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Inside Appalachia: Some of Our Favorite Stories

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

To begin 2019, Inside Appalachia is taking a look back at some favorite stories. Not our favorite stories, but those of the show’s friend Adam Harris. Harris is the Executive Producer for West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Mountain Stage with Larry Groce.

Pepperoni rolls have been called the unofficial food of West Virginia. They were invented here in the Mountain state. Legend has it they were originally made for coal miners to take underground in their dinner buckets - because the cured pepperoni didn’t spoil. Harris picked a trio of stories about pepperoni rolls, including an interview he did with his own mother about the first time he ever tried them himself. Before that story, though, Roxy Todd visits with a bakery that is credited with inventing the pepperoni roll and an author who wrote a book on the subject.

What’s your favorite way to eat pepperoni rolls? Or if you’ve moved away, what do you do to satisfy your pepperoni roll cravings? Tell us your story on twitter at InAppalachia.

Credit courtesy Charlie McCoy

Working with Mountain Stage, music is a big part of Harris’ life. And West Virginia and Fayette County native Charlie McCoy is one of his favorites. McCoy has worked in the Nashville music industry for more than five decades. As a studio musician, he was on nearly every album recorded in the music city in the 1960s and 70s. McCoy has also played in the band at the induction ceremonies for the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and was himself inducted in 2008. Jessica Lilly and Roxy Todd produced this story.

Tent revivals and the music they feature were once a common site in Appalachia, but they have been on the decrease in recent years. Photographer Roger May did a photo project called “Glory” a few years ago to document some of the remaining services. May and Jessica Lilly talked about the project. He is also the director of the crowdsourced photo project “Looking at Appalachia”.

Credit W.Va. Department of Agriculture

Maple syrup is another growing industry in Appalachia, and one that Harris has personal experience with, as his father produced it. Harris selected two Inside Appalachia stories about the people who make syrup and how it has changed their lives.

Adam Harris was the guest host for this episode. Jessica Lilly is the host. Roxy Todd is our producer. Eric Douglas is our Associate Producer. Our executive producer is Jesse Wright and he also edited our show this week. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Molly Born is our web editor. You can find us online on Twitter @InAppalachia.

You can also send us an email to Inside Appalachia @ wvpublic dot org or address your letters to Inside Appalachia at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, 600 Capitol Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25301.

Inside Appalachia

Adam is the Executive Producer of Mountain Stage, and he welcomes the audience before each taping begins. You can reach him at adam@mountainstage.org
Jessica covers southern West Virginia for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. You can reach her at jlilly@wvpublic.org.
Roxy Todd joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in 2014 and works as the producer for Inside Appalachia. She's the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award for "Excellence in Video," for a story about the demands small farmers face in West Virginia. She also won a National PMJA Award For "Best Feature" for her story about the history of John Denver's song "Country Roads." You can reach her at rtodd@wvpublic.org.
Eric is a native of Kanawha County who graduated from Marshall University with a degree in journalism. He has written for newspapers and magazines throughout his career. He is an author, writing both nonfiction and fiction, including a series of thriller novels set in locations around the world. You can reach Eric at edouglas@wvpublic.org