Radio

Over the years, the performers who have recorded Wheeler’s songs read like a Who’s Who of country music.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

On December 9, 1932, songwriter, musician, playwright, humorist, and poet Billy Edd Wheeler was born in Boone County. He started writing and performing songs when he was just a teenager. Wheeler got his first check in the music business when Pat Boone recorded his song “Rock Boll Weevil.” He would go on to write more than 500 other songs, including the country classics “Jackson,” “The Reverend Mister Black,” and “Coward of the County.” Some of his songs are uproariously funny. “Ode to the...

Blenko Glass also manufactures trophies for the annual Country Music Awards.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Glassmaker William Blenko was born in England on December 8, 1854. In his late thirties, he immigrated to the United States and tried to produce stained glass for a living. Unfortunately, business after business failed—until he wound up in the Cabell County town of Milton in 1921. In this late sixties, Blenko finally became an overnight success. His factory began shipping stained glass across the United States and to Europe. The business rolled along until the Great Depression nearly wiped...

Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Once part of the Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars , Southern folk musician John Paul White returns to the Mountain Stage to perform cuts from his new solo release Beulah, including the atmospheric lament "Once and Future Queen." This week's broadcast also features performances from blues rockers The Fabulous Thunderbirds, all-star ensemble Golden State-Lone Star Blues Revue, English rock legend Terry Reid, and Bayou Americana group The Honey Island Swamp Band. Like what you hear? Subscribe...

Monongah Mine Disaster: December 6, 1907

Dec 6, 2016
Fairmont Coal Company’s No. 6 and 8 mines at Monongah in Marion County
Appalachian History.net

On December 6, 1907, a massive explosion ripped through the Fairmont Coal Company’s No. 6 and 8 mines at Monongah in Marion County. The powerful blast killed at least 361 men, and that number is likely low due to poor record keeping. It was the worst mine disaster in U.S. history. Many victims were recent immigrants, particularly Italians, Hungarians, and Russians. There were no trained rescue workers at the time. So, miners from surrounding states rushed to the scene. The rescuers—many of...

His first plows sold for between $150 and $175.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

On December 5, 1916, Benjamin Franklin Gravely of South Charleston received a patent for his Gravely Motor Plow. He had first started working on the invention five years earlier. Gravely’s first crude attempt had combined a push plow, a tractor wheel, and a two-and-a-half-horsepower motorcycle engine. From this simple start, he kept adapting the plow until he perfected it. In 1922, he founded the Gravely Motor Plow and Cultivator Company in Dunbar. His first plows sold for between $150 and ...

Charles Town Race Track Opens: December 2, 1933

Dec 2, 2016
The Charles Town Race Track opened in Jefferson County on December 2, 1933.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

The Charles Town Race Track opened in Jefferson County on December 2, 1933. It was the first track in West Virginia to open after the state legalized racing and parimutuel betting. The sprawling complex featured a 3,000-seat, steam-heated grandstand and a 200-seat restaurant. Economically, though, it was bad timing—during the darkest days of the Great Depression. As a result, the track lost money during its first two years of operation. But, everything changed when Albert J. Boyle purchased...

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Legendary political consultant Matthew Reese died on December 1, 1998, at the age of 71. His political career started in 1948, when he helped Huntington’s Maurice “Bernie” Burnside get elected to Congress.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting is happy to announce its holiday line-up of radio specials. With a combination of local and national programs, pianist Bob Thompson's "Joy to the World" once again takes center stage. The producers of " Mountain Stage with Larry Groce" celebrate this 23-year tradition with jazz arrangements of holiday favorites new and old, featuring special guest vocalist Lena Seikaly . This year's episode premieres Monday, December 19th at 9pm, with several repeats...

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Spellbinding folk with a captivating voice. It would only make sense for such a performance by Aoife O'Donovan to be titled "Magic Hour," one of the many songs we'll preview on this week's Mountain Stage broadcast. We'll also hear performances by Old Crow Medicine Show crooner Willie Watson, Grammy-nominated country songwriter Brandy Clark, Chicago indie rockers Frances Luke Accord, and acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter John Doyle. Like what you hear? Subscribe to the Mountain Stage podcast...

Izetta Jewell Kenny Born: November 24, 1883

Nov 24, 2016
got involved with farm women’s groups, attended the first farm women’s camp at Jackson’s Mill, and served on a committee to improve wool production.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Izetta Jewell Brown, US Senate, William Gay Brown, Preston County

Izetta Jewell Kenny was born in New Jersey on November 24, 1883. In 1914, she moved to West Virginia with her husband, William Gay Brown, a congressman from Kingwood. In 1920—the year women got the right to vote nationally—Brown attended the National Democratic Convention. She seconded the presidential nomination of West Virginia’s John W. Davis, a first for a woman in U.S. history. In 1922, she became the first woman south of the Mason-Dixon Line to run for the U.S. Senate. She lost the...

