On this West Virginia Morning, we take a deep dive into the mosh pit and the hardcore music scene of Roanoke, Virginia with music photographer Chelse Warren. Inside Appalachia Host Mason Adams has more.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. The show is an audio tour of our rich history, food, music and culture.
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The Inside Appalachia Folkways Project expands the reporting of Inside Appalachia to include more of the states in our region.
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A 2022 Holiday Encore, Inside Appalachia
This week, we usher in the season of lights with our holiday show from 2022. James Beard-nominated West Virginia chefs Mike Costello and Amy Dawson serve up special dishes with stories behind them. We visit an old-fashioned toy shop whose future was uncertain after its owners died – but there’s a twist. We also share a few memories of Christmas past, which may or may not resemble yours. You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.
Inclusive Square Dancing, Zine Fest And Playing The Spoons, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we pick up a little light reading at the Johnson City Zine Fest. And… Grab your dancing shoes and learn about a movement to make square dance calling more inclusive. Also, the perils of playing the spoons.
The Rock Band Wednesday, Quilting And The Moonshine Messiah, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, Karly Hartzman of Asheville indie rock band Wednesday, talks about songwriting, place and spending a lot of time with a band on tour. We also meet Emily Jones Hudson, who started a workshop to try and reinvigorate quilting in her community in Kentucky. Also, we check in with the Alabama Astronaut and learn about a uniquely Appalachian form of art – religious music heard only in snake-handling churches.
Mushroom Mania, Soul Food And Aunt Jeanie, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we head to the woods and take a master class in foraging for wild mushrooms. We also break bread and talk soul food with Xavier Oglesby. And we’ll hear about old-time music legend Aunt Jeannie Wilson.
Encore: Wildflowers, Paddle Makers, Turkey Calls — And More Inside Appalachia
This week, we’re airing an encore episode of Inside Appalachia. We’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls. We’ll also meet people who make wooden paddles by hand and custom-decorate each one, and a man who repairs cuckoo clocks. Finally, we’ll travel to some of the most beautiful spots in Appalachia to find wildflowers, like Dolly Sods and the Canaan Valley of West Virginia.
Spooky Tales And Sci-Fi, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, submitted for your approval, we have a selection of spooky tales for Halloween and beyond. We have scary stories read by acclaimed sci-fi and horror authors, tales of the supernatural, and we might know someone who says they’ve seen a ghost.
Fish Fry Tradition, Ann Pancake And The Internet, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, can the internet rebuild Appalachia? We ask sci-fi novelist and tech writer Cory Doctorow. Also, fish fries have been a staple in Charleston, West Virginia’s Black community for generations. We learn more about them. And, hop on board the Cass Scenic Railroad for a visit with the people who keep the steam trains running.
Rural LGBTQ Voices And An Appalachian Village Witch, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, Rae Garringer felt isolated growing up and thought they were the only queer person in a small town. But they learned otherwise. Now they’re collecting and sharing the stories of rural LGBTQ people from across the country. Also, surface mining changes the landscape in a way that makes flooding worse. And there’s no easy fix. And we meet an Appalachian village witch, who wonders: How come we don’t hear about more female cryptids? Why isn’t there a Mothwoman?
The Rise Of Advanced Black Lung, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, black lung disease is back. In fact, it never went away. Now, younger and younger miners are living with a particularly nasty form of black lung disease. Regulators and the coal industry have known about the problem for decades — but they’ve been slow to respond. One reporter asks, “What would happen if thousands of workers in any other industry got sick and died just because of where they worked?”
Appalachian Tarot Cards And Ron Rash, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, a Pittsburgh artist channels the Steel City’s mythology and struggles — into tarot cards. Western North Carolina author Ron Rash shares his thoughts on writing about Appalachians. And we hear about efforts in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to return a young bald eagle to the wild.
O Pioneer, Turtle Travels And Throwing Rocks, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, Appalachians are often called mountaineers — but are they also “pioneers?” A new documentary reckons with what it means… to be a pioneer. In Michigan, an Appalachian mountain man competes in a championship tournament, for skipping stones — and we wade into a mountain wetland to search for one of the region’s most elusive creatures.
Encore: What Is Appalachia? We Asked People From Around The Region. Here’s What They Said.
Politically, Appalachia encompasses 423 counties across 13 states — and West Virginia’s the only state entirely inside the region. That leaves so much room for geographic and cultural variation, as well as many different views on what Appalachia really is. For Inside Appalachia, we turned our entire episode over to the question, “What is Appalachia?”
Celebrating A Tradition Of Poets And Discussing The Resurgence Of Black Lung, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, Rev. George Mills Dickerson of Tazewell, Virginia was born in the years after slavery ended. He’s remembered today through his poetry. And a new wave of black lung disease is ravaging Appalachia. We’ll hear more from a black lung town hall in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Coal miners have their own thoughts about black lung, too.
Family Recipes, Water Trouble And ‘Peerless City,’ Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, a Virginia Tech researcher challenges deeply held ideas about the purity of natural springs. Also, we meet the folks behind Angelo’s Old World Italian Sausage. They still use a family recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation for over a century. Customers love it.
Flat Five Studio, Old Growth Forests And Trouble At WVU, Inside Appalachia
This week, we drop by Flat Five Studio in Salem, Virginia. It had a reputation for recording bluegrass bands, but caught a big break in the early 1990s when the Dave Matthews Band needed a quiet place to record its debut album. We also learn a little about primordial forests, and we visit a small nonprofit company in West Virginia that’s making solar powered light kits for families in war-torn Ukraine.
Encore: The Love Of Competition, Inside Appalachia
Appalachians love to compete. Whether it’s recreational league softball, a turkey calling contest or workplace chili cookoffs, Mountain folks are in it to win it. But there’s more to competing than just winning or losing. In this show, we’ll meet competitors who are also keepers of beloved Appalachian traditions.
Pepperoni Rolls, Ice Cream And The World’s Largest Teapot, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, If you’re hungry for a pepperoni roll in West Virginia, you can find one at just about any gas station, but how did they get so popular? In Pennsylvania, the lure of one particular sweet treat gives hikers on the Appalachian Trail a break on their journey and a challenge that requires a strong stomach. We also “spill the tea” on a classic roadside attraction that’s been around for generations.
Fur Trapping In W.Va. And A Blue Ribbon Winner, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we visit with West Virginia trappers to learn about the fur trade in the 21st Century. We also meet a county fair champion who keeps racking up the blue ribbons and has released a cookbook of some of her favorites. And we hear an update on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Construction has begun again, but some people wonder if it’s even needed.
Remembering Floods And Recovering From Disaster, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, flooding is a recurring problem across Appalachia. This week, we’re taking stock, and looking back on floods that have devastated parts of West Virginia and Kentucky. We explore some of the reasons for floods, as well as the aftermath and the slow recovery that often follows disaster. It’s not all gloom. Even in our hardest moments, there’s always hope.
Following Up With A Ukrainian Musician And Smoky Mountain Firefly Magic, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, a Ukrainian musician reflects on what music means during wartime. And there’s a growing number of a certain kind of blood-sucking arachnid — and diseases that come with it. We also sit in on one of the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Encore: Millipedes And Taylor Swift, Inside Appalachia
This week, we visit a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow on one acre what other farms grow on 100 acres. We also hear about a podcast that remembers the “Back to the Land” movement of the 1970s and ‘80s – and a mysterious disappearance. And, we meet a team of scientists that found dozens of new millipedes across Appalachia. They named one species after a pop star.
Remembering Woody Williams And Volunteers Save Segregated Cemetery, Inside Appalachia
This week, we visit a cemetery in Bluefield, Virginia and learn how racial segregation followed some people to the grave. We also hear from Neema Avashia, author of the celebrated memoir, “Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer And Indian In A Mountain Place.” And we remember Hershel “Woody” Williams. The West Virginia native was America’s last living World War II Medal of Honor winner. He died last summer at the age of 98.
