13 thoughts on “Jim Dandy to the Rescue Near Mountain Home”

  1. Their wikipedia page–which reads like a fan write up–doesn’t even mention the commune, But it does repeat the hiding in the hills from the cops story. Really interesting story.

  2. There are a lot of good stories about BOA while they were in the Ozarks. I never realized how strong their connections were to the region until I began researching them. They also owned property in Harrison, from what I’ve read.

    Also, what I’ve gleaned from discussion boards, the commune has since become the Black Oak Resort. Note that there’s absolutely no mention of the band or the origin of the resort’s name. http://www.blackoakresort.com/

  3. Yeah, I think that the whole story of the band is retty interesting & I’m kind of surprised that there’s not more out there on them. You can really see the weird ways that the 60s coutnerculture (both the liberal version and the conservative, anti-gvt. counterculture that was emerging too) works its way into the south in their relation to their town, the kinds of attitudes that they show, and so on.

    forgive my geographical ignorance, but is that Beaver Lake their waterskiing on at the beginning? I figure it must be.

    1. Bull Shoals Lake. They was my neighbors and I hung out with them at times. Bob Ketchum all of that crew was a great bunch. I remain friends with Jim, Rickie and George to this day.

  4. Actually, that’s probably Bull Shoals Lake.

    I agree with you on the liberal/conservative aspects of their commune. I’d argue that they were Libertarian more than anything. I could be wrong, but I doubt there were that many communes out there at the time where the leader was quoting Thomas Jefferson. I find them to be quite fascinating on several levels. He was doing a lot of things, like trying to go off the grid, before it became fashionable in the late 1990s and later. It’s easy to dismiss them, but I see a lot more there than people ever gave them credit for.

  5. oh, that’s Butch Stone. Interesting, Thanks for the geographic correction. Agreed on the Libertarian thing as well, though I think that quoting Jefferson was probably not that uncommon for communalist leaders in the early 70s.

    speaking of that general thing, do you know much about The Group, a commune founded in 1969 near Russelville (I think) by former members of the Dan Blocker Singers & led by W. Dixon Bowles, who went on ot become a software entrepreneur in Little Rock? There as an article from 1970 or so that ran in the Memphis Commercial Appeal & was reprinted in Mother Earth News. I used ot have links to it, but couldn’t find it just now looking around.

  6. Eric, you’ve done it again. I wasn’t aware of this, but what little I’ve found on the internet is quite fascinating. First of all, they were back up singers for Dan Blocker of “Bonanza” fame. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas has a paragraph devoted to The Group in the Greers Ferry entry (fourth paragraph down):


    There’s also some tragedy. I found this in a website called “Mr. Pop Culture” doing some kind of “on this day” series. This is the entry among several others for Feb. 5, 1971:

    Near Dardanelle Arkansas – five members of the Dan Blocker Singers are killed
    in a three-vehicle accident. The singers, most of who are from the Odessa,
    Texas area – went to Hollywood to try for a professional career as a group. After
    three years in Hollywood, they met up with actor Dan Blocker – famous for the
    character of “Hoss” in Bonanza. He agreed to let the young singers use his
    name. Twenty-one of the group members moved to run two lodges in this part of
    Arkansas to live in a communal setting (not a hippie communal – but more of a
    religious-oriented way of living).

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