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West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony rescheduled for November 14, 2020

While we acknowledge the uncertainty of planning ahead now, we have secured November 14 as the rescheduled date for the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s eighth induction ceremony.

The event will be held at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston and will be broadcast live on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The inductees and presenters are: Ethel Caffie-Austin (presenter TBA), Honey & Sonny Davis (presented by renowned WV musicians Tim and Mollie O’Brien), Larry Groce (presented by Mountain Stage co-founders Andy Ridenour and Francis Fisher), The Hammons Family (presented by musician/author Gerry Milnes), and Mayf Nutter (presented by Pat Boone).

The living inductees – Ethel Caffie-Austin, Sonny Davis, Larry Groce, and Mayf Nutter – will be present to accept their awards and perform. In addition, there will be performances by Pat Boone, Charlie McCoy, Tim and Mollie O’Brien, John Ellison, Jessie Milnes and Emily Miller, and Trevor Hammons. The house band will be led by 2008 WVMHoF inductee Charlie McCoy.

The show hosts are Leftover Salmon founder Vince Herman and Emily Miller of The Sweetback Sisters.

Doors will open for the gala ceremony at 7 p.m. and showtime is 7:30 p.m. General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale.

General admission tickets to the ceremony are $75 in advance or $95 at the door. VIP tickets are $250 and include preferred seating at the ceremony, admittance to the Governor’s Reception on November 13, and the after-show party at Charleston Marriott Town Center on November 14.

Tickets are available at Taylor Books, through the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame website (www.wvmhof.com), and the WVMHoF office (304/342-4412).

Note: All tickets that were purchased for the original date will be honored.

R.I.P. Bill Withers, 1938-2020

It is with much sadness that we share that Bill Withers has passed. Bill was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 2007.

There is simply not enough we can say about both Bill and his wife Marcia. They both are incredibly wise and compassionate human beings with an extra-large helping of wisdom, humanity and humility.

Bill has become a beacon and an icon – not just because of his music but for his dedication to caring about people. To that end, “Lean on Me” is an anthem whose time has clearly come again. Very few need to be reminded of his contributions to American music… and we have no doubts that you will continue to hear his magical songs many, many times in the future.

On a more personal level, Bill always made himself available to help the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Why? We think he just “got” what we’re trying to do. And although he did not wear rose-colored glasses about some of his life experiences in West Virginia, he embraced the state with a rare (and cynical) passion.

Years after he stopped performing, he agreed to do a spoken word track for the WVMHoF’s tribute to Little Jimmy Dickens – someone he listened to and admired. His reading of “Raggedy Ann” is classic. Listen to “(You’ve Been Quite a Doll) Raggedy Ann” here.

Also, please, please watch Damani Baker’s fabulous documentary Still Bill. In fact – everyone should watch it at least once a year to keep their head on straight.

Watch Bill’s acceptance speech at the inaugural West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2007.

The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s CD Tribute to Billy Edd Wheeler now available!

CD features WV musicians interpreting the songs of one of WV’s most acclaimed songwriters

Continuing its series of tribute CDs, the WV Music Hall of Fame’s latest release features the songs of Billy Edd Wheeler, one of West Virginia’s most prolific and successful songwriters.

The disc includes a baker’s dozen songs recorded by a “Who’s Who” of WV musicians: Tim O’Brien, Kathy Mattea, Larry Groce, Bob Thompson, Julie Adams, Susanna Robinson, Richard Hefner, Ron Sowell, Mark Cline Bates, Sarah Rudy, Annie Neeley, Todd Burge, The Sycomores, John Lilly, and The Carpenter Ants.

The tracks include “Jackson,” “Coal Tattoo,” “Blistered,” “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Coming of the Roads,” “Red-Winged Blackbird,” “A Baby Again,” “Hillybilly Bossa Nova,” “Chain Gang of Love,” “The Big Put On,” “They Can’t Put It Back,” “Ann,” and “Winter Sky.”

In addition, there are three bonus tracks: a live version of “High Flyin’ Bird” by The Tim O’Brien Band from Mountain Stage; “Nervous as an Outhouse Rat” (Billy Edd Wheeler’s spoken word intro to “The Rev. Mr. Black”); and the finale of “The Reverend Mr. Black” from the WVMHoF’s tribute show at Carnegie Hall in 2018.

A poet, a playwright and a painter, Boone County native Billy Edd Wheeler is one of West Virginia’s true Renaissance Men. But of his many gifts, his skill as a songwriter has gained him the greatest acclaim.

A partial list of artists who have recorded his songs is a testimony to the depth of his songwriting: Johnny Cash, June Carter, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, The Kingston Trio, Nancy Sinatra, Hazel Dickens, Neil Young, Richie Havens, and the Jefferson Airplane.

Check out a great introductory piece on the WVMHoF’s CD tribute to Billy Edd Wheeler by Bill Lynch in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. It includes a conversation with Billy Edd. Click here.

The CD is available on the Shop page, at Taylor Books (downtown Charleston), at the WVMHoF’s office (304/342-4412) and store in the Charleston Town Center.

Here’s a great piece on Ethel Caffie-Austin by WOWK’s Rob Macko.

Welcome to the Class of 2020

The WVMHoF is proud to announce the five artists who will be inducted in April 2020. They are WV’s First Lady of Gospel Ethel Caffie-Austin; brother-sister country-rockabilly duo Sonny & Honey Davis; multi-faceted singer/songwriter/producer Larry Groce; legendary traditional musicians The Hammons Family; and eclectic singer/songwriter/actor Mayf Nutter. The eighth induction ceremony will be held April 4, 2020 in the Culture Center Theater in Charleston.

Larry Groce

2020 Inductee Larry Groce Named West Virginian of The Year

The Charleston Gazette-Mail has recognized long-time Mountain Stage host and 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee as its West Virginian of the Year. Groce was applauded as a “Texas transplant who became one of WV’s best-known voices.” Click here for the story.

The Hall of Fame wholeheartedly agrees that West Virginia is indeed a better place to live thanks to Larry's creative endeavors and tireless work.

Check out this piece on the WV Music Hall of Fame by WOWK’s Rob Macko. Thoughtful and well-researched!