Old School Fly Fishing Rods And Minor League Baseball Lore, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we meet a craftsman who builds exquisite, handmade fly rods and shares his love of fishing with others. We also talk about Appalachia’s nurse shortage, and we hear stories about Appalachian baseball.
Summer Reading Suggestions, Inside Appalachia
Inside Appalachia loves books and writers – and if you’re looking for summer book recommendations, we’ve got a bunch. This is our summer reading episode, featuring some of our favorite notable author interviews from over the past several months.
The Changing Media Landscape, Inside Appalachia
This week, we’re joined by Lilly Knoepp, regional reporter at Blue Ridge Public Radio in Western North Carolina. Boom and bust cycles for coal, timber and textiles are nothing new to Appalachia. Today, we’re seeing another industry struggle – local journalism. Some newspapers have scaled back or disappeared entirely, but journalism isn’t dying. Journalists are adapting and some are reinventing what they do.
The Buzz About Bees And No Hate In My Hollar, Inside Appalachia
This week, we head to the meadows and woods of West Virginia to catch the buzz on beekeeping. And, it’s been over six years since Kentucky artist Lacy Hale designed her iconic “No Hate in My Holler” screen print. Appalachians are still telling her how much they identify with its message. We also take a ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad and explore some one-of-a-kind getaways in West Virginia.
Drop Of Sun Studios And Appalachian Syrup, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, Drop of Sun Studios in Asheville, North Carolina has put out some of the hottest indie rock records of the year. We talk with one of its co-founders. We also visit the Alleghany Highlands, where Appalachia’s maple syrup traditions are changing with the times. And, poet Lacy Snapp introduces us to east Tennessee’s poetry scene.
The Reign Of ‘King Coal,’ Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, a high school football game, a street festival, and a kids’ classroom are all settings in a new film about how coal mining shapes Appalachian culture. We also learn about the results of a new survey showing alarming mental health trends in Appalachia’s LGBTQ community. And we meet a taxidermist in Yadkin County, North Carolina who was just a teenager when she found her calling.
The African Art Of Face Jugs, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, a North Carolina potter is reviving an art form brought to America by enslaved Africans. We return to the town of Hindman, Kentucky, which endured catastrophic flooding last July, and get an update on the town’s recovery. We also talk with West Virginia poet Doug Van Gundy about disasters, and their relationship to art.
Encore: True Stories Behind Folk Heroes, Runaway Trains And Murder Ballads
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about traditional ballads — how they tell stories and connect us to the past. These old tunes can mean so much. They can tap into difficult emotions and give feelings space to be heard. Some songs may even be too uncomfortable to sing.
A Class Project Discusses Being Inside Appalachia
This week, a southern Ohio college writing class recently learned about the idea of Appalachian identity and then told us what they thought. Kentucky has a new poet laureate so we listen back to a 2020 conversation with author Silas House, about growing up in the mountains. And in Harlan Kentucky, a mural sparked strong opinions over possums.
Grief Rituals And The Alabama Astronaut, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we speak with an author about grief rituals, a podcaster about the religious music of snake handling churches, and we explore best practices to prepare for retirement.
Spotlighting Award-Winning Stories, Inside Appalachia
This week, we listen back to three award-winning Folkways stories from last year. First, we visit a luthier’s shop, where old musical instruments get new life. We also take a ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad and meet the expert crew who keeps its antique trains running. And we learn what draws people from hours away to Floyd, Virginia’s weekly Friday Night Jamboree.
Landslides, Climate Change And Gardening By The Signs, Inside Appalachia
After last year’s flooding in Eastern Kentucky, some people had trouble getting insurance reimbursement. But it wasn’t just flood waters that destroyed homes. The rains also brought landslides. We also visit with scientists in North Carolina, who explain how the language we use can lead to misunderstandings about climate change. And, in Appalachia, farmers have long planted their gardens by celestial signs. Berea College professor Sarah Hall has a new book about how that knowledge is still in use today.
Butcher Apprentices, Carpet Artists And Cuz’s BBQ, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we visit with Jerry Machen of Kingsport, Tennessee. When he first started making art from old carpets, his wife Linda wasn’t impressed. We also meet the devoted family and friends of Cuz’s Uptown Barbeque, who rallied behind the acclaimed Appalachian restaurant during a hard time. And, it used to be that every grocery store had a trained butcher behind the counter. But that’s not the case so much today. So the owner of a Charleston abattre had an idea.
Taking On The Trail And Celebrating 50 Years of Augusta Heritage, Inside Appalachia
This week, we step on the Appalachian Trail with one of America’s most accomplished hikers, Jennifer Pharr Davis. We also talk to the director of the Augusta Heritage Center. Each summer, dozens of students attend workshops to learn traditional skills. This year, the center is turning 50. We’ll also visit the steel drum capital of America — which, believe it or not, is right here in Appalachia.
Reverse Engineering Potato Candy And Talking with Ohio’s Poet Laureate, Inside Appalachia
Family recipes are a way to connect generations, but what happens when you’ve got grandma’s recipe, and it doesn’t have exact measurements? We also talk with Ohio poet laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour about Appalachia, poems — and getting published. And we revisit a story about an attraction at the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers — and the man who put it there.
Yugoslavian Fish Stew And Unsolved Mysteries, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we look back at a shocking crime near the Appalachian Trail and speak to the author of a book that re-examines the case. We also sample a beloved Lenten staple made in Charleston, West Virginia. It’s a Yugoslavian fish stew that has a little bit of everything. And we talk with the poet laureate of Blair County, Pennsylvania, who invented the demi-sonnet.
The Love Of Competition, Inside Appalachia
Appalachians love to compete. Whether it’s rec league softball, a turkey calling contest or workplace chili cookoffs… Mountain folks are in it to win it. But there’s more to competing than just winning or losing. In this show, we’ll also meet competitors who are also keepers of beloved Appalachian traditions.
Keeping Faith Through The Floods Of Kentucky
This week, we talk to the BBC’s Philip Reevell and reporter Katie Myers about a recent documentary that looks at Kentucky flood recovery through the eyes of local reporter Katie Myers. She not only covered the disaster but was also part of the cleanup effort. We also meet a family who survived the flood and found solace through faith and song. And we meet Kentucky actress Caroline Clay. She stars in a new musical with Dukes of Hazzard actor John Schneider.
Beans, More Beans And Kentucky’s Poet Laureate
This week, climate change is changing what grows in Appalachia, and where. Some peach varieties usually found in Georgia are moving north. We also learn how the bean dish frijoles charros made its way from northern Mexico — to Appalachian Ohio.
A Model Train Club Faces Uncertainty
This week, we hop a tiny train to discover the miniature wonders of a West Virginia model railroad club that now faces an uncertain future. We also visit Madison, West Virginia — a former coal community that’s looking to reinvent itself. And we visit a cemetery in Bluefield, Virginia and learn how racial segregation extended from cradle to the grave. You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.
Encore: Maternal Medicine In The Mountains
This week on Inside Appalachia, amid recent hospital closures, Appalachian women are having to travel farther and farther to give birth. We also learn how seed libraries and community gardens are helping to protect heirloom seeds from being lost. And we hear more from our series on greyhound racing. This year, West Virginia will be home to the last two remaining greyhound racetracks in the United States.
A Teen Takes On Book Deserts In Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we meet a West Virginia high school student whose love of reading inspired her to bring books to young children. We also check in on people who were displaced by historic flooding in Kentucky. What’s happening now that we’re deep into winter? And we find advice for people navigating the difficulties of caring for aging parents.
A KY Comedian Ducks A Flying Bottle And A Talk With The WV Poet Laureate
For working comedians, mean-spirited hecklers are part of the job. But what happens when someone gets angry enough to throw a beer? And, West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman had his own experience with an intimidating gig. We also hear some advice for people caring for aging relatives. You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.
