Rev. Ronald English of Charleston, West Virginia was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944. He grew up in the community surrounding the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta and his family was close with the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. English is a graduate of Morehouse College and served as ministerial assistant to Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. He delivered a prayer at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On the evening of Wednesday, February 12, The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, will host a listening party of two episodes of the Out of the Blocks podcast, featuring Charleston’s West Side neighborhood.
This winter, West Virginia Folklife partnered with WYPR producers Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick to field produce two Charleston West Side episodes of the Baltimore-based neighborhood podcast, Out of the Blocks. The audio collage features Charleston West Side locals in their own words, mixed with an original musical score, and is presented in two parts:…
Doris A. Fields, aka Lady D, known as “West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul” is an R&B, soul, and blues musician and songwriter living in Beckley. She is the founder and organizer of West Virginia’s Simply Jazz and Blues Festival and previously hosted the weekly Simply Jazz and Blues radio show on Groovy94 in Beckley. In 2008, Fields’ original song “Go Higher” won an online contest sponsored by the Obama Music Arts and Entertainment Group. She performed the song as a headliner at the Obama for Change Inauguration Ball with President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama in attendance.
On January 25, we hosted our second West Virginia Folklife Program concert at the West Virginia Humanities Council, with a performance by old-time musician and collector Jim Costa, and a presentation by folklorist Zoe van Buren, who worked with Costa to document his collection.
At 87, James Shaffer of Charleston Broom & Mop Co. in Loudendale is the last handmade commercial broom maker in West Virginia. We worked with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to produce a radio & video mini-documentary about Shaffer and the changes he’s seen in his 70 years in the broom industry.
Summary of programs, fieldwork, and other activities of the West Virginia Folklife Program in fiscal year 2016
Please join us at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House, West Virginia Humanities Council headquarters in Charleston on January 25 from 5:30-7:30 for a concert by West Virginia old-time musician and collector Jim Costa, with a presentation by folklorist Zoe van Buren.
On September 8, 2016 we hosted our first West Virginia Folklife Program concert on the patio of the West Virginia Humanities Council, with a performance by 89 year-old Gilmer County ballad singer Phyllis Marks.