Appalachian Family's Musical Legacy Lives On Through Young Banjo Player


On this West Virginia Morning, 19-year-old banjo player Trevor Hammons never met his musical ancestors, but he’s determined to make sure their legacy lives on. We also hear a report about the upcoming primary election in West Virginia, and we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

In March, the Secretary of State’s office opened absentee voting to all to allow for social distancing during the primary election. Since then, 86,000 West Virginia voters have mailed in their absentee ballots, which is 80,000 more than the last presidential primary. Emily Allen reports.

West Virginians have until May 19 to register for the primary election. Early in person voting starts May 27. Election day is June 9. Absentee ballot applications are due June 3.

On this weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we meet a young banjo player who is carrying on his family’s musical legacy. You may recognize the Hammons Family name — they are some of West Virginia’s most famous musicians, known across the world for their distinct style of old-time mountain music. Most of the family has passed on, but 19-year-old Trevor Hammons is ensuring that their songs continue to be played. From our Inside Appalachia folkways project, reporter Heather Niday introduces us to Trevor’s story.

When California quartet Dawes were touring in support of their acclaimed sophomore album, they made a stop for a now legendary Mountain Stage show in October 2011. Our Song of the Week is from Dawes and their performance of the final track from ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ — a creative and emotional high mark for the band, “A Little Bit of Everything.”

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our Appalachia Health News project is made possible with support from CAMC and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Kara Lofton, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Eric Douglas, Corey Knollinger, Emily Allen, and Roxy Todd.

Brittany Patterson produces our show. Our news director is Glynis Board. Our host is Teresa Wills.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning