Root Cause: After much searching and alsa troubleshooting, it turned out to be a very simple problem. By default MiniMyth had muted the headphone jack.
1.) From MiniMyth terminal (console, telnet, ssh) use the alsa mixer program to unmute the Headphone channel and set volume at 100%.
'amixer sset Headphone 100 unmute'
2.) Confirm that sound does now work.
3.) Save alsta state.
'alsactl store -f /path_to_save/asound.state'
4.) Move asound.state file into read-only conf directory
5.) Modify minimyth.conf file to read asound.state
References (may be useful for other problems than this one)
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Configuring_ ... _Utilities
Hope that saves someone a few hours of writing asound.conf files.