Morgan Wade Talks Performing At Home
This week on Inside Appalachia, we go back to school with West Virginia women who are training to fill the shortage of construction jobs. And, EMTs and first responders take care of Appalachian communities, but who’s watching out for them? We’ll also talk with country music star Morgan Wade about what it’s like to play in Nashville one week and then return to your hometown stage the next.
Encore: Taylor Swift’s Appalachian Millipede, Agriculture Innovations And A Mysterious Disappearance
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow a lot of agriculture on one acre of a former industrial site. We’ll also hear about a podcast that remembers the back to the land movement in West Virginia during the 1970s and 1980s — as well as a mysterious disappearance.
Encore: From The Land Of The Luchador To East Tennessee, Chatting With Appalachians Across The United States
On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re journeying far and wide through Appalachia and beyond. Author Mesha Maren takes us from the hills of West Virginia to the Texas/Mexico border — the land of the Luchador. We’ll also hear about what West Virginians are doing to help Ukrainian refugees. And, we’ll learn about what doctors are saying about medical cannabis in the Mountain State — where it's now available to more than 8,000 patients.
Appalachian-made Washboards And Talking 'Porch Beers' With Elliott Stewart, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we venture to southern Ohio to visit the last remaining washboard maker in the United States. Its washboard’s aren’t just for laundry — but for music. And people come there to jam. We also speak with Elliott Stewart, who makes the zine "Porch Beers." The zine tracks his life and travels, like his move from West Virginia and back again. And we revisit our 20th anniversary celebration with Giles Snyder and Beth Vorhees, the founders and original hosts of Inside Appalachia.
Coal Country Keeps Holiday Traditions Alive And A Visit To Lost Creek Farm
This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with James Beard-nominated West Virginia chefs Mike Costello and Amy Dawson, who serve up special dishes with stories behind them. And, we’ll visit an old-fashioned toy shop whose future was uncertain after its owners died, but has a new chance at life because of a twist of fate. We’ll also be sharing a few memories of Christmas past, which may or may not resemble yours.
Football, Poetry And The Hazards Of Radioactive Waste, Inside Appalachia
This week, one of the NFL’s oldest franchises began right here in Appalachia — in Portsmouth, Ohio.And for some workers in the natural gas industry, unregulated, radioactive waste is part of the job.We also revisit one of our most popular stories from 2022. It’s all about Appalachia’s contribution to America’s great pizza wars.You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.
Encore: Moving Past Addiction And Old Friends Coming Together To Sing After Decades Apart
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet a man who has struggled with substance use disorder. Now, he’s a recovery coach. We’ll also meet a woman who started a farm and culinary training program to help people in recovery. Childhood friends who first started singing together 70 years ago show us why it’s never too late to begin again, and we learn about barn quilts in North Carolina.
Inside Appalachia Looks Back At 2022: From Historic Floods To Dolly Parton
This week on Inside Appalachia, we look back at some of the stories we told in 2022. We took you to the floods in eastern Kentucky, where you met people who witnessed terrible destruction. We also invited you along as we talked to Appalachians who know a little something about resilience, like Dolly Parton. Because you invited us into your homes, we invited you into ours with a special trip to Mason’s hometown — Floyd, Virginia.
Talking Folklife, Hotdogs And The Asian-Appalachian Experience
This week, we talk with folklorist Emily Hilliard about her new book exploring contemporary folklife and Appalachian culture. We’ll also hear about the Asian-Appalachian experience from a student filmmaker who was born in China and grew up in western Maryland, and we’ll travel back to 2016 and listen to an interview with JD Vance. Back then, he was a newly published author, promoting his book, “Hillbilly Elegy.” Now, he’s Ohio’s newly elected U.S. senator.
Talking 'Y’all Means All' And Visiting With A Gospel Guitar Player
This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with contributors to a new collection of writing by LGBTQ Appalachians — about how they see themselves reflected here in the region. We also hear about the history of baseball in the coal camps of southwestern Virginia and we return to flood damaged eastern Kentucky and meet gospel musician Dean McBee.
Encore: True Stories Behind Folk Heroes, Runaway Trains And Murder Ballads
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about traditional ballads — how they tell stories and connect us to the past. These old tunes can mean so much. They can tap into difficult emotions and give feelings space to be heard. Some songs may even be too uncomfortable to sing.
Exploring Snake Handling Church Music And Going Hands On With Traditional Tanning
This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk to podcaster Abe Partridge about a uniquely Appalachian art — the religious music heard in snake handling churches. We also travel to southern West Virginia and talk real estate. The Itmann Coal Company Store building is up for sale, and the owner’s looking for a buyer who appreciates its history. And, it’s hunting season. We visit with women who tan deer hides — using animal brains.
Cabbagetown, Mothman Returns And Appalachian Spiritualism
This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cabbagetown, an Atlanta neighborhood that was home to Appalachian workers who migrated there for textile jobs. We also tag along with Coal, a dog with a big job in a southern West Virginia elementary school. And just in time for the spooky season, we hear about Mountain Cove, a community of spiritualists who came to western Virginia in 1850.
A Funeral Singer Talks, And Barbara Kingsolver Writes, About Appalachia
This week Inside Appalachia, we travel to Charleston, West Virginia, to learn about the importance of funeral singers to Black communities. We’ll also hear about a new tool whose maker believes he can help save thousands of lives from fatal opioid overdoses. And we talk with author Barbara Kingsolver about the influence of Appalachia in her books.
Encore: Monsters And Mysteries Of The Mountain State
This week, we bring back our special Halloween episode of Inside Appalachia from 2021. It’s packed with ghost stories and mysteries from across the region.
Sipping Berkeley Springs Water And Talking Climate Change With Silas House
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re visiting Berkeley Springs where we sample healing waters from a natural spring so good that even George Washington traveled to check it out. We’ll also visit the Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Tourists come from all around to ride its antique trains. And there’s a crew of experts who keep ‘em running. And we speak with Kentucky author Silas House about his new novel. It’s part of a growing genre called climate fiction.
Appalachian Armadillos, The Paw Paw Harvest And A Ride On The Cass Scenic Railroad
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re learning about an unexpected immigrant to central Appalachia — the armadillo. We’ll also take a ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad and follow reporter Randy Yohe as he explores some one-of-a-kind getaways in West Virginia. And, just in time for the paw paw harvest, we revisit one of our 2020 stories about this wild food delicacy.
Floyd’s Friday Jamboree, Flooding And Fracking Fluid Inside Appalachia
This week, we begin our journey through Appalachia in Floyd, Virginia, at the Friday Night Jamboree. We’ll also check in with volunteers from across the country who are coming together to help those in Eastern Kentucky dealing with flood damage. And we’ll learn about the people who worked toward securing women the right to vote. All that and more this week Inside Appalachia.
Encore: Wildflowers, Paddle Makers, Turkey Calls — And More Inside Appalachia
This week, we’re airing an encore episode of Inside Appalachia. We’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls, not ordinary turkey calls. Painter Brian Aliff doesn’t call himself an artist, but he intricately paints his turkey calls, which are now collectors’ items. We’ll also meet people who make wooden paddles by hand and custom-decorate each one, and a man who repairs cuckoo clocks.
Historic Flooding, Award-Winning Barbeque And Writing About The Opioid Epidemic
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re visiting the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky, whose cultural archives were damaged by historic flooding.
Reading With Dolly Parton, Repairing Old Carpets And Learning To Embroider
Our first stop this week is in Charleston, West Virginia where we’re sitting down with the inimitable Dolly Parton. She recently visited W.Va. to celebrate her children’s book program, Imagination Library. We’ll also talk to the owner of a Charleston abattoir who developed a butchering apprenticeship program.
Winning, Running And Flooding Inside Appalachia
One thing we know to be true about Appalachians: we love to compete. But there’s more to a competition than winning. In this week’s Inside Appalachia, we meet competitors who are also keepers of beloved regional traditions.