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

As the year winds down and we prepare for the camaraderie of Thanksgiving, Mountain Stage looks back at some of our favorite performances of 2016. One of those performances comes from The Wood Brothers, an established folk-soul trio from Nashville whose latest release Paradise was produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.

US Senator Allen Taylor Caperton became the first ex-Confederate elected to the U.S. Senate and only former Confederate senator to serve in the U.S. Senate after the Civil War.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online

Allen Taylor Caperton was born on November 21, 1810, on his family’s estate in Monroe County. During the 1840s and 1850s, he served as a Whig in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. As the Civil War approached, Caperton was personally opposed to secession. However, in April 1861, he served as a delegate to the Virginia secession convention and voted with the majority to join the Confederacy. From 1863 until the end of the war two years later, he represented Virginia in the Confederate...

November 17, 1766: Pioneer Morgan Morgan Died

Nov 17, 2016
Pioneer Morgan Morgan was an influential member of the Bunker Hill community and helped found Christ Episcopal Church. Today, his grave is part of the church’s cemetery, and a log cabin he built stands nearby.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Morgan Morgan, Bunker Hill, Berkeley County, Christ Church Episcopal Church, Potomoke

Pioneer Morgan Morgan died on November 17, 1766. Generations of schoolchildren grew up being taught that Morgan was the first permanent white settler in present West Virginia. Now, though, we know that others came before him. A native of Wales, Morgan emigrated in 1712 to Delaware, where he worked as a tailor and a coroner. In 1731, he settled in the Bunker Hill area of present Berkeley County. Four years later, he received a land patent in the region for 1,000 acres. He was an influential...

Brian Blauser

Somewhere between experimental folk and traditional Appalachian you'll find Asheville-based band River Whyless, an up-and-coming indie act making their Mountain Stage debut on this week's broadcast (which includes this trip-loopy performance of "All Day All Night").

1970 Marshall University Football Team
Marshall University

On the night of November 14, 1970, a Southern Airways DC-9 approached a foggy and rainy Tri-State Airport in Wayne County. The airliner slammed into a hillside just short of the runway and burst into flames. All 75 passengers were killed. On board were nearly the entire Marshall University football team along with the head coach, athletic director, and 36 other fans, coaches, announcers, and crew members. It is still the deadliest sports-related air disaster in U.S. history. The tragedy...

World War I Ends: Nov. 11 1918

Nov 11, 2016
The last-surviving WWI veteran was Frank Buckles died at Charles Town in 2011 at the age of 110.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Frank Buckles, WWI, Charles Town,

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended after more than four years of brutal fighting. Nearly 39 million soldiers had been killed, wounded, or listed as missing. American soldiers arrived on the scene only during the last year-and-a-half of the war. Still, some 116,000 died in the conflict. About 58,000 West Virginians served in the war. Of these, more than 1,100 were killed in action, and nearly 700 died in training. Many others died from influenza or other diseases. On the home front,...

Shawnee Leader Cornstalk Murdered in Point Pleasant: November 10, 1777

Nov 10, 2016
Cornstalk
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Shawnee leader Cornstalk was murdered while being held in captivity at Point Pleasant on November 10, 1777. He’d spent a lifetime fighting white settlers and the British Army in the vicinity of present West Virginia. In 1774, Cornstalk had led the resistance to a combined British and Virginia army that was on its way to attack Indian settlements in Ohio. Cornstalk’s men intercepted the Virginians at Point Pleasant. His Shawnee warriors were defeated after a valiant day of fighting. After the...

Brian Blauser

"You're fired up and you say you want it. No, don't ever lose your will to fight. Or wane when you think upon it. It's hard work, but it will be worth it."

Darrell McGraw, Born in Wyoming County: November 8, 1936

Nov 8, 2016
Darrell McGraw helped to expand the rights of injured workers to sue employers
Yahoo Images

Darrell McGraw was born in Wyoming County on November 8, 1936. After graduating from Pineville High School, he earned degrees from Berea Academy and West Virginia University, where he served as student body president. He also served a stint in the army. In the 1960s, he opened a private law practice and was a legal counsel to Governor Hulett Smith and the legislature. A staunch Democrat, McGraw was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1976, one of three liberals elected to the court that...

Forks-of-Cheat Baptist is the oldest church in West Virginia west of the Alleghenies with continuous records.
TripAdvison.com

On the night of November 7, 1775, the Reverend John Corbly and 12 others organized the Forks-of-Cheat Baptist Church. The meeting took place near Stewartstown, about six miles north of Morgantown. The church remains in service today. As such, it is the oldest church in West Virginia west of the Alleghenies with continuous records. Its earliest artifact is the small hand-written minute book of that charter meeting in 1775. Over the years, the congregation has developed a number of traditions...

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