Ozark Mountain Daredevils Co-Founder Steve Cash Dies At 73

Cash, who sang and played harmonica, percussion, and keyboards, co-wrote the band’s biggest and best-known hit, ‘Jackie Blue.’

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Ozark Mountain Daredevils Jackie Blue

Steve Cash, a founding member of pacesetting country rock band the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, died on Sunday (13) at the age of 73. In a statement, the band said of Cash: “He was our poet laureate, an amazingly talented harp player, but more importantly, he was our friend and brother and that presence cannot be replaced.”

Cash, who sang and played harmonica, percussion, and keyboards was born in the town where the band came together, Springfield, Missouri, on 5 May 1946. As a harmonica player, he was much influenced by such great players as Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry. After a pilgrimage to Berkeley, California, in the mid-1960s, he joined forces in Springfield with John Dillon in a group of musicians that became Family Tree and then, in 1972, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

If You Wanna Get To Heaven

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The band came to the attention of in-demand producer Glyn Johns, and signed to A&M in May 1973. They travelled to England to work with Johns and David Anderle, who produced what became their self-titled debut album, released at the end of that year. The track ‘If You Wanna Get to Heaven’ became a No. 25 US hit in 1974, and the album went gold in the US.

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The band’s second album It’ll Shine When It Shines followed in October 1973 and contained what became their signature song, ‘Jackie Blue,’ written by Cash and Larry Lee. The feelgood track, a quintessential pop radio favourite of its time, climbed to No. 3 on the Hot 100 in 1975.

The Car Over The Lake Album was their next release, late in 1975, and the band continued to appear on the US charts until 1980. Cash left for a time in the early 1980s, but apart from that was a constant member of the Ozarks until his death. He also wrote a trilogy of books, The Meq, Time Dancers and The Remembering, published by Del Rey Books (Random House), and was an accomplished painter.

Listen to the best of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils on Spotify.

Format: Union Jack flagUK English


  1. Scott Smith

    October 18, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    From my earliest days I remember Steve, John, Supe, and Larry Lee on the AM radio. I’m getting old.

    I think it will be a Daredevil weekend on the turntable at home.

  2. Steve Dodson

    October 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I have been listening to the “Ozarkers” consistently for almost every day since April of 1975 and have seen them in concert over 30 times. They have become a great part of my family`s life and loosing one of the original members is like loosing a member of our family.I had the opportunity to meet Steve more than once and he always appeared to me to be a gracious and considerate person.Our hearts go out to Michael,John,Randal,Larry and Buddy and their families and most especially,Steve`s family.I will continue to remember Steve by playing with him on the mouth harp while listening to the BEST music performed in the `70`s and `80`s-THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS.What a harmonica player!I pray that he is with Steve Canaday and other greats in his “Road To Glory”.God Bless You All !Steven Lee Dodson.

  3. Al Bye

    March 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Are there any pictures of Steve’s paintings?

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