Inside Appalachia Has Turned 20. We Talk With The Show's Founders
Inside Appalachia is 20 years old this month — we celebrate the anniversary by taking a look back with Inside Appalachia founders Giles Snyder and Beth Vorhees.
Hammer Dulcimers And Roadside Dinosaurs Inside Appalachia
On this week’s episode, we begin our journey through Appalachia by way of Lviv, Ukraine to learn about their version of an Appalachian dulcimer. We’ll make a roadside stop to revisit the theme park throwback Dinosaur Kingdom II in Natural Bridge, Virginia. And, we’ll swing by Lexington, Kentucky to visit the newly appointed United States Poet Laureate, Ada Limón.
Maternal Care Deserts And Seed Saving Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, amid recent hospital closures, Appalachian women are having to travel farther and farther to give birth. We also learn how seed libraries and community gardens are helping to protect heirloom seeds from being lost. And we hear more from our series on greyhound racing. Next year, West Virginia will be home to the last two remaining greyhound racetracks in the United States. This week, we learn about the government policies that sustain dog racing.
Righting A Wrong, Greyhounds, And Talking To A Hero, Inside Appalachia
This week, on Inside Appalachia, we visit a cemetery in Bluefield, Virginia, and learn how racial segregation followed some people to the grave. Also, we continue our series on greyhound racing. Most states have closed down their race tracks. So, what’s the future of the sport in West Virginia? And we’ll revisit a conversation with America’s last World War II Medal of Honor recipient — Hershel “Woody” Williams, who died recently at the age of 98.
Revisiting Matriarchal Moonshiners and Legendary Lawbreakers
This week on Inside Appalachia, we listen to stories from 2021 that tackle everything from the challenges that came with virtual schooling to using poetry to change public perception.
The Resurgence Of Coal And Coal Dust, And A Trip To The Dog Track
This week on Inside Appalachia, we hear from a radiologist in eastern Kentucky who says he’s seeing a rise in cases of black lung among young coal miners. We’ll also hear the first part of a new series from reporters Randy Yohe and Chris Schulz about the dog racing industry in West Virginia. Then, we’ll travel to Monaca, Pennsylvania where Shell plans to begin operations at its massive ethane cracker plant, and our host Mason Adams speaks with author Barbara Ellen Smith.
Taylor Swift’s Appalachian Millipede, Agriculture Innovations And A Mysterious Disappearance
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow a lot of agriculture on one acre of a former industrial site. We’ll also hear about a podcast that remembers the back to the land movement in West Virginia during the 1970s and 1980s — as well as a mysterious disappearance.
From The Land Of The Luchador To East Tennessee: Chatting With Appalachians Across The United States
On this week’s episode, we’re journeying far and wide through Appalachia and beyond. Author Mesha Maren takes us from the hills of West Virginia to the Texas/Mexico border — the land of the Luchador. We’ll also hear about what West Virginians are doing to help Ukrainian refugees. And, we’ll learn about what doctors are saying about medical cannabis in the Mountain State — where it’s now available to more than 8,000 patients.
Children's Authors Discuss Creativity, Appalachia, Diversity
On this week’s encore episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating the show to children's authors. Hear from Cynthia Rylant, author of “When I Was Young In The Mountains,” “Messy Larry” author David J. Perri and storytelling champion Bil Lepp reading from his children's book “The Princess And The Pickup Truck.”
Lying Liars, Crankies And Aunt Eloise: Storytellers Revisited
This week, we’re dedicating our entire show to the art of telling stories out loud and in front of audiences. In this encore episode from last fall, we’ll hear five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Bil Lepp. We’ll also learn how musicians Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle first met and began performing together. Finally, we’ll wrap up at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Recovery, Reinvention And Why It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again
This week, we’ll meet a man who has struggled with substance use disorder. Now, he’s a recovery coach.We’ll also meet a woman who started a farm and culinary training program to help people in recovery.And childhood friends who first started singing together 70 years ago show why it’s never too late to begin again…You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.
A Floyd County Fiddler, Midwives And Home Births, And Student Stories From The Fayette Institute of Technology
This week, we begin our journey throughout Appalachia in Floyd County, Virginia, home of Earl White. Then, we’ll travel back to the early 20th century, when nurse Mary Breckenridge launched a midwifery program in Eastern Kentucky. We’ll also meet two student reporters at the Fayette Institute of Technology, who bring us stories about Anstead, West Virginia, and finally, we meet journalist Kim Kelley, who recently authored “Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor,” to learn about the pro-Union history of Appalachian people.
Wildflowers, Paddle Makers, Turkey Calls – And More Inside Appalachia
This week, we’re airing an encore episode of Inside Appalachia. We’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls, not ordinary turkey calls. We’ll also meet people who make wooden paddles by hand and custom-decorate each one, and a man who repairs cuckoo clocks. Finally, we’ll travel to some of the most beautiful spots in Appalachia to find wildflowers.
Bristol Sessions, Reclaiming The Banjo, Appalachian-Mexican Folk Art, And More
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about Black musicians and luthiers who are reclaiming the banjo — an instrument with deep roots in Africa and a difficult history in The United States. We’ll also hear about The Bristol Sessions — recording sessions known for bringing country music out of the hollers and onto radios, and for making stars of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.
Returning Home, Ballad Singers And Storytellers Across Appalachia
This week’s episode is all about ballad singers and storytellers. We’ll hear an interview with West Virginia native Becca Spence Dobias who wrote a novel called ‘On Home.’ And co-host Mason Adams sits down with ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle, who grew up in Rural Retreat, Virginia. We’ll also hear about a song called “Tom Dooley,” which was first released shortly after the Civil War, and much more.
Growing Up Queer And Indian In Appalachia, New Comedy Film Set In Beckley, And Visiting A Luthier Shop In Elkins
This week on Inside Appalachia we’ll visit a luthier’s shop where old instruments get new life, and hear about a new comedy film set in Beckley, West Virginia. We’ll also hear from author Neema Avashia, whose new book is "Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer And Indian In A Mountain Place."
The Harlan Renaissance Wins Weatherford Award, And Foster Care In West Virginia Is Still Broken, As Lawmakers Fail To Pass New Legislation
The downturn of coal in Harlan County, Kentucky has led to an exodus of Black residents in search of work. This week on Inside Appalachia, we listen back to our conversation with William Turner, whose book about growing up in a vibrant Black community in eastern Kentucky just won the Weatherford Award for nonfiction from the Appalachian Studies Association.
‘To Live Here You Have to Fight’ – How Appalachian Women Today Are Building On Activist Traditions Of The Past
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll listen back to an encore episode, all about how women in the mountains spearheaded movements to battle racial injustice, defend healthy communities, and fight for the rights of all Appalachians. We’ll talk with the author of a book called “To Live Here You Have To Fight,” hear from podcaster Anna Sale, and visit a camp that teaches young people to play rock music.
Teaching Uncomfortable History And Overlooked Stories Of Black Americans Inside Appalachia
Lawmakers across Appalachia are debating how issues of race are taught in public schools, but the U.S. isn’t the only country with an unsettling history to deal with.In Germany, teachers are mandated to include lessons about one of their nation’s darkest chapters — the Holocaust.
Beans And Cornbread, Cryptid Board Games, And Bear Stories From The Smoky Mountains
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at the origin of beans and cornbread. And we’ll meet a woman originally from Honduras who opened a restaurant in Moorefield, West Virginia. She makes pinto beans in her restaurant, Pupuseria Emerita. We’ll also learn about a new board game based on West Virginia foods and local monsters, like Mothman, and talk with bear photographer Bill Lea.
Building Cultural Bridges From Ukraine To Appalachia, Mexilachian Music, And We Learn How A Black Recreation Area Is Seeing New Life
The Russian invasion in Ukraine is sending shockwaves throughout the world. Did you know that the geography and culture of the people who live in the mountains of southwest Ukraine have a lot in common with Appalachia? Google images of the Carpathian mountains and you’ll see stunning images that look very similar to views in our own backyard.
