Michael Kuelker is a teacher and writer living in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the editor and publisher of Book of Memory: A Rastafari Testimony (CaribSound 2005), the memoir of Jamaican Rastafarian elder Prince Elijah Williams, and his writing has appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Peace Review, African American Review and Tattoo. At St. Charles Community College, Kuelker teaches literature and composition, and since 2001, he has organized an annual four-day interdisciplinary educational forum called Democracy Days.
Kuelker is also a reggae radio DJ on KDHX 88.1 FM on alternating Saturday nights (“Positive Vibrations”) and the Secretary on the Board of Directors of PotBangerz--Feed the Body Mission, a 501(c)3 organization that conducts food outreach and other services for the unhoused in St. Louis.
He first saw the Ozark Mountain Daredevils in concert in 1981. Kuelker appears as a commentator in the documentary film The Ozark Mountain Daredevils: Backstage, produced by Ozarks Public Television in 2022.
In the annals of music history, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils have not gotten their full due. The band recorded a string of popular albums for A&M Records in the 1970s yielding a handful of hits ("If You Wanna Get to Heaven," "Jackie Blue") and loads of album tracks that helped define country-rock of the period. After their A&M tenure, the OMD continued recording and performing for a devoted fan base. The Daredevils are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary and still put on vitalizing shows.
OMD scribe Michael Kuelker is animated by a love of this music and the fact that apart from bass player Supe Granda's memoir It Shined, there is a dearth of book-length works on this inventive band.
With its combination of hard data and effervescent storytelling from the people who created the music, THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS ON RECORD is essential reading for OMD fans and readers interested in country-rock and classic rock of the 1970s.
THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS ON RECORD draws on over 50 hours of new interviews that Michael Kuelker conducted between 2014 and 2020 including multiple interviews with all six founding members as well as with 30 other band members and insiders.
The book blends engaging oral history and narrative with a scrupulous accounting of the Daredevils' official and unofficial recordings across their half-century as a band. It will stand as an essential document.