R.E.M. "Likes" Recent Mountain Stage Documentary

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Listen online or New Year’s Eve at 3 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio

R.E.M. “likes” recent radio documentary, posts it on the band’s website

Charleston, W.Va. – December 17, 2013 Mountain Stage at 30: A Radio Retrospective has been receiving acclaim from artists who are included in the hour-long special, as well as public radio listeners around West Virginia. In addition, public radio stations in Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Alaska, Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama have aired or plan to air the program..

The hour-long documentary explores the rich history of the longest-running live performance program on public radio. Members of the Mountain Stage staff (including the show’s creators: host and artistic director Larry Groce, the show’s original producer Andy Ridenour, and technical director/lead engineer Francis Fisher) are featured in the documentary, as are public radio program directors and music industry professionals.

Bertis Downs, R.E.M.’s advisor, posted the following on the band’s website:

"One Sunday morning almost 23 years ago, R.E.M., on what became a six-year break from actually touring, descended on the great state of West Virginia–and appeared for the fairly new Public Radio show Mountain Stage. Others on the bill were friends of the band, including Billy Bragg and Robyn Hitchcock, if memory serves. Well, all these years, Mountain Stage is still going strong, with the estimable founder and host Larry Groce still at the reins, and WV Public Radio has created a thirtieth-year documentary to commemorate the show's history. We share it here for your listening enjoyment, and to all our friends in West Virginia and at Mountain Stage, long may you run."

Artists interviewed for the documentary include: Jason Isbell, Robert Earl Keen, Jr., Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ben Sollee, Bela Fleck, Billy Bragg, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and West Virginia’s own Tim O’Brien and Kathy Mattea.

“It’s exciting to see that this documentary is being so well received,” said Scott Finn, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. “We know that the link from R.E.M. has received hits from around the world, most notably in South America and all over Europe. From our own website, the program has received thousands of hits since it was posted on December 2.”

Mountain Stage at 30: A Radio Retrospective was produced by Dave Mistich, reporter and digital coordinator for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The program is still available for download on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s website and will air again on West Virginia Public Radio on Dec. 31 at 3 p.m.

Mountain Stage® began in 1983 and is one of the longest running live music performance shows on public radio. The program has featured nearly 2,000 acts from more than 50 countries and nearly every conceivable genre for a catalogue of more than 800 shows. The year-long celebration of this special anniversary capped off with a special concert on Dec. 1 at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston. Featured guests were Todd Snider, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Diego Garcia, and Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore with special appearances by Deni Bonet and West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman. That performance will air on public radio station’s around the country in March 2014.

Mountain Stage® is heard weekly on West Virginia Public Radio Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The program airs on 139 stations nationwide through NPR and around the globe on Voice of America. Mountain Stage® is also a featured program of NPR Music.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting tells West Virginia’s story through high-quality programming and services including West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, Mountain Stage®, and Ready To Learn®.


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