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Talking 'Y’all Means All' And Visiting With A Gospel Guitar Player

 A shed in eastern Kentucky where Gospel musician David McBee kept guitars and music gear.
Nicole Musgrave
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
A shed in eastern Kentucky where Gospel musician David McBee kept guitars and music gear.

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with contributors to a new collection of writing by LGBTQ Appalachians — about how they see themselves reflected here in the region.

We also hear about the history of baseball in the coal camps of southwestern Virginia and we return to flood damaged eastern Kentucky and meet gospel musician Dean McBee.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode: 

Music After The Flood

On July 28, southeastern Kentucky was swallowed by historic flooding. At least 43 people died, and many others saw their homes, property and family keepsakes washed away or drowned in thick mud. In Millstone, Kentucky, there’s an active country gospel tradition, but many musicians lost their instruments which cut them off from participating in a part of the culture that’s defined their lives.

Through the generosity of their friends and neighbors, these musicians have been able to reconnect with their music, finding comfort and even joy. Folkways reporter Nicole Musgrave brought us the story.

“Y’all Means All: The Emerging Voices Queering Appalachia”

We talked with Zane McNeill, Beck Banks and Maxwell Cloe, the editor and two contributors to “Y’all Means All: The Emerging Voices Queering Appalachia.”

We discussed how queer Appalachian culture was informed by Queer Appalachia the Instagram account and how it played into the making of “Y’all Means All.”

Native Traditions Continuing In The 21st Century

Native Americans inhabited southern Appalachia for tens of thousands of years before white Europeans set foot here. Much of that history was scraped away as colonists and settlers pushed west. But some native traditions carry on — through song, music, food — and art.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee have been making baskets for centuries. The art form has undergone some changes. New generations of basket makers have imagined new designs and found ways to deal with hard-to-find materials. Folkways reporter Rachel Greene spoke to two women in Cherokee, North Carolina, who are dedicated to keeping their craft alive.

Baseball Forever

Baseball season is officially over — but fans are already counting down the days to spring training. That passion has persisted for decades — and here in Appalachia, it’s intertwined with historic teams in coal camps and coal towns.

For miners, baseball was a way to earn a little extra money and take a break from dangerous work. Jeff Bossert from Radio IQ spoke with author L.M. Sutter about mining towns and America’s favorite pastime.

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Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Jesse Milnes and June Carter Cash.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

You can send us an email at InsideAppalachia@wvpublic.org.

You can find us on Instagram and Twitter @InAppalachia.

And you can sign-up for our Inside Appalachia Newsletter here!

Stay Connected
Inside Appalachia Co-Host/Folkways Reporter, mason.j.adams@gmail.com, @MasonAtoms
Kelley Libby is a Virginia-based public radio editor and producer. She currently edits for Inside Appalachia and its Folkways Reporting Project at WVPB. You can reach here at kelleylibby@gmail.com
Nicole Musgrave is an independent folklorist and media producer based in Whitesburg, Kentucky. She currently serves as a folkways reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia. Recently, she’s worked with Appalshop and Partners for Education at Berea College to document eastern Kentuckians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inside Appalachia Producer, blynch@wvpublic.org, @LostHwys