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Hitmakers from the Ozarks

sat08jun2:00 pmHitmakers from the OzarksAt Fayetteville Public Library

Event Details

Author Kitty Ledbetter will discuss her latest book, “Broadcasting the Ozarks: Si Siman and Country Music at the Crossroads.”

Hit songwriter Wayne Carson was only eight years old when he claimed Springfield, Missouri music publisher and television producer Si Siman as his manager. When Carson was 14 he bought a $30 guitar and started playing it on the back porch after school. Soon he was playing cover songs and club dates. He decided that, instead of doing other people’s songs, he would write his own.

Carson’s parents were performers Odie and Olivia Head, better known during the 1940s as Shorty and Sue Thompson on KWTO radio in Springfield, Missouri where Siman worked in promotions and eventually produced the first live continuous network country music television show, ABC’s Ozark Jubilee.

Carson’s father asked Siman to help with his son’s career. Siman officially started working with him as a songwriter in the early 1960s. Their first break came with Carson’s #1 RCA single for Eddy Arnold in 1966, “Somebody Like Me.” A few months later Carson’s career took a decidedly upward turn when his song “The Letter” was recorded by the Box Tops and became an international hit in 1967. The partnership continued on its succesful drive throughout the 1970s with hits by Gary Stewart such as “Drinkin’ Thing,” “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles),” “Whiskey Trip,” and “Out of Hand,” followed by Conway Twitty’s “I See the Want To in Your Eyes.” But the best was yet to come when Willie Nelson recorded Carson’s “Always on My Mind” in 1982.