It is with much sadness that I pass along the news that our dear friend –
and inspiration – Jim McCoy passed away on Wednesday, September 7.
Jim was a bandleader (the first group to play behind Patsy Cline), a DJ,
a gentle raconteur and an irrepressible spirit. And he loved music as
much as anyone I have ever met.
But most of all he was a gentle, sweetheart of a man. Jim didn’t just
dream – he created.
He built his own wild and wonderful, honky-tonk world on his family
farm outside of Berkeley Springs. It was a place where magic
happened whether there was a crowd of people – or just you and
Jim. As he was fond of saying, you could sit on his ridge and drink
your coffee and watch the sun come up – then turn your chair
around and sip your whiskey and watch it set.
Ted Harrison and I visited him recently. He was frail and in a
wheelchair…but was still planning and dreaming about songs and the
magic of music.
Jim was the first recipient of the WV Music Hall of Fame’s “Spirit Award”
because we felt he embodied the DIY spirit of West Virginia.
God bless him and his wife Bertha, and those who helped and looked
after him: Matt Hahn, John Douglas, Eddie…and many others. When
you met Jim, his spirit quickly touched you – and he will be missed by
everyone who knew him – even for a moment.
– Michael Lipton, Executive Director
|The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s new documentary, “West Virginia My Home: Musicians and the Mountain State Experience,” offers a fascinating look at some of the most prominent musicians to come from West Virginia, and how the “Mountain State Experience” influenced their lives and music.
Artists including Bill Withers, Brad Paisley, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hazel Dickens, George Crumb, Kathy Mattea, John Ellison, Everett Lilly, Charlie McCoy, Billy Edd Wheeler and Billy Cox recall their experiences growing up in West Virginia, and how those values and ideals helped shape their careers.
Educational and inspiring, the documentary is suitable for all audiences. For students in particular, the film illustrates that growing up in a small town in a small state does not need to be a barrier to pursuing their dreams.
The film was produced by the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and features the talents of numerous filmmakers including Steven Schmidt, Bob Wilkerson, Jack Wright and Evan Shaw. Charleston native Anna Sale, host of WNYC’s popular podcast, “Death, Sex & Money,” narrates the film.
The hour-long documentary was funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council, the West Virginia Legislature, and the Hamilton Family Foundation.
To purchase a copy of the film, or for information about setting up a screening: 304/342-4412; firstname.lastname@example.org