Appalachia

MSV photo by Ron Blunt.

Janice Summers-Young is one of two West Virginian artists who were selected for a new exhibit at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. The exhibit, called Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art, features 287 artists from 36 different countries and opened yesterday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Dave Tabler who heard so many jokes about being from West Virginia, he began a website and podcast to defend it.  We’ll also meet Uncle Dude of Pocahontas County.  His nephew explains how his uncle mastered bluegrass music after contracting polio as a child.  Ashton Marra reports on Gov. Tomblin's new effort to reform the state's juvenile justice system. 

Shawn Brackbill

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews Yeasayer co-founder Anand Wilder about his indie Appalachian musical “Break Line." The record features musicians from major indie/alt bands like Chairlift, MGMT, and Vampire Weekend, and the musical itself is inspired by West Virginia’s coal mining past. If you’re a fan of indie rock collaborations and classic rock operas, this interview is recommended for you.

Submitted Photo / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian region has long been the focus of fascination and study going back to the early 1900’s when historians and musicologists traveled through the region collecting stories and songs.

But folks from outside the region have not always promoted a flattering image. And that, along with a curiosity about his own family, inspired Dave Tabler to start his web site Appalachia History.

The country’s top energy official visits Pittsburgh.

Veterans find gardening therapeutic.

We visit with Appalachian blogger and podcaster Dave Tabler.

And take a tour of a historic home in Hinton West Virginia.

Subscribe to the podcast through iTunes

Jack Fralin / CCBCC

Long before website banners, T.V. or radio commercials, and electronic billboards there were murals. Coca-Cola Consolidated is working to restore its faded advertisements, or ghost signs, across Appalachia. Ghost signs are the murals painted on buildings at the turn of the century that are now faded disappearing.  One of the largest murals, so far was unveiled last week in Hinton in  Summers County. Along with the strong sentimental value to the rural residents, the signs still have a strong marketing value for the global company.

                                               Advertisement in Hinton, W.Va. before ...

                                    Advertisement in Hinton, W.Va. during restoration ...

                                          Advertisement in Hinton, W.Va. after restoration ...

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Tuesday marks a major change in the way state government does business but, unless you're a state employee that handles business procedures, it’s a change you likely won’t even notice. Two friends--one  in Johnson City, Tennessee and the other in Dickinson County, Virginia--are hoping to make a documentary showing a truer side of the Appalachian Region.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian region has been reported on, documented and studied quite a bit in the past 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson came to the region to declare a ‘war on poverty.’

Vandalia Gathering
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, was presented to singer, songwriter and performer Roger Bryant last week at the 38th Annual Vandalia Gathering.

A native of Logan, Bryant is a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson and spent several years traveling with her, and accompanying her on his guitar.

  A new school library in Wheeling, West Virginia, looks to the future.

Also in West Virginia town of Matewan revisits its violent history.

And an Appalachian couple gives us an inside look at artists and their work.

Folk Society of Greater Boston

Appalachia has a rich culture and history with music and stories passed down from generation to generation. But sometimes it’s non-natives who are working to document that history so it can be passed on to future generations. This has been the life calling of two folklorists and musicians who now make their home in Elkins, West Virginia, Michael and Carrie Kline.  

Exploring the Natural Gas Industry

CU Student Photos 'Urban' Side of W.Va.

May 16, 2014
Jared Kline

When pictures of West Virginia land in the national spotlight, it’s often the rural poverty stricken hollows and hills. Concord University art student Sterling Snyder wanted to capture a different, and often overlooked urban places in the state.

Two West Virginians by choice work to preserve Appalachian culture and foster dialogue.

An historic Virginia theater gets ready for a new season.

While an old West Virginia theater might get a new lease on life.

And we hear from an old farmer in Monroe County, West Virginia.

Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia

Food often provides a universal connection across cultures. Think: President Obama taking part in a meal at a famous sushi restaurant on his recent trip to Japan.

