Ann Magnuson discusses West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

By Anna Sale

asale@wvpubcast.org 

Tonight, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame will induct its inaugural class. Ten members make up this first class, and all five living inductees will attend tonight’s event at the state Cultural Center in Charleston. The ceremony will be televised live at 8 p.m. on West Virginia PBS.The five inductees who will attend are songwriter Billy Edd Wheeler, whose songs include the country classics Coward of the County and Jackson;  Bill Withers, whose hits include Lean On Me, Ain’t No Sunshine, and Just the Two of Us; classical music composer George Crumb, Little Jimmie Dickens and Hazel Dickens.

“These people have gotten recognition from all over the world, and certainly didn’t need to come back here or maybe even to care about this, and they all really did – even though most of them have not lived here for decades and decades. I think they all still think of themselves as West Virginians, and they all, I mean everyone really acknowledged how much the state has affected their music and what an impact it’s had on them,” said Michael Lipton, the founder of the Hall of Fame.

The five deceased members of the Hall class are Molly O’Day; Blind Alfred Reed, Chu Berry, Johnnie Johnson and Clark Kessenger.

There’s also a strong lineup helping with tonight’s event. Alison Krauss is among the presenters. And actress and musician Ann Magnuson, a Charleston native, is the master of ceremonies. She spoke to Anna Sale at the Cultural Center.

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