Old Time Music

Emily Hilliard / West Virginia Folklife Program

An old-time musician from Clay County has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts’ fellowship -- the first West Virginian in 20 years to receive the honor.

John Morris has been named one of nine NEA National Heritage Fellows. According to a press release, it is the highest honor in the United States for folk and traditional arts. 

Musician Henry Reed Dies: June 16, 1968

Jun 16, 2020
Josh and Henry Reed
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On June 16, 1968, musician Henry Reed died in Glen Lyn, Virginia, at age 84. He was born and grew up in Monroe County, where he learned local tunes dating back generations.

One example is “Quince Dillion’s High-D Tune,” which Reed supposedly learned from a veteran of the Mexican War and Civil War.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian String Band Music Festival, held each year in southern West Virginia, has been canceled this year because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. 

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History made the announcement today.


Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Old-time music is a large part of West Virginia’s heritage – it is the folk music of the state. And although it has now gained the popularity of people from all over the world, hundreds of years ago it was isolated within Appalachian communities. However, as it gains traction, some people think the uniqueness is lost. 

In a special report exploring folkways traditions, as part of the Inside Appalachia Folkways Project, Caitlin Tan explores the master-apprentice relationship in the old-time music community.


MOUNTAIN STAGE/PAT SERGENT

Music has traditionally played a big role in the culture of Appalachia, and it seems that other countries are taking notice of the region’s rich musical tradition. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from the tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail (MMT) Since we last heard from them, they have grown. The MMT recently was a finalist in the British Guild of Travel Writers 2016 tourism initiative awards in the “wider word” category, and was recognized as one of the top three destinations in the world. 

Andrew Carroll/ Davis and Elkins College

Last week, Davis and Elkins College graduated its first class of students that includes members of its touring string band and dance ensemble. The Appalachian Ensemble works a lot like a college sports team- the players, in this case musicians and flatfoot dancers, earn scholarships.

Mountain Stage/Pat Sergent

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why Davis and Elkins College offers a unique type of scholarship for students who play traditional folk music. And we’ll hear about a new tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail.

New Generation Working to Improve Wheeling

Jun 29, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a report from Wheeling where a new generation is taking over rebuilding the city.  And, we’ll listen to the music of old time fiddler Elmer Rich who died on West Virginia Day. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


We Remember Elmer Rich

Jun 27, 2015
Andrew Carroll / Augusta Heritage Center

95-year-old Elmer Rich, a famous old-time fiddler, died this past June 20th, West Virginia Day, at his home in Westover, West Virginia. He’ll be missed throughout these old hills.

Clifftop Fans - Check Out This Documentary

Aug 3, 2014
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This weekend, hundreds of fans of old-time music braved rain and mud to jam with each other at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival -- known better by its nickname, Clifftop.

Our own Bill Lynch wrote this story in the Sunday Gazette-Mail about Clifftop 2014. It talks about the informal, spontaneous nature of the event, where musicians wander from group to group, striking up jams along the way.

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

Human trafficking is happening in West Virginia and law enforcement learns what to look for to stop it. Athletic officials at WVU are hoping that the 2014 football season will be a lot better than last year’s when the team finished 4-8.  And we’ll meet Chelsea McBee, a 29 year old banjo player from Shepherdstown.