For about 30 years now Greenville, Tennessee, native Fred Sauceman has been documenting Appalachian food culture through a class he teaches at East Tennessee State University as well as journalistic endeavors on television, radio and in print.

Sauceman’s newest book is Buttermilk and Bible Burgers: more stories from the kitchens of Appalachia.

Children in sepia-toned clothes with dirt-smeared faces. Weathered, sunken-eyed women on trailer steps chain-smoking Camels. Teenagers clad in Carhartt and Mossy Oak loitering outside long-shuttered businesses.

Anita Wallace has run a day care in her home in rural Athens County, Ohio, for eight years. The schedule is more family-friendly than when she logged 60 hours a week as a manager at Wal-Mart, and the pay is about $27,000 a year — not bad for the area.

Wallace adores the children, getting down on the floor to let toddlers snuggle on her shoulder. But Wallace, 40, and her husband, 47, also have three of their own kids to raise.

"They're very expensive!" she says, laughing, as her own children — two still live at home — inform her of the new track uniforms they need.

Goldenseal magazine, known as the state's journal of traditional life,  is marking its 40th year of publication with a special commemorative issue, on sale now.

Goldenseal has been published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History since 1975.

The Spring 2014 edition revisits favorite stories from past issues, along with story updates and additional content.

The last few weeks, most of West Virginia has endured bitter cold and snowy weather. Many residents were hoping the famed furry friends would bring predictions of an early Spring.

On Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow. But French Creek Freddie emerged from the West Virginia Wildlife Center in Upshur County and did not see his shadow. According to Groundhog Day tradition, that means an early spring.

Perhaps the dispute can be settled with the folk tale friend, Concord Charlie. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The legislature takes a closer look at how the state handles the purchasing of technology and broadband infrastructure, Builder Levy returns to Appalachia to document the changes since he first photographed the region in the '60s, Tim O'Brien is not only a Grammy nominee but also a recent inductee of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.

Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

How much mine-able coal is left in Appalachia?

An old coal company store in Southern West Virginia has some spooky history.

We revisit the story of the Greenbrier Ghost, through the voices of school children.

And learn how growing a garden benefits women in a Pocahontas County prison facility.

www.lastforest.org

West Virginia Public Radio Presents is broadcast Thursdays at 9 p.m. and features a variety of insightful programs that explore life, politics, and culture in and around the Mountain State.

Produced by Larry Groce (host of Mountain Stage) these three one-hour programs  dramatize five of the short stories from G.D. McNeill’s book, "The Last Forest."

Story telling is an old art form in Appalachia. One West Virginia story teller’s newest project, a CD of music and stories entitled The Mountain Came Alive, attempts to modernize this tradition by addressing today’s concerns.

The CD combines Booth’s interest in music and storytelling with 20 tracks that follow the year in the life of a southern West Virginia mountain that is slated for strip mining.

Booth said he wanted to use traditional methods to tell a story to young people about Appalachia and events in the region that are happening now.

The West Virginia Library Commission is hoping folks across the state will read Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X. Walker’s book Affrilachia.  The book is this year’s choice for the One Book, One West Virginia program.

During an appearance at the Martinsburg Berkeley County Public Library Wednesday morning Walker read Clifton 1, the first poem in the book. It tells the story of Walker and his father visiting Clifton, Ky., where his father grew up.

New environmental regs, coal a tourism draw in southern W.Va, an historic clock in downtown Lexington Ky. restored and Big Stone Gap Va. gets a taste of Hollywood.

WVU Professor on EPA Regulations: With the proposed regulations targeting new coal-fired power plants, one West Virginia University law professor is predicting new challenges for the region’s coal industry.

Clifftop - the Appalachian String Band Music Festival.

Sep 20, 2013

  A documentary look at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival -aka Clifftop - where many of the participants are musicians. Each night at any given moment,there are literally a hundred jam sessions going on. The documentary  also explores the evolving concepts behind Old Time. Also featured are interviews and performances of legendary West Virginia fiddler Lester McCumbers.

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