably so obnoxious that, out of pure self-defense, he just took me under his wing. And I pretty much quit going to classes the next quarter and played eight hours a day."

Mr. Kaukonen left Antioch and headed to Santa Clara, Calif., and another half-hearted attempt at college. He was still playing the acoustic folk-blues that would become the basis for his band Hot Tuna. Before long, he was playing with a young, pre-rock goddess named Janis Joplin and becoming known as the hot young acoustic blues picker on the West Coast. By the mid-'60s, he was in San Francisco, where he was asked to join a new folk-rock band called Jefferson Airplane, a play on the name of Texas bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson. Regarding whether to join Jefferson Airplane and play electric, he said: "I wasn't sure I wanted to be in a pop band. I was going to move to Europe and be a blues musician. But rock 'n' roll is very seductive. I started playing with the guys, it was a lot of fun, there were gadgets to play with, people danced. And I thought, "This is not bad." After a few personnel changes, notably the addition of flamboyant lead singer Grace Slick, the Airplane became the most popular band out of the area. They played Fillmores East and West as well as topping the pop charts with "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit."

To keep up his blues chops, Mr. Kaukonen formed the side project Hot Tuna with Mr. Casady in 1968. In 1970, they released their first album, Hot Tuna, still available on CD. That disc takes the guitarist back to his early blues lessons in Yellow Springs. "That first Hot Tuna record really should have been dedicated to Ian because, except for the original songs, those were the first songs that I learned." It was also the music he loved best. As Ms. Slick and Paul Kantner became more radically political, Mr. Kaukonen saw the music taking a backseat. He left the Airplane in 1972 to focus on Hot Tuna full-time.

As guitarist with the Jefferson Airplane, the most popular rock band to emerge from 1967's Summer of Love, Jorma Kaukonen forever will be associated with San Francisco. But Ohio is where he learned to play many of the traditional blues guitar pieces he teaches students at his Fur Peace Ranch. "And when my wife and I bought this farm in southeastern Ohio, we thought it would be nice to have this guitar camp...and I really like being able to pass on the music that was so freely given to me. And I've noticed over the last three years that it's really improved my playing. Because I don't practice anymore, and you really have to if you want to stay sharp. With the Ranch, I'm putting in five or six hours a day of doing things really slowly, the kind of stuff that practice is all about. I get to teach people, I get paid for doing it, and I get to practice at the same time.

His Ohio roots go deeper than Antioch. His paternal grandmother, Amy Kaukonen, was mayor of Ashtabula in the 1920s. His maternal grandfather, Dr. Benjamin S. Levine, a research bacteriologist, was director of public health services in Cincinnati in the 1950s. "I really like Ohio," Mr. Kaukonen says. "America's a beautiful country and there's a lot of great places to be. I'm from Southern Maryland, and the fall, the smells and all that stuff, this is more like home. "I lived in California for a quarter of a century. I had a good time, but it never felt like home. But when I came back here, it really felt like home."

Jorma was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 as a member of Jefferson Airplane. For more info, see also JormaKaukonen.com

-- biographical info courtesy of Tristan Lozaw of Guitar.com (with permission) and Larry Nager of The Cincinnati Enquirer
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Joy Blackett (opera singer, former YSO resident)

Submit a picture to time at oneglobepublishing.com

Joy Blackett won the National Opera Award in Washington, D.C., and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Musica Aeterna Orchestra in New York, the 17 Indianapolis Symphony, the Santa Fe Opera, and the Seattle Opera and at the Wolf Trap Festival. She has sung the American premieres of many twentieth-century works and has appeared in oratorio at the Aspen Festival and with the New York Choral Society and Musica Sacra in New York.

