Inside Appalachia

Sundays at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. Host Jessica Lilly leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture.

Subscribe to our Inside Appalachia podcast here or on iTunes here, or on Soundcloud here or on Stitcher here.

Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with help from public radio stations in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Affiliate Stations

  • WVMR, Allegheny Mountain Radio, Frost, West Virginia, WVLS Monterey, Virginia. and WCHG Hot Springs, Virginia.- Saturday 7 a.m.
  • WETS, 89.5 FM, Johnson City, Tennessee.- Sunday 6 p.m.
  • WMKY, 90.3 FM, Saturday mornings at 6 on Morehead State Public Radio, Morehead, Kentucky
  • WMMT, Appalshop Mountain Community Radio, Whitesburg, Kentucky.- Sunday 11 a.m. & Tuesday 6 p.m.
  • WEKU Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.- Saturday at 5 a.m.
  • WSHC, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.- Sunday 9 a.m.
  • WUOT-2, Knoxville, Tennessee. - Tuesday 7 p.m.
  • WVCU, Concord University, Athens, West Virginia.
  • West Virginia Public Broadcasting - Sunday at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • WMOV, Ravenswood, West Virginia- Saturday at 8:00 a.m.
  • WUKY, HD 2, Lexington, Kentucky, Monday at 5:00 pm.

Ways to Connect

Danny Lyon / US National Archives

On this  episode of the Inside Appalachia podcast, we talk immigration, migration and what it could all mean for Appalachia.


40 North/ Champaign County Arts Council

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll hear stories of women whose grit and determination changed their own lives - and changed other people's lives, too. We’ll hear from women who overcame a lot of challenges to succeed as students, musicians, entrepreneurs and educators.

Story telling is a great part of family gatherings.  This Thanksgiving StoryCorps is encouraging families to sit down and record some of those stories as part of a national project.   A particular focus is working with high school students, however anyone can participate. So, take some time, download the app and give a listen to someone you love. 

This Thanksgiving weekend, StoryCorps will work with teachers and high school students across the country to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend.

Jessica Lilly

In this week’s Inside Appalachia we take a look at first generation college students.  We’ll hear about challenges that first generation college students are going through, and how some colleges and universities are trying to help these students stay in school.

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

So how do you say Appalachia? This week, our episode is about the many different accents, and pronunciations, of Appalachia. Many of those interviewed for the show said they have very strong feelings about pronunciation.

Inside Appalachia’s host Jessica Lilly found six known pronunciations of the word Appalachia. Yes, that's right, six different ways to say it:

Scotty White / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia has some of the best settings for scary stories, including dark underground coal mines and remote forests. There are hundreds of remarkably bizarre, mysterious ghost tales that take place here in West Virginia. And maybe the most fascinating part is, for some of these tales, there’s historical evidence that says they might have actually happened.

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.

Charleston Newspapers

What should children learn in school? It’s a question that’s stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. People planted bombs in schools, shot at buses, and shut down coal mines. This week on Inside Appalachia, we feature Charleston native Trey Kay, the host of Us and Them.

Courtesy of Fret and Fiddle

This week on Inside Appalachia we pay tribute to fiddler Joe Dobbs, who passed away September 21st at the age of 81. For 25 years he hosted a radio show, called Music From the Mountains, on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Andy Todd

Food deserts: it’s more than just an urban issue. Hey, we all have to eat. This week, we’re bringing you an encore presentation from the Inside Appalachia archives about Appalachian food deserts.  In Appalachia, where green forests grow abundantly, food is scarce for many. Throughout Appalachia, grocery stores are disappearing. This week on Inside Appalachia we're looking at some ways communities are resolving to take matters in their own hands.

AP Photo/Jeff Gentner, File / AP

Once he was considered untouchable, but next week former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is scheduled to go on trial on conspiracy to violate mine safety standards and conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials charges. Blankenship denies the charges.

Those charges stem from an investigation that followed the Upper Big Branch Disaster that killed 29 men in 2010. It’s a trial that folks in the coalfields never thought would happen.

In this episode, we take a look back at how we got here and talk about the significance of this case.  You can also hear part of a special investigative series of reports about outlaw coal mining companies, that keep operating despite injuries, violations and millions of dollars in fines.

courtesy Kaitlen Whitt

How do the wordsmiths of today describe Appalachians? The people who don't let a day go by without putting down on paper a song, or a rhyme, or a tale that they just had to get off their chest? What kind of worlds do they create in their writings?


You’re probably well aware that in places like southern West Virginia, it’s really tough right now for coal miners, their families and many communities. So many miners have been laid off these past few years, and those who have a job don’t have a lot of hope that they will be able to keep what they have for much longer.

Jesse Anderson

Across the country, there’s been sweeping change in the last few years in the way the law treats gay people - and how society in general feels about gay relationships. Here in Appalachia, the acceptance of this change has been mixed.

West Virginia University, Douglas Arbogast

This time of year, it’s the perfect temperature for people to gather on their back deck, maybe over some drinks, to play music. So for this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, Jessica Lilly and Roxy Todd spent some time uncovering a few, shall we say, mysteries behind Appalachian music. We’ll also hear how young people are reviving this old time music.

Ashley Biega

Young people are leaving Appalachia — and they have been for years. We hear lots of stories of once-bustling boom towns in Appalachia. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear from people who moved away from Appalachia, share their stories about why they left and how they cope with longing for home.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

Have you ever heard of a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, then you’re not from West Virginia.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about.

It can be pretty tough to be a young person in Appalachia. There’s a lot of love for our region in the younger generation, too. So some younger people are making their own opportunities. Hear from people in their teens and 20s who are creating art and music here and listen to their ideas and dreams for Appalachia.