Arts & Culture

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  

Members of the Huntington and Marshall community gathered yesterday to remember those lost in the 1970 plane crash that claimed the Marshall Football team.

Tom Shoebridge was the keynote speaker as the community gathered around the fountain as they do each year to remember the players and community members that died aboard the DC-9 flight as it returned from a road game at East Carolina University. Shoebridge is the younger brother of Teddy Shoebridge, the quarterback of the Thundering Herd team that perished in the horrific accident.

Gary Quarles lost his son in the Upper Big Branch disaster. Since then, he's looked for peace, understanding and justice.

Quarles wanted to see Don Blankenship held accountable for the conditions at the mine and the death of his son.

Blankenship's Reputation

Quarles worked for Massey Energy as buggy operator for nine years and he knows first hand what kind of operation Blankenship was running.

“Don Blankenship’s name was known throughout Massey," he said.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Winter is coming. Jack Frost is nigh. Santa Clause is coming to town. Whatever way you say it, it's cold outside, so stay inside, curl up next to the fire and listen to some heart- and ear-warming tunes on "Mountain Stage After Midnight." Broadcast from 1am-5am Saturday and Sunday mornings here on West Virginia Public Radio, "Mountain Stage After Midnight" takes the best episodes from the show's 31 year history and shares their memories and songs with our late-night listeners.

Josh Saul

Since this week's A Change of Tune is dedicated to indie/alternative takes on Disney music, it would only make sense to chat with West Virginia Public Radio's very own Mouseketeer, Larry Groce. His contributions to records like Disney's Children's Favorite Songs ​and Disney's Christmas Favorites were understated (you'll never see his smiling, bearded face on a record cover) but impactful (millennials know how "Froggie Went A-Courtin'," thanks to Larry).

Every year on November 14, community members gather at the Marshall University student center to commemorate the crash. At the center, a memorial fountain with 75 jets of water honors
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Marshall University, Wayne County, Tri-State Airport, Marshall University Student Center

The Marshall University community will recognize the 44th anniversary of the 1970 plane crash Friday at noon with the annual fountain ceremony.

Each year on the anniversary of the plane crash, November 14th, a ceremony is held around the memorial fountain in the middle of Marshall’s campus.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the past two days, dozens of people gathered in Charleston to have conversations organizers appropriately refer to as “racy.” The Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia pulled West Virginians from all areas, all backgrounds into the capital city to discuss how national racial tensions seen in places like Ferguson, Missouri, materialize right here at home. 

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“Turn This Town Around” is a project in which two communities, Matewan and Grafton have been selected to receive training, coaching and technical assistant to help revitalize their communities.

Wilma Lee Steele is on the board for the Mine Wars Museum in Matewan. They held an open house over the week where the public was able to come and vote on the color of carpet and how the museum will present the town’s history.

Growing Warriors

This week, we’ll hear from farmer Peg Taylor,  who’s excited that Hemp is being grown in Kentucky for the first time in four decades. But some farmers in West Virginia, like Bill Gorby, say they’re concerned about what hydraulic fracturing could do to the water on their farms.

And for What’s in a Name, we’ll travel to a small town that’s famous for its unique hunter’s stew.

Payram

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews Piers Faccini, an English singer-songwriter who specializes in intimate folk. Although his bedside folk style invokes comparisons to Nick Drake, Ray LaMontainge and even Jack Johnson, Faccini shows he’s more than just a quiet voice by infusing his music with Delta blues, Mediterranean melodies and neo-classical compositions. His new record with French cellist Vincent Segal, titled Songs of Time Lost, goes to prove why Faccini stands out from the folky crowd.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Remember, remember the 8th and 9th of November... for another revolutionary edition of "Mountain Stage After Midnight!" Broadcast from 1am-5am Saturday and Sunday mornings here on West Virginia Public Radio, "Mountain Stage After Midnight" takes the best episodes from the show's 31 year history and shares their memories and songs with our late-night listeners. Each week we'll hand-pick two of our favorite episodes that'll alternate order each night.

Arnold Genthe [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University announced a partnership with West Virginia Wesleyan College that will honor and celebrate, preserve and offer for research a collection of works by Pulitzer Prize winning author and Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck.

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Local artists will once again have an opportunity to showcase their talents in Huntington this spring.

The city announced that the Dogwood Arts and Crafts festival will return in the Spring of 2015. The Big Sandy Superstore Arena will host the festival that has made its home in Huntington for more than 40 years. The festival is returning after a one-year hiatus. Huntington resident and ceramic artist Carter Taylor Seaton will organize the festival.

The Dutch National Archives

  West Virginia University and West Virginia Wesleyan College are honoring award-winning author and Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck.

The schools are hosting an event Thursday in Morgantown along with the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation.

The event is part of Mountaineer Week - a weeklong celebration of West Virginia's heritage and culture.

Buck's novel "The Good Earth" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and helped earn her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.

Jessica Lilly

The town of Athens has made it easier for folks to access books in town. The town was one of thousands across the country to open an official Little Library.

There are three “Little Libraries” throughout the town of Athens made possible by the Little Free Library Organization.  Essentially, it’s a box full of books that sits on a pole about 5 feet tall.  

The libraries are intended for residents and students to give a book and/or take a book from the boxes. So far book traffic out of the Little Libraries in Athens has been steady.

Bitmapped / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources will partner with the State Rail Authority to improve operations at Pocahontas County's historic Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

The partnership announced on Monday will transfer responsibility for Cass' rail operations to the authority, which is the central state agency for railroad matters. The authority already operates two other state-owned railroads: the West Virginia Central Railroad and the South Branch Valley Railroad.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Why not celebrate two legendary singers' birthdays with two great Mountain Stage performances? Broadcast from 1am-5am Saturday and Sunday mornings here on West Virginia Public Radio, "Mountain Stage After Midnight" takes the best episodes from the show's 31 year history and shares their memories and songs with our late-night listeners. Each week we'll hand-pick two of our favorite episodes and they'll alternate order each night.

Published by Constructive Publishing (Scanned cover of pulp magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, as we approach All Hallows Eve, we have dedicated the next hour to ghost tales and dark legends. Award winning writer, Scott McClanahan, remembers hearing scary tales while growing up in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

There's a new film festival being held this weekend in Lewisburg.  It will feature two films making their West Virginia premieres.  "Skeleton Twins" starring former Saturday Night Live stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and "To Be Takei," featuring George Takei who played Mr. Sulu in the original TV "Star Trek" series but is now known for his gay and civil rights activism.
But the title of this film festival contains a certain word. For an explanation into the use of that word, Beth Vorhees went right to the film festival's director Tim Ward.

Bill Withers
wikimedia commons

West Virginia native Bill Withers is among the first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The 76-year-old Raleigh County-native was born in Slab Fork and is best known for several R&B and pop songs in the 1970s and 1980s. Those songs include "Ain't No Sunshine," ''Just the Two of Us," and "Lean on Me."

He's one of 6 of the 15 nominees for the hall's Class of 2015 announced last week that are on the ballot for the first time. Other new nominees include the punk trio Green Day, Sting and the rockers Nine Inch Nails.

John Londono

 

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews Andrew Barr of The Barr Brothers, an up-and-coming Canadian quartet with roots in American folk, African desert, Delta blues and classical string, to say the least. The band's newest record, Sleeping Operator, just goes to prove that The Barr Brothers are the Ra Ra Riot of transcendental folk. Check out the interview below to learn more about the band, their longform music style and their connections to alt music friends The War on Drugs and of Montreal. If you're a fan of sprawling soundscapes that are as much warm as they are catchy (see: Bahamas), this interview and music are recommended for you.

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