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It Shined: The Saga of The Ozark Mt. Daredevils

by: Michael “Supe” Granda

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The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were one kick ass Southern Rock band by anyone’s standards, a group that cracked the Top 40 several times during the 1970's while building a massive following of fans who even today speak of the band with reverence and broad, sometimes illegal, smiles.

Beginning at a Springfield, Missouri club called The Bijou, the band then known as The Family Tree braved the stages with original music, something that has never been easy for an up and coming band to do. But with the Daredevils, the fans ate it up.

As the story goes, a live tape from the Bijou wound up in the hands of legendary music mogul John Hammond, which resulted in a studio demo, which really caught the ear of David Anderie, an executive at A&M Records. Just like that the band signed to A&M, changed their name to The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and took off for London to record their debut album which contained "If You Want to Get to Heaven." Their follow up was recorded back home in Missouri, and contained "Jackie Blue,” which made it all the way to #3. And believe me, that;s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Supe Granda - I would tell you why they call him Supe, but it’s in the book and it’s a fun story - is the author of It Shined as well as a founding member of the group and the bass player. He is a fine writer, a great story teller. This 500-plus page book is one of the best rock and roll books I have ever read. It is compelling, always interesting, and at times quite funny. Granda pulls no punches. The drugs, alcohol and excesses of the road are all here, but his spirit and obvious love of the music and his friends and band mates makes it read positive rather than negative. Good karma. I like that.

Supe carries us through the band’s big time as well as the lean times with equal zeal, and paints a clear picture that the Daredevils worked equally hard whether they had a record on the charts or not. It Shined is a real page turner, especially for old rock and rollers like me. If the devil is truly in the details, you’ll be feeling your feet heat up after the first few pages. Simply stated, It Shined is a must read for all rock and roll fans, especially those of us from the good ol’ South.

-Michael Buffalo Smith


 

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