Could New Twists on Traditional Music Help Revive Appalachia's Economy?

Oct 23, 2015

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.

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Calling Appalachian Hip Hop Artists!

We’d like to hear how you mix up old music with new sounds. We’re looking to feature Appalachian hip hop artists- so send us your samples and links to your favorite hip hop artists in Appalachia.

The best entries will be featured in a future episode of our show- dedicated to the growing hip hop scene here in Appalachia.  Who knows maybe, we’ll have to host a DJ or emcee battle or two in this area.

Students Awarded College Scholarships to Play Appalachian Music & Dance

Our episode begins with a story about the Appalachian Ensemble- a touring string band and dance ensemble. The college treats the musicians and flatfoot dancers like sports stars: it offers them scholarships to play traditional Appalachian music. The student arrange the music for contemporary audiences though- and sometimes they blend other styles of swing, cajun, pop, country, tap, and even belly-dancing and break-dancing into their musical and dance performances.

Jake Krack is a musician who performs and teaches music along the Mountain Music Trail
Credit Mountain Stage/ Pat Sergent

Mountain Music Trail Creates "Virtual Test Drive" of Heritage Tour

The West Virginia Division of Tourism and West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Mountain Stage teamed up to promote the Mountain Music Trail and the state’s music heritage. They’ve been working to create videos from stops along the trail. In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, Host Jessica Lilly talks to Mountain Stage’s Vasilia Scouras about the videos.

The Mountain Music Trail connects communities along US Route 219, also known as the Seneca Trail. From Monroe County to Pocahontas County, up through some pretty intense mountains on its way up to Elkins. It finally ends  in Tucker County.

New Album Features Classic Songs by Tennessee Ernie Ford

Tennessee Ernie Ford's classically deep voice is known for songs like "16 tons"
Credit Ted Olson/ ETSU

Sixty years ago this month, Tennessee Ernie Ford went to the top of the pop and country charts with “16 Tons.” Now, a new CD box set examines the recordings of the first dozen years of Tennessee Ernie’s recording career. Wayne Winkler brings us this report.

Charlie Stamper Releases Album of Folk Tunes

Charlie Stamper playing fiddle outside his home in Cadiz, Ky.
Credit WWMT/ Parker Hobson

Charlie Stamper is an 85-year-old fiddler who just put out his first full-length album. It’s called Glory to the Meetinghouse. The record is full of traditional tunes from the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, as well as stories Charlie tells about growing up in Knott County in the 1930’s and 40’s. One of our Kentucky correspondents, WMMT’S, Parker Hobson, traveled over to Stamper’s home recently to talk with him about music and his new CD.