-- biographical info courtesy of www.newworldrecords.org

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Tucki Bailey (composer, musician, former YSO resident)

Tucki Bailey

Photo by
Robert Graham Jones
Composer Tucki Bailey has been featured playing her saxophone at the Dayton Women in Jazz Festival for the last 18 years. She attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received a degree in Jazz at Central State University, Wilberforce. Tucki has composed, arranged and produced for MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir. She has been composer/musical director for the Yellow Spring's Kid's Playhouse for six years. She has composed for theatre productions of Antioch University (Romeo and Juliet; Amos, Amas, Amat); Wright State University (Streetcar Named Desire) and Pittsburgh University (Alchemist Alchemy). October 2002 she composed for the San Francisco's Word for Word Theatre's production of Cannery Row and January 2003 she composed for the Human Race Theater of Dayton's production of Death of A Salesman. This summer she will be producing her second CD for the Warren Penetentiary's choir, Umoja, as well as composing for the Yellow Springs Kid's Playhouse. She lives in California.

-- biographical info courtesy of Tucki Bailey

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Patti Dallas (videographer, musician, YSO native)

Patti Dallas

Photo courtesy of
Yellow Springs News
Ms. Dallas is an award-winning performer and musician, with an eye for composition and creativity in her work as a videographer. She was commissioned by the Canadian Government to create audio-visual portraits of three communities in British Columbia. Award-winning vocalists Patti and Laura Baron are the voices of Golden Glow Music. Their first recording Nitey-Nite, a collection of lullabies was given an overwhelming reception by the likes of Parents' Magazine and The National Association for the Education of Young Children. Laura and Patti went on to produce Good Morning Sunshine which won the Parents Choice Award. Their other tapes and video receive high acclaim from critics, parents and educators alike. Laura, an early childhood music specialist, teaches music at the National Child Research Center in Washington, D.C. An accomplished singer and songwriter, she contributes her original songs to Golden Glow Music. Patti plays banjo, flute and guitar and blends her knowledge of traditional children's music with the unique flavors of Shakespeare and The Renaissance. Laura and Patti delight young audiences with their lively interactive concerts.

See also Patti's Hertitage Video for more info.

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Nerak Roth Patterson (musician, YSO resident)

Nerak Roth Patterson

Photo by
Robert Nerak Roth Patterson
Guitarist and band leader Nerak Roth Patterson is a living reflection of the Blues that stems much deeper than the music itself. As a prolific songwriter and musician, Nerak Roth's songs bear the soul of one who has not only "lived" the Blues, but of one who has also taken an interest and studied the true history therein. As a solo recording artist with Criminal Records, Nerak first made his mark traveling and performing with several national acts across the country. His passion and talent coupled with the fact that he has never "met a stranger" has made Nerak Roth a crowd favorite wherever he straps on his guitar. His willingness and desire to reach out to others has also led to him becoming a much sought after lecturer and performer in various Blues workshops and seminars across the country as well. He recently played with B. B. King and Corey Harris and toured European with Guy Davis.

See the Nerak Roth Patterson site for more info.

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Ann Rabson (vocalist & musician, YSO resident)

Ann Rabson

Photo by
Robert Ann Rabson
Ann Rabson has been playing and singing the blues professionally since 1962. A member of Saffire—The Uppity Blues Women, she also performs solo and with various other bands.

The year 2003 marks Ann's seventh nomination for a W.C. Handy Award as Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. In 1998 her first solo album, Music Makin' Mama, was nominated as Album of the Year in both the Traditional Blues and Acoustic Blues categories. In 1992 her composition Elevator Man was nominated as Song of the Year.

Ann has toured Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland with Saffire, and Canada both with Saffire and with Jackson Delta. She has made two solo European tours, and in 1998 she toured Europe with piano legend Erwin Helfer. She has performed solo at the Jazz Club of Hong Kong, and in 2000 she headlined the BluesAlive international blues festival in Sumperk, Czech Republic.

Info coutesy of the Ann Rabson site.

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Special thanks to: Ray Benson, The Yellow Springs News, Antiochiana, Richie Unterberger, Anders Lillsunde, and Beringia Zen

For an overview of Yellow Springs Ohio history from 1803 to 2003, see the Yellow Springs News.

For info on the YSO Bicentennial (July 4, 2003) and YSO background info, see The Yellow Springs Historical Society.

Please email any corrections, updates, additions, or suggestions to Tim Eschliman at


-- Page last updated April 20 2013