Making Swiss Cheese In Helvetia, W.Va. And 50 Years After The Buffalo Creek Flood, What's Changed?
Last December, tornadoes ripped through our region, killing almost a hundred people and leaving many more without homes.Thousands of people applied for federal assistance — but the government denied most of them. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from residents in Kentucky who were denied aid. We’ll also hear a special documentary about the Buffalo Creek Flood of 1972, one of the worst catastrophes in U.S. history. Fifty years later, what do people remember? How is that disaster inspiring a new generation to take better care of the land and water? We’ll also learn about West Virginia’s first, and only, curling club, and meet a woman in the small town of Helvetia, West Virginia who’s reviving her family’s tradition of making swiss cheese.
Revealing Reconstruction History, Dancers Adapt To The Pandemic, And A Mountain Biking Club Empowering Women
Think back to your American history class. We all learned about the Civil War, but what did you learn about the years after the war ended? On Inside Appalachia this week, we’ll hear how that history parallels events today. We’ll also learn about a women’s mountain biking group called the Roanoke Valley Riveters, how a dance company in North Carolina has adapted during the pandemic, and hear about a podcast that features first-hand accounts of West Virginia healthcare workers.
Animals And Love, First Date Flops, And Losing Love
Valentine’s Day gets a lot of flack for being sappy, cliché or just a marketing ploy by card and chocolate companies. But we tend to think there is more to it than that. So, for this episode of Inside Appalachia, we asked our listeners for their best Appalachian love…
Appalachian Black Metal, Modern Labor Struggles, And How W.Va. Is Making Skiing More Affordable
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia features stories about a West Virginia black metal band that plays songs about local history. We’ll also hear how folks are helping make skiing, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing more accessible to people in West Virginia. And while labor struggles in Appalachia historically included coal miners, we’ll hear how other workers in other industries have attempted to unionize in the past year.
Punk Rockers, Urban Farmers And More – How Appalachians Are Finding Creative Solutions To Big Problems
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is packed with stories from across central Appalachia, featuring creative people who are finding ways to address a wide-range of problems. We’ll hear how urban farmers in Pittsburgh are helping fight food insecurity, and how two musicians in North Carolina are finding help for people in addiction.
Appalachia Is Facing An Unprecedented Teacher Shortage—What Some Coal Communities Are Doing To Entice More Teachers To Stay
Schools are facing unprecedented staff shortages – here in Appalachia and across the country. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear what teachers and schools are up against, and what solutions could help keep more educators from burning out.
A Winter Hike, Homemade Wine, And The Story Behind The Marmet Slaw Dog
For some, winter can be a difficult time — dark and cold. For others, time outside in the winter is a powerful experience. Getting outside can also be one way to help with the stress. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll go outside into a cold, crisp forest on a winter hike.We’ll also learn about a group of Italian immigrants who escaped religious persecution and moved to the mountains of North Carolina. They brought cultural traditions, including winemaking, to this small pocket of Appalachia. And we’ll also delight in one town’s twist on the classic West Virginia slaw dog — the “Marmet yellow slaw dog.” The dish has been around since the 1930s but isn’t widely known outside the tiny town in Kanawha County where it’s made.
Amid Coal’s Decline, What Comes Next for Appalachia
People in coal country are pleading for help as coal’s decline accelerates. This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore the economic and health impacts coal has had on coal communities in Appalachia. We’ll talk about the past and the future of this industry, through the lens of its labor history, to the climate crisis. And we’ll hear from members of Indigenous communities on how they feel about the future of coal.
Cryptid Glass Art, Appalachian Zines, And A Racial Revamp For Rock Climbing Routes
In the latest episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories from creators across Appalachia and how they process their lives through their art, including songwriting, photography and self-published zines. We’ll talk with a climber who challenged the climbing community to rename racist and sexist route names, and won. Also in this episode, West Virginia singer and songwriter John R. Miller brings us up-to-speed on his new album.
Singing Goats, A Pickle In A Tree, And An Easter Egg Hunt At Christmas
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore stories about the power of memory and tradition. Listeners across Appalachia share some of their favorite traditions, and our reporters and hosts share some of our family traditions, too. We’ve got recipes for things like cranberry salad and sorghum gingerbread. Reporter Zack Harold tells us how his family began a unique tradition of hunting for Easter eggs on Christmas Eve. We travel to a farm in Bluefield, Virginia, where goats sing along to Christmas carols, played on an organ.
Even In the Midst of Crisis, Inspiration and Creation Take Root in Appalachia
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia we hear a roundup of some of our region’s news, from recovery efforts in Kentucky following devastating tornadoes, to how infrastructure funding from Congress could benefit communities in Appalachia. We’ll also hear from teenagers in Western North Carolina share poetry about how they see themselves and their identities.
Families, Fiddles And Politics At The Dinner Table
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia explores stories about families, friends, and how people on opposite ends of the political spectrum connect through music, food and conversations about tough topics. We’ll hear the story of one of the world’s best fiddlers, Clark Kessinger, from St. Albans, West Virginia. We’ll learn how he inspired his nephew, Robin Kessinger, to play the guitar.We’ll also talk about how East African immigrant communities in a small town in West Virginia are connecting back to their home traditions through coffee ceremonies.
Plays, Films and TV Shows That Confront the Appalachian Region’s Complex Realities
The story of Appalachia can’t be summarized in one book, one article or one movie. Our region goes beyond just ill-considered stereotypes.
‘To Live Here You Have To Fight’- How Appalachian Women Today Are Building On Activist Traditions Of The Past
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear how women in the mountains spearheaded movements to battle racial injustice, defend healthy communities, and fight for the rights of all Appalachians. We’ll talk with the author of a book called “To Live Here You Have To Fight,” hear from podcaster Anna Sale, and visit a camp that teaches young people to play rock music.
Building Cultural Bridges Through 'Mexilachian Music,' A Black Recreation Area Sees New Life, And Writer Marie Manilla On Being 'Urban Appalachian'
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear what happens when a family with roots in Mexico and Appalachia combines its cultural identities through music. We’ll also learn about a park called Green Pastures, created in 1937 in a small Appalachian Virginia town as a U.S. Forest Service-run outdoor recreation area specifically for Black residents.
Gather Round Y'all For Bigfoot, Witches And Spooky Tales Inside Appalachia
A few weeks ago, we asked listeners to share your favorite spooky stories from across Appalachia. This week’s special Halloween episode of Inside Appalachia is packed with ghost stories and mysteries from across the region.
A Forest Of Mythical Giants, An Heirloom Apple 'Detective,' And Why Some Of The World's Best Steel Drums Are Made In W.Va.
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear the story of a world-renowned steelpan drum maker from Trinidad who built instruments in a former coal mining town in West Virginia, and inspired others to learn his craft. We’ll also talk with a man who treks hundreds of miles to seek out long-lost varieties of heirloom apples.
‘We Do This To Free Us’ — An Interview With The Creators Of The ‘Black In Appalachia’ Podcast On Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking with the creators of the “Black in Appalachia” podcast about their recent mountain road trip through the coalfields. Also in this episode, we learn about how debates over LGBTQ issues are playing out on the Qualla Boundary, in Western North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. But some LGBTQ members have spent the last several months trying to change that.
Memoir Depicts Thriving Black Community In Harlan County, KY. And Investigation Explores Flaws In W.Va.'s Foster Care System
The downturn of coal in Harlan County, Kentucky has led to an exodus of Black residents in search of work. This week on Inside Appalachia, we speak with William Turner, whose new book looks at growing up in a vibrant Black community during Harlan’s boom years.
Looking Back And Pointing Ahead At The Future of Coal Mining in Appalachia
People in coal country are pleading for help as the coal industry nears the end of its long decline. This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore the economic and health impacts coal has had on communities in Appalachia. We’ll talk about the past and the future of this industry through the lens of its labor history to its future amid tough talks about the world’s climate crisis. And, we’ll meet a woman who entered the male-dominated coal industry. She tells us why she stayed, despite resistance from her family.Coal’s been in slow decline here for decades, but it’s been more noticeable in the last 10 years. That’s meant hard times for communities that have long relied on the industry for jobs and taxes. Coal mining jobs have dipped by 66 percent in West Virginia compared to their heyday 50 years ago — and experts don’t predict a comeback. But we’re not alone; other places around the world face similar dilemmas. We learn what people in West Germany did 50 years ago — – when coal executives and political leaders had to make tough decisions when it came to the future of coal, and their home.
Skunks, Sweet Tea And Red Wine: Appalachian Storytellers On This Week's Inside Appalachia
Each October, storytellers and audiences of all ages gather at the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. This year, because of the pandemic, the festival is going virtual. It takes place the first weekend in October. We thought it was a fitting time to listen back to an episode of Inside Appalachia — which is all about the art of live storytelling.
Hip-Hop, Animals In Love And More Favorites Inside Appalachia
This week, we’ve pulled a few gems from our archive. We’re listening back to some of our favorite Inside Appalachia stories from the past year.
Affording And Finding Child Care In Appalachia Was A Challenge Before The Pandemic — Now It’s Worse
This week on Inside Appalachia, we meet parents like Megan Hullinger, a single mom with four kids in Pocahontas County. It took her nearly three years to get a spot at a childcare center for her son Nathan. During the pandemic, parents have faced pressures and decisions unlike any before in human history. How do you balance it all, and maintain positivity, in the midst of all these challenges? For many mothers, we’re not just talking about parenting questions — but also how to balance that against work.
Appalachian Zines, A Racial Revamp For Rock Climbing Routes And W.Va. Musician John R. Miller Speaks
In the latest episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories from creators across Appalachia and how they process their lives through their art. Everything from songwriting, to photography, to self-published zines. Suzie Kelly has been making zines for more than 20 years. She talks about how DIY publishing can connect people in unexpected ways.
Crystal Wilkinson, Candy-Makers And A Cross-Cultural Music Collaboration
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is an encore episode filled with rich storytelling and cross-cultural collaborations. What happens when a musician from Belarus gets together with Appalachian folk musicians? And we’ll talk with Affrilachian writer Crystal Wilkinson, who has been named this year’s Kentucky Poet Laureate. You’ll hear these stories and more in this episode.
Education, Job Training and A Future — Pointing A Path Forward for Young People in W.Va.
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk with students, educators, life coaches and psychologists about what can help more young people stay in school, and get trained so they can get jobs, and stay in Appalachia.We meet Sharell Harmon, who works for a nonprofit called Youth Build, training young people with hands-on skills so they can get jobs to help them get a job. Harmon was a participant in the program seven years ago. “I went from being homeless, a college dropout,” Harmon recalled. “And now I’m a college graduate. And, I’m going to buy my first house this year.”
Traveling Through Appalachian Rivers By Canoes And Coal Barges
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is all about how we interact with water and our rivers. We’ll hear from people who make their living on the water — like Marvin L. Wooten, a longtime river boat captain. He started working in the riverboat industry in 1979. “I got two job offers the same day, and I took this job,” Wooten said. “My dad always said the river will always be there. So that’s what I’ve chosen to make my living at.”
Mystery Bird Deaths, Flood Recovery And A Hidden History Of Eugenics In Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ve got an eclectic mix of stories from across central Appalachia. We check in with residents in Kentucky who are struggling with the aftermath of devastating floods there five months ago. We also learn about the dark history of Eugenics in Virginia. We’ll talk with author Elizabeth Catte about her new book, “Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia.” We also talk with biologists who are trying to figure out what’s causing a mysterious illness that’s killing birds across the region. And on a lighter note, we travel to an artist retreat center outside Asheville, North Carolina, where writers come to enjoy nature and focus on writing.
What Ballads And Science Fiction Tell Us About Appalachia’s Past, Future And Present
This week on Inside Appalachia, co-host Mason Adams sits down with Elizabeth LaPrelle, who grew up in Rural Retreat, Virginia. She and her husband Brian Dolphin moved from Brooklyn back to southwestern Virginia just before the pandemic hit. As longtime performers and new parents they took to Facebook Live, posting weekly livestreams of lullabies and stories. We’ll also hear about a song called “Tom Dooley,” which was first released shortly after the Civil War. It resurfaced 60 years ago, when it topped the Billboard charts.
A 91-Year-Old Diner, DIY Zines And Remembering A Legendary Hot Dog Maker
This week on Inside Appalachia, we listen to an encore episode about places in Appalachia that are drawing visitors and newcomers, sometimes at a cost. The region needs new residents to drive economic prosperity, but an influx of buyers can also squeeze out lower income people and put stress on community infrastructure.
Writers, Playwrights And Filmmakers Who Confront The Complexities Of Appalachian Life
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about people who are digging beneath the surface, telling authentic stories about life in Appalachia. In this episode we’ll hear from writers, playwrights, filmmakers and storytellers who confront the complexities of life here in Appalachia. They share why we should be proud of these complexities, and be willing to learn something new about Appalachia — even those of us who live here.
Forest Farming, Falcons And Frozen Fungus Ice Cream — Inside Appalachia
This week, we’re listening back to an encore edition of Inside Appalachia about getting outside to embrace our wild side, to shed stress and to heal. We’ll hear stories about tapping into the natural world. From a recipe that uses chanterelle mushrooms to make ice cream, to the sport of falconry (the oldest form of hunting), to a new initiative that teaches people how to raise native plants, like ginseng, cohosh and wild ramps on their own forested land as a source of income and as a way to preserve the forests.
Wildflowers, Turkey Calls and Cuckoo Clocks — And More Inside Appalachia
In the latest episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls. However, these aren’t ordinary turkey calls — they’re hand-crafted and feature intricate paintings. We’ll also travel to some of the most beautiful spots in Appalachia to find wildflowers — Dolly Sods and the Canaan Valley of West Virginia. But are these places becoming too popular?
Hip-Hop, Herbalism And Cryptid Glass Art In Appalachia
When people talk about Appalachian music, banjos and fiddles are often the first things to come to mind. But what about hip-hop? Hip-hop lives all over, including in small towns and hollers across Appalachia. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet hip hop artists in southwest Virginia. And we’ll hear why herbal remedies are experiencing a renaissance. But those remedies have been a tradition in Appalachia for centuries. We’ll also learn how Blenko Glass, a historic West Virginia artisan business, based in Milton, West Virginia, managed to stay open during the pandemic by retooling a mythical monster into art.
Roanoke's Lost Queer Scene, Rescuing Baby Animals And Sheep Shearing In Appalachia
The pandemic continues to inspire more people to go outside. One result? They’ve found more baby animals. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear how everyday folks have helped rescue a record number of baby owls. And June is Pride month. We’ll listen back to a fabulous story from 2019 as With Good Reason producer Cass Adair takes us on an audio tour through the history of Roanoke’s Queer scene with those who lived it.
Legendary Aviators Of Appalachia, And The Infamous Pot Plane Crash Of 1979
Over Memorial Day weekend, airports across the country reported the highest numbers of people flying in more than a year. As more of us are dreaming once again of flight, we thought this would be a good time to listen back to an episode of Inside Appalachia that originally aired last summer. We’ll hear stories about flight: legendary aviators, fighter pilots, and a plane ride that didn’t quite go as planned.
Country Roads, Indie Pro-Wrestling, And A Story From Wales That Traversed An Ocean
Our Inside Appalachia team recently won several awards for our reporting. This week, we’re listening back to some of these stories, including one about the John Denver classic, “Take Me Home Country Roads,” which was first recorded 50 years ago in 1971. And we’ll learn how indie pro-wrestling in Southern West Virginia was able to keep going through the pandemic — with drive-in shows. We’ll also hear about two Welsh storytellers and their fascination with Appalachia.
Children’s Authors Discuss The Lessons Their Books Can Teach Adults
This week we’re revisiting an episode of Inside Appalachia that features children’s authors in and from our region. And while these stories were written for children, like many children’s stories, these stories have messages for all of us, including grown-ups.
A Tomato Mystery, Radioactive Waste, And Reunited Families
Many oil and gas workers come into contact with a fracking byproduct called brine. The gas industry says it’s safe. But is it really? This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll talk with reporter Justin Nobel, who says some workers are being exposed to dangerous levels of radioactivity, which could be making them, and their families, sick. And, as we head into garden season, we’ll check in with an update on a mystery about mortgage-lifter tomatoes.
Anna Sale Discusses New Book 'Let's Talk About Hard Things,' And We Talk About Gun Violence, Mother's Day, And More
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll talk with West Virginia native, Anna Sale. And we’ll hear from teenagers in Charleston who lost their friend to gun violence. We’ll hear the history behind Mother’s Day, and we’ll go on a nature hike with biologists who are restoring wetlands for frogs and salamanders.
Inspiring Kids To Learn From Nature And Outdoor Enthusiasts Fighting Stereotypes
In this era, kids spend so much time looking at screens. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet a storyteller and songwriter who inspires kids to get outside and explore nature. And we visit a former strip mine where Elk are being reintroduced. This episode explores stories about humans and nature, and what experiencing the outdoors means to different people.
What Could Fix Appalachia's Crumbling Water Systems?
Lots of rural communities in Appalachia also have unsafe drinking water. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from people in Appalachia who are trying to bring clean drinking water to their friends and neighbors. President Joe Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” includes billions of dollars that would go to fixing water systems, but will it be enough to fix the underlying issues? And will it make a difference in the lives of the poorest, most vulnerable people?
Candy-Makers, Crystal Wilkinson And A Cross-Cultural Music Collaboration
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is a mix of rich storytelling and cross-cultural collaborations. What happens when a musician from Belarus gets together with Appalachian folk musicians? And we’ll talk with Affrilachian writer Crystal Wilkinson, who has just been named Kentucky’s Poet Laureate.
Matriarchal Moonshiners, Legendary Lawbreakers And More, Inside Appalachia
We have a packed episode of Inside Appalachia this week, stuffed with stories of family strife and struggle, revolutionary artists fighting against stereotypes, legendary lawbreakers, matriarchal moonshiners and the badmen of one of Appalachia’s biggest battles — the Baldwin-Felts detectives.
Planting Seeds of Change, Inside Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with folks who are planting seeds of change — literally and figuratively. While many are finding joy through their gardens and food work, there are some people in Appalachia who are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives.
One Year Of COVID In Appalachia: Fathers Talk Bonding With Babies, Teenagers Share How The Pandemic Has Upended Their Lives, And More
The pandemic has reshaped our world in many ways. Can you remember what life was like before you wore a mask to the grocery store? This has been a historic year for so many people, and we wanted to mark the moment. Let’s be clear, the pandemic isn’t over yet. But it’s good to think back on how far we’ve come. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we check back in with some of the people we’ve had on our show over the past year, and hear how they’re doing now.
Children's Authors Discuss Creativity, Appalachia And Diversity
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia features several children’s authors, including Cynthia Rylant, David Perri, Bil Lepp, and Lyn Ford. And while these stories were written for children, like many children’s stories, each have messages for all of us, including grown-ups.
Sweet Tea, Red Wine, Skunks And Crankies: Storytelling Across Appalachia
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating our show to the art of live storytelling. We’ll learn how musicians Anna and Elizabeth first met and how they incorporated the use of “crankies” into their songs. We’ll also travel to the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee where storyteller Michael Reno Harrell shared a story about his mother’s extended family.
DIY Zines, A Legendary 91-Year-Old Diner, And Pandemic-Fueled Homebuying In Appalachia
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore stories about places in Appalachia that are drawing visitors and newcomers, sometimes at a cost. We’ll hear from folks who have moved to our region during the pandemic, and we’ll hear how this trend is putting pressure on the housing market here, making it more expensive for people in some parts of Appalachia to buy a home.
Appalachia Has 'Most Alarming' HIV Outbreak In Nation. The Proposed Solutions Are Controversial
Decades after HIV was first discovered, there’s still discrimination. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we look back at some of the stories our newsroom reported over the past three years about harm reduction programs. We’ll hear from several people here in Appalachia who are living with HIV. We also look back at why a needle exchange program in Charleston, West Virginia, was shut down in 2018 amid public outcry. Three years later, the city is now at the center of the most alarming outbreak of HIV in the nation.
Leaning On Community For Sobriety During The Pandemic
Human beings are social creatures and the pandemic is taking a toll on all of us in one way or another. It’s also bringing to light just how important human connection is in our lives.This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from folks who are overcoming these challenges on top of maintaining sobriety and staying on the path to recovery.
Punk Music, Banjos, Legendary Hot Dog Maker And More Inside Appalachia
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re sharing stories about people with passions like poetry, music, or making hot dogs, and have touched others with their dedication to their craft.
What's Love Got To Do With It? First Date Flops, Skiing And Animals In Love
Valentine’s Day gets a lot of flack for being sappy, cliche or just a marketing ploy by card and chocolate companies. But we tend to think there is more to it than that. So, for this episode of Inside Appalachia, we asked our listeners for their best Appalachian love stories.
3 Stories About Fierce Appalachian Women
Scratch the surface of most any grassroots movement in Appalachia, past or present, and you’ll find women at its heart. Strong women feature prominently throughout Appalachian history, and they continue to push the region forward today.
Winter, Wine, And A Walk Outside, Inside Appalachia
For some, winter can be a difficult time — dark and cold. For others, time outside in the winter is a powerful experience. After everything we’ve been through in the past year, getting outside can be one way to help with the stress. Taking a break from social media and the news, getting bundled up and venturing out into nature, even just for five minutes, can help.
In The Midst of Change, Preservation And Endurance In Appalachia
How can we hold onto traditions in a world that’s always changing? This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore stories about how our history and culture can help us find answers, and ask questions, about the types of future we want to build.
Looking At Economic Development In Appalachia — Without Rose-Colored Glasses
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re revisiting some of the stories we have reported about economic development. We’ll hear how these projects are doing today, and how the pandemic has impacted these efforts.
Food And Family Holiday Traditions, Inside Appalachia
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about holiday foods. We’ve got recipes for things like cranberry salad, sorghum gingerbread, and pecan pie. But more than recipes, this show is about the power of memory, and tradition.
'Let's Get To Work' – Addressing Inequality And Racism In Appalachia
What are communities in Appalachia doing to address racism? The death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police sparked hundreds of demonstrations over the summer, and a national reckoning on police reform and systemic racism. Those conversations are happening here in Appalachia, too.
Veteran Tells His Story Of Leaving Appalachia, And Why He Came Home
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, you’ll hear the story of Iraq War veteran Mark Combs. He left Appalachia to become a comedian, trying his luck first in California, then in Colorado. Along the way, homesickness hit Combs especially hard. His story is part of our reporting projec "The Struggle To Stay," which has won national awards.
Working Parents, Childcare Workers and Children Are Struggling, How They Are Finding A Way Forward
Juggling work and child care has never been easy, but it’s gotten even more complicated during the coronavirus pandemic. Our child care system is in crisis.The system was patchwork and threadbare before this year. Working parents in the United States face a lot of pressure. And child care workers are often underpaid, overworked, and undervalued.In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia we’ll hear from several people who have had to adjust their lives and work in the midst of the global pandemic.
Planting Seeds Of Change Inside Appalachia — Plus New Hosts!
It’s been quite a stressful couple of months for most of us. For this episode of Inside Appalachia, we wanted to slow down, take a breath, and talk about one of our favorite foods — cookies!We’ll get some baking tips on a very special kind of cookie, made with local buckwheat and stone ground flour.
Deep Connections To Family, Music And Land In Spite Of Pandemic
There is a deep connection among generations that holds steady for many families across central Appalachia. Perhaps it’s a combination of shared struggles and enduring repeated cycles of economic boom and bust. Maybe it’s our deep ties to the land that help bind so many of us to our past — after all, these mountains are among the oldest on the planet. While many Appalachians have fled the region in search of better opportunities, many of them we interview on Inside Appalachia tell us about the pull to return, even after many years.What happens to these bonds, even if we can’t meet face to face?
Flying High In Appalachia
Many of us are dreaming about the things we want to do when this pandemic is over — like traveling someplace far away. If you have wanderlust, or the itch to fly, these are not ideal circumstances. But being grounded does give us time to reflect and dream about flights in our future and those in our past.This week on Inside Appalachia, we are listening to an encore episode of a show that aired over the summer that looks some of the unique stories that comprise the Mountain State’s history of aviation.
People Are People, Not Political Categories: Appalachians Discuss The Issues That Matter Most
Four years ago, 95 percent of Appalachian counties voted for Donald Trump. National journalists parachuted in to try to understand why. But, what did they miss? This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking with voters across Central Appalachia about the issues that matter to them.
Fierce Women Of Appalachia In Story And Song
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is about fierce women — something we have no shortage of here in Appalachia.We’ll hear about the folk music collaboration between Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn. Their new album combines the tones of Appalachia with the melodies of China. We’ll also hear a story about the first transgender person elected to political office in West Virginia, and a 90-year-old newspaper publisher who is still hard at work each week.
Looking At Black Lung And Racism In The Mountains
In Appalachia, we’re all too familiar with black lung disease, and how it takes the breath away from coal miners. For a time, it seemed black lung was going away, thanks to tougher mine safety regulations. Now it’s seeing a resurgence.There is another problem that doesn’t seem to have gone away, either, and that is racism. It shows itself in places you never would have thought of, including in the names given to rock climbing routes in West Virginia’s New River Gorge.
Reconnecting To Our Roots Through Pawpaws, And Revisiting Indigenous History Inside Appalachia
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll take a look at a fruit that is unique to Appalachia called the pawpaw. It was nearly forgotten but is coming back as some people are working to keep it alive. We also hear an interview with author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. Her new novel explores the Eastern Band of Cherokee’s history, and the push and pull to leave and return home. And we learn about a group of rock climbers who are trying to rename climbing routes that bear racist and sexist names.
The Power Of Storytelling, Nature, And Elk Inside Appalachia
It’s safest to avoid cramped public places, and when you’re hanging out with friends, experts say do it outside. Get some fresh air. We’ve got plenty of that here Inside Appalachia. Even as the weather changes we have an abundance of wildness to explore. And today, we’re celebrating that wildness.
7 Stories About Appalachians Who Find Solutions And Rekindle Traditions
National stories about Appalachia sometimes overlook the people who are working on the ground to solve problems in their communities. This episode of…
When Strangers With Cameras Travel Inside Appalachia
What happens when strangers with cameras come to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about. We’re taking…
Finding Economic Resilience In Appalachian And Western Coal Communities
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we are listening back to a show that originally aired in 2018. It’s about poverty. Appalachia is not the only place…
How Appalachians Are Finding Strength, Peace, And Sobriety During A Pandemic (Hint: Community)
Human beings are social creatures, but the pandemic is making it difficult to interact with one another. It is also bringing to light just how important…
Forest Farming, Falcons and Frozen Fungus Ice Cream? We Got It All Inside Appalachia
The natural world can be a source of food and medicine along with a place to escape and unwind. There are people who know plants like they’re old friends,…
Dollywood, Hotrods And Moonshine Getaway Cars Inside Appalachia
One could spend a lifetime learning about Appalachia, and just scratch the surface. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re listening back to a…
Addressing Racism And Passing On Traditions Inside Appalachia
Across the globe, many people are wondering how to change society to deal with structural racism. It might all depend on our youth. Today’s episode of…
7 Stories About Appalachia You Probably Won't See In Mainstream Media
For this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking another listen to an episode we originally aired in January of this year, featuring stories about the…
Finding Resilience Through Song, Faith, And Storytelling
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear how religious leaders are adapting to change and finding ways to continue helping people find solace and…
Urban Renewal Forces Black Community Out Of Triangle
The recent killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking protests across this country,…
‘I Hope You’re Never Afraid When I’m Around’: Dads Share Their Stories
In honor of Father’s Day, this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is dedicated to dads. A man’s brain is rewired when he holds his newborn baby just…
Meet The Appalachians Tapping Into The Craft Beer And Spirits Industry
People in our region have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine, but this…
Exploring Unique Connections — Both To And In — Appalachia
There is a deep connection among generations that holds steady for many families across central Appalachia. Perhaps it’s a combination of shared struggles…
Maybe The Best Classroom Is Right Outside Your Door, Inside Appalachia
With kids cooped up inside their homes and classroom instruction happening remotely, we thought it would be a great time to take another listen to an…
Appalachian Strength In The Face Of A Pandemic Devastating Local Economies
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives, whether you’re working from home, worried for your health or unexpectedly out of a job. PBS’s…
Black Community In Charleston, Destroyed For Interstate, Not Forgotten
Why was the Triangle neighborhood, once steeped in the richness of black music and culture, demolished in 1974 in Charleston, W.Va.? Why were some…
Laughter Is The Best Medicine, Inside Appalachia
Can laughter be beneficial for our health? Research suggests that laughing can be therapeutic not only for our emotional well-being, but it can help heal…
Upper Big Branch 10 Years Later – Honoring the Miners Who Lost Their Lives
Ten years ago, on April 5, 2010, 29 men who worked at an underground coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia, lost their lives. The Upper Big Branch…
How Is Appalachia Grappling With The Coronavirus? Humor, Resilience, And Compassion
Usually this time of year marks the start of festival season. So many little communities throughout the region celebrate springtime in their own way. But…
A Break From Coronavirus News: Inside Appalachia Explores The Power Of Connecting With Loved Ones
On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we are taking a much-needed break from the news. We’ll explore ways we can continue to stay connected with…
Tapping Into The Love Of Wild, Inside Appalachia
There is a lot happening in the world that is stressful. But the risk of the coronavirus doesn’t necessarily have to mean you have to barricade yourself…
Failure To Prioritize Worker Safety Leads To Illness, Injury And Death: Inside Appalachia
What is the human impact of a failure to prioritize workplace safety? In this episode, which we originally aired in 2019, we’ll hear how weak regulatory…
Appalachians Reclaiming Their Stories And Means Of Earning A Living
Most people rarely think about where food comes from. We go to the grocery store and have so much to choose from. But global experts say small and…
Finding Meaning And Authenticity In Hot Rods, Dollywood and Everywhere Inside Appalachia
One could spend a lifetime learning about Appalachia, and just scratch the surface. On this week’s episode, we take a deeper look at traditional cultural…
Love For Mountains And Each Other, Inside Appalachia
This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is all about love. Not the florist and jewelry store version of love, but love for something deeper: love for…
Looking At National Stories Through An Appalachian Lens
On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear several stories about people who are working to help address problems within their own communities. We’ll…
7 Important Stories About Appalachia You Probably Won't See In Mainstream Media
Stories about Appalachia tend to fall into two camps– quaint stories about cultural oddities, or reports about grim health and economic statics that our…
Understanding What Mountains Mean, Inside Appalachia
“Montani Semper Liberi — Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just…
Stories Of Resilience, Self-Reliance And Survival In Appalachia
Here in central Appalachia, we have plenty of high-tech skills, and many of us can connect to orbiting satellites, and therefore people and ideas on the…
Politics Is A Difficult Topic, But Necessary — Inside Appalachia
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re doing something a bit different. We’re taking a temperature check on how people are feeling about…