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Eureka Springs, Arkansas: Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Hollywood

Aug 17, 2007
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a little town only an hours drive away from Branson Missouri, the new capital of country music! Millions of visitors come to Eureka Springs to see The Great Passion Play, P. Nutt and the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down, do a little shopping, or just to say "I do".

Branson, Missouri has about 120 music shows, and a lot of country music stars now call Branson home. However, many people don't realize that there have also been a lot of country music stars right here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Did you know that Grand Old Opry star, Johnny Russell, built his theater here and performed six nights a week for many years? Rumor has it that he also wrote the song "Got No Reason Now for Going Home", big hit for Gene Watson, in that theater, too.

David Frizzell recorded hits such as "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" and "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorated My Home", and in 1991, David also had his own show in Eureka Springs. Ray Charles played one of his very last shows here and what a show that was! Merle Haggard and the Strangers has rolled into town several times to sing me back home, along with Willie Nelson.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas was also the home for Joe Don Rooney for a few years before he made the move to Nashville in 1999. Joe Don performed at the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down Theater before moving to Nashville. Teaming up with Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox, Joe Don became part of the #1 selling band, "Rascal Flatts".
Doug Huffman is another great songwriter and drummer that worked at the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down until 1990. He then went on to join the rock band "Boston", one of my all time favorite rock bands.

In addition to music success stories, there have been many movies shot on location in Eureka Springs. The movie "War Eagle" was filmed in our little town during the summer of 2006. The Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down performed a song in the movie that songwriters Leslie Wright and Randall George, also from the Hoe-Down, wrote specifically for the movie!

Missy Crider, now an actress in Hollywood, was in a country music show here in the late 1980's. Missy still comes back from time to time, and at times lives in our little town. This is not uncommon for most of the stars that were here before they hit the big time! There is something about this town in the hills that never leaves your memory once you've been here. This little town not only attracts visitors and tourists, but the award winning celebrities that still consider Eureka Springs "home".

So, if you come to Eureka Springs for a visit, catch the Ozark Mountain Hoedown show, The Great Passion Play, do a little shopping or say "I do" to the love of your life. Make sure to get a picture with some of the folks here - next year they may be the next big thing in country music, rock-n-roll, or on the Hollywood screen!
About the Author
Leslie Wright is a writer for the Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down,a country music show in Eureka Springs,Arkansas that has been performing live nightly since 1981.
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