Stephen Douglas Cash, known as Steve Cash, was an American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member of the Southern rock band Ozark Mountain Daredevils member.
Born on May 5, 1946, in Springfield, Missouri, Cash would become a driving force behind the band’s unique blend of rock, country, and blues that exemplified the Ozark region where they began.
Steve Cash was a Taurus born under the astrological sign of the Bull, known for being reliable, patient, and dedicated. The city of Springfield, where Cash was born, would prove formative in his early musical development and connection to the rich cultural heritage of the Ozarks.
Quick Facts About Steve Cash
|Full Name:||Stephen Douglas Cash|
|Spouse Name:||Tina Cash|
|Nick Name:||Steve Cash|
|Date of Birth:||May 5, 1946|
|Birth Place:||Springfield, MO|
|Age:||73 years (at death in 2019)|
|Net Worth:||$1 million|
|Death Date:||October 13, 2019|
|Social Media:||Facebook & YouTube|
Table of Contents
Steve Cash grew up surrounded by music in Springfield, where he first started playing harmonica and guitar as a child. He had an early passion for music, playing in local bands during his teenage years at Kickapoo High School. It was in high school that Cash met his future Ozark Mountain Daredevils bandmates John Dillon and Michael “Supe” Granda, forging a friendship over their mutual love of rock and roll.
As a young man in Springfield in the 1960s, Cash played music locally before traveling to Europe during the peak of the hippie movement. These experiences opened his mind musically, exposing him to wider artistic influences. He reconnected with Dillon and Granda when he returned home to attend Southwest Missouri State University. They began playing together informally, eventually adding other local musicians to form their first incarnation of the band that would become the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
Steve Cash married his wife Tina and had two children, a daughter, Taylor Cash, and a son, Steven Cash Jr. Family was always important to Cash. He chose to remain based in his hometown even after success with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. After his death, his family remembered him as a beloved father and grandfather who always made time for those he loved.
Cash attended Kickapoo High School, where he met future bandmates and Southwest Missouri State University in his hometown of Springfield. His real education came from years spent performing in local bands and absorbing the rich musical heritage of the Ozarks. This hands-on experience proved more valuable than formal training in shaping Cash’s artistic development.
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Career & Achievements
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were formed in 1972, releasing their debut self-titled album “The Ozark Mountain Daredevils” in 1973. With their mix of rock, country, and blues topped by distinctive four-part harmonies, the album was a hit that peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200. Cash sang and played guitar and harmonica on the album, contributing vocals on one of their signature songs, “If You Wanna Get to Heaven.”
Over the next decade, the Daredevils released a string of hit albums like “It’ll Shine When It Shines” (1974), “The Car Over the Lake Album” (1975), and “Men From Earth” (1979). Cash lent his talents as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to the band’s evolving sound. In 1979, they scored their biggest hit with the single “Jackie Blue,” which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The 1980s saw Cash split time between the Daredevils and solo work, recording two acclaimed solo albums, “The Williams Place” and “Bolts of Blue.” He continued recording and performing with the reunited Ozark Mountain Daredevils from the 1990s until his death. Known for his easygoing nature, Cash was a steadying presence that helped the band endure many line-up changes. His career achievements cement Steve Cash’s place as an architect of the Southern rock genre.
Awards and Recognition
While highly successful during their 1970s peak, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils were never honored with major mainstream music awards. In 1997, the band released a greatest hits album fittingly titled “It Shined,” about their song “It’ll Shine When It Shines.” The compilation went gold, underscoring the lasting impact and recognition the band has earned.
In 2015, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils were inducted into the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, honoring their contributions to Missouri’s musical heritage. While individual fame eluded him, Steve Cash played a pivotal role in the band’s unique sound that brought Ozarks music to a national stage.
Reasons for Popularity
Steve Cash and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils found popularity by perfecting a distinctive blend of rock, country, and blues that paid tribute to their Ozark roots. Cash’s versatile talents on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, combined with his easygoing, collaborative nature, made him the heart of the band. His songwriting talents shone through in soulful original tracks like “If You Wanna Get to Heaven.”
Beyond their homeland, the band’s four-part harmonies, accented by Cash’s tenor, hooked listeners worldwide. Making folk and country rock palatable to mainstream audiences, they paved the way for bands that followed, like Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The singular voice and sound created by Cash and the Daredevils earned them a devoted following that remains loyal today.
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- As teens, Steve Cash and fellow Daredevil John Dillon were rivals in different local bands before teaming up.
- Cash took informal music lessons as a boy from Springfield native “Fiddlin'” Bob Holt, learning to play guitar and harmonica.
- Cash traveled through Europe for 2 1/2 years during college, busking on the streets and learning from other musicians.
- Steve Cash was the voice behind the band’s biggest hit, “Jackie Blue,” instantly recognizable by his soulful vocals.
- In the 1990s, Cash stepped away from the Daredevils for a stint as a long-haul trucker before returning to music.
- He continued performing with the band until his death, marking over 50 years with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Few artists are so thoroughly connected to a place as Steve Cash was to the Ozarks. Born in Springfield, Missouri, his voice and music echoed the spirit of the land that raised him. Cash carried the torch of Ozark heritage by co-founding the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, bringing their singular brand of rock and country to the world stage.
Though Cash battled depression later in life, his contributions as a songwriter and instrumentalist left a lasting Southern rock legacy. The music of Steve Cash, shaped by his Ozark roots, continues to uplift new generations of listeners.