Radio

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

On this week's encore Mountain Stage broadcast, critically-acclaimed "one-man orchestra of the imagination" Andrew Bird stops by with a set full of acoustic roots-pop (not to mention some A+ whistling).

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

On this week's encore broadcast of Mountain Stage, West Virginia super pickers Johnny Staats & Robert Shafer return with a new self-released record in tow titled Music from the Mountains, featuring this upbeat performance titled "El Cumbanchero." 

After being captured in 1776, Lee supplied the British with plans to defeat the Americans.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

General Charles Lee was born in England on February 7, 1732. As a young man, he served with distinction in the British army before immigrating to America in the early 1770s. When the Revolutionary War began, he sided with the Americans and served as a major general in the Continental Army.

Amos Perrine / Mountain Stage

 

Piers Faccini is an English singer-songwriter with Anglo-Italian and Jewish roots who currently resides in Southern France. His music is just as storied as his past, blending folk, acoustic blues, and West African textures into his sound. For his Mountain Stage debut, he performs an even more colorful rendition of "Cloak of Blue" during this week's broadcast.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

West Virginia’s youngest county came into existence on January 30, 1895, when the legislature created Mingo County from Logan County. When West Virginia entered the Union in 1863, it had 50 counties. Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, and Summers counties were added during the first four years of statehood.

Sam Beam, Iron & Wine
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

An ear for cinematic folk music, critically-acclaimed singer Iron & Wine performs "We Two are a Moon" during his Mountain Stage debut from the show's 33rd anniversary celebration.

This was a particularly active period in the Mine Wars—a violent time that pitted miners against coal operators.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Labor leader Fred Mooney was born in Kanawha County on January 23, 1888. At age 13, he began working in coal mines as a trapper boy. 

Six years later, at the young age of 19, he became secretary-treasurer of District 17 of the United Mine Workers of America.

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." 

 Sumner was the first school for African American children in present-day West Virginia and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Robert Simmons died at his Parkersburg home on January 16, 1892. A free black man during the days of slavery, he moved to Parkersburg in 1841 and earned a living as a barber. He and his wife Sarah worried that their nine children wouldn’t receive a proper education.

So, in 1862, he and other free black men established Sumner School in Parkersburg. Sumner was the first school for African American children in present-day West Virginia and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting added a new reporter to its news team this week. Molly Born will be in Williamson, covering the southern West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. Molly’s position is one of three in the region made possible through a partnership with the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the GroundTruth Project’s Report for America initiative.

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.

In 1979, Governor Jay Rockefeller named her state poet laureate.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill was born on her family’s Pocahontas County farm on January 9, 1911. Her first book, Gauley Mountain, was published in 1939. In it, she peppered her poems with the speech and dialect she’d grown up with.

With its rich tapestry of stories and characters, Gauley Mountain is still hailed as a classic work of American poetry.

Over the next few decades, she taught college English but didn’t publish another major collection until 1972.

Listen: River Whyless on Mountain Stage

Jan 4, 2018
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").

In this Jan. 2, 2007 file photo, crosses, wreaths and a candle lay at the Sago miners' memorial in Sago, W.Va., on the one-year anniversary of the mine explosion that trapped and killed 12 miners near Buckhannon.
Jeff Gentner / Associated Press

An explosion at the Sago mine in Upshur County killed 12 men on January 2, 2006. The initial methane blast at 6:30 a.m. killed one worker. Twelve men sought refuge from the carbon monoxide fumes, but 11 men were dead by the time rescuers reached them 41 hours later.

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."

Hayslett continued making instruments well into his nineties.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Harold Hayslett was born in Putnam County on December 26, 1917. After serving in France during World War II, he worked as a pipefitter for Union Carbide in South Charleston. He retired in 1980 after 33 years of service.

While working at Carbide, he started a side hobby—making violins, cellos, and other instruments. His reputation spread quickly—first locally, and then worldwide. The Violin Society of America honored Hayslett on several occasions.

Ruby Bradley
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online

Ruby Bradley was born near Spencer on December 19, 1907. As a member of the Army Nurse Corps, she would become one of the most decorated women in U.S. military history.

Bradley’s ordeal also is one of the most incredible stories of World War II. Just hours after attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japan bombed American defenses in the Philippines, where Bradley was stationed as an Army nurse.

About three weeks later, she was captured and imprisoned in an internment camp in Manila. Conditions in the camp were brutal and kept deteriorating as the war dragged on.

Wheeling radio station WWVA went on the air on December 13, 1926. The 50-watt station broadcast from the basement of John Stroebel, a physics teacher and wireless pioneer. By November of the next year, WWVA had established studios in a Wheeling office building and boosted its power to 500 watts, which, on some nights, could transmit its signal halfway around the world. Early programming on the station included contemporary recorded music, informal announcements, music by local amateurs, and children’s shows.

Shoneys
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online

On December 12, 1975, the original Shoney’s Restaurant closed down for good in Charleston. The Shoney’s chain grew from the original Parkette Drive-In and Bowling Alley, which had opened on the city’s West Side in 1947.

The restaurant was the brainchild of Alex Schoenbaum, a former All-American football player at Ohio State. He moved to Charleston in 1943 and opened the Parkette four years later.

 SharePrint Uncle Dyke Garrett
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online & Lillian Porter Smith

Clergyman William Dyke Garrett was born on December 10, 1844. Known affectionately as “Uncle Dyke,” Garrett was a legendary figure in Logan County history. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Logan Wildcats regiment. Being deaf in one ear, he wasn’t forced to fight. Instead, he was named chaplain of the unit.

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