Kathy Mattea - Inducted Into The
West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame
Photos by Glenda S.
2011 West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on
October 15, 2011 at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, West
Kathy Mattea was inducted this year along with, Billy Cox, Connie
Smith, Butch Miles, Diamond Teeth Mary, Jack Rollins and Tommy
Tim O'Brien presented to Mattea and she accepted the award with a
heartfelt speech thanking her management, family, and her fan club
members that were in attendance. Mattea then performed "West
Virginia Mining Disaster" with Bill Cooley on guitar and Tim O'Brien
on fiddle. Mattea also performed during the finale singing
"West Virginia, My Home".
Kathy Mattea had many of her fan club members, the Matteaheads,
attend the ceremony. They came from all over the country to
see her being inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of
Fame. Mattea spent extra time after the show with her fan club
Kathy Mattea was born in South Charleston, West Virginia, because
it had the nearest hospital to her parents' home in Cross Lanes,
where she grew up, graduating from nearby Nitro High School. She
discovered her love of singing at Girl Scout camp. In 1976, while
attending West Virginia University, she joined the bluegrass band
Pennsboro, and two years later dropped out of school to move to
Nashville. She worked as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of
Fame, did backup vocal work for Bobby Goldsboro, and sang demos for
several Nashville songwriters and publishers including Nashville
songwriter/producer Byron Hill who brought her to the
attention of Frank Jones (then head of Mercury Records), who signed
her to her first record deal in 1983.
Mattea's third album, 1986's folky Walk the Way the Wind Blows,
proved to be her breakthrough both critically and commercially. Her
cover of Nanci Griffith's "Love at the Five and Dime" was her
first major hit, reaching #3 (and in addition, earned Griffith
notice as a songwriter), and the album produced three other top ten
songs: "Walk the Way the Wind Blows" (#10), "You're the Power"(#5),
and "Train of Memories" (#6). "Love at the Five and Dime" also drew
attention because well-known country singer Don Williams sang
harmony vocals on the track.
Further hit songs include her first #1, "Goin' Gone"; the
truck-driving song "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" (1988); "Come
From the Heart" and "Burnin' Old Memories" (both #1 hits in 1989);
"She Came From Fort Worth" (1990); "Lonesome Standard Time" (1992);
"Walking Away a Winner" (1994); "Nobody's Gonna Rain on Our Parade"
(1994); "Maybe She's Human" (1994); and "455 Rocket" (1997, written
by Gillian Welch). "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" in late May
1988, became the first single by a solo female to spend multiple
weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart since Dolly
Parton's " You're the Only One" in August 1979; both singles were on
top of that chart for two weeks.
The heartrending "Where've You Been," which Mattea's husband Jon
Vezner co-wrote with singer/songwriter Don Henry, reached #10 on the
country chart and won her a 1990 Grammy for Best Female Country
Vocal. Mattea is a repeat winner of the County Music Associations
Female Vocalist of the Year, which she won on the success of
"Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" and "Where've You Been."
Mattea won another Grammy in 1993 for her gospel-oriented
Christmas album, Good News. Her first single from the album, "Mary
Did You Know?," went on to be covered by Kenny Rogers with Wynonna
Judd, as well as Reba McEntire.
In 1994, Mattea collaborated with Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss,
and Crosby, Stills, and Nash to contribute "Teach Your Children" to
the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot
Organization. Also on that album, Mattea teamed up with Jackson
Browne to contribute "Rock Me on the Water". Also through the 90's,
she often collaborated with Scottish folksinger songwriter Dougie
In 2000, Mattea released the ballad-heavy The Innocent Years, a
heartfelt tribute to her ailing father. Wanting to explore her taste
for Celtic folk, Mattea hopped labels to Narada, for whom she
debuted in 2002 with the eclectic Roses.
With her social activism and her taste for songs with
introspective lyrics, it has been often said that Mattea owes as
much to the traditions of folk music as mainstream country.
Her 2008 release, Coal, combined her
social activism with songs about coal-mining. It debuted at #64 on
the country albums chart.
Kathy Mattea enjoys strong support from a very active fan club,
whose members refer to themselves as Matteaheads, and critical
acclaim for her albums as she continues to tour and perform.
Kathy Mattea's latest CD was produced by Marty Stuart, the album
is titled Coal, filled with songs about the life of the region's
miners. Kathy was inspired to pursue the theme after the Sago Mine
disaster of 2006, which hit all too close to home: She still recalls
the Farmington Mