A Tribute to Randle Chowning

Dec 4, 2009, 12:59 PM |

Randle in the studio 2009: Shamey Shamie

Randle in the studio 2009: I just wanna think about you

Road to Glory is from the Ozark Mountian Daredevils 1973 debut album referred to as "The Quilt Album" because of the patch work quilt that graced the album cover. Randle wrote and sang lead vocals on Road to Glory.

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils performing in England on the tv show Old Grey Whistle Test 1976. Randle was lead vocalist on "If you wanna get to Heaven". It  was the Daredevils first top 40 single and also from the "Quilt Album".

Randle Chowning was born on April 4, 1950 in the Ozark hamlet of Mountain View, Missouri.  In 1960, the Chownings moved to Springfield, where Randle became serious about learning to play guitar and continued to absorb the influence of his mother, who sang frequently around the house with near perfect pitch.

   At a high school pep rally in 1964, Chowning (a freshman) was impressed with the drumming of upperclassman Larry Lee. “I remember seeing him out in the hallway every day. He wore Beatle boots”, Chowning relates.   In 1971, Chowning was a student at Southwest Missouri State University and playing local clubs in a variety of bands when he again crossed paths with Lee, just back from a tour of service in the Navy and now working the local bar circuit.

   Listening to Lee perform an original song, singing and playing drums, Chowning was immediately drawn to the prospect of working together. A few months later, Chowning heard that Lee was between gigs and approached him with the idea of starting a band with another singer/songwriter, John Dillon. When Lee agreed, the three of them brought in bassist Michael “Supe” Granda and songwriter/poet/harmonica man Steve Cash along with pianist Buddy Brayfield to form what became The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. The group’s eponymous debut album went gold and spawned an international following that continues today.

   Chowning departed in 1976, released a critically-acclaimed solo record on A&M in 1978 and eventually relocated to Nashville, where his songwriting skills have led to success with artists like Billy Gilman.