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Wednesdays: 3 – 5 a.m.

Ruth’s music – simple, heartfelt songs about places and people he loves played on guitar or mandolin – is what most distinguishes him. He hosted two shows for KOPN in the early nineties on which he spun records by his favorite folk artists and played his own material live for the radio audience. He also helped to organize and performed at a five-hour benefit concert for KOPN with 11 other area folk groups in October 1993, 20 Years of Local Folk, which the station recorded and sold as a CD. He recorded an album of his own in 1988 called Songs from Happy Hollow titled after his rustic home in Moniteau County.

Despite recent renewed interest in folk music, Lee notes that its sound inevitably escapes the mainstream: “I think most people are aware of what they see on their TVs and hear on pop radio, not much beyond that. They’ve never even explored their radio dial.”

Adapted from Sara Selis, “A Joyful Sound in the Wilderness,” Columbia Missourian, Weekend, Nov. 19, 1993. 8-11. Edited by David Knauer.



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Lee Ruth

Lee Ruth has been the voice of folk music on KOPN since 1976 and in Columbia throughout the recent history of both. Ruth is a fixture on the local music scene, "Columbia's perennial hippie" easily recognizable by his lean, 6-foot-two frame, colorful clothes, bushy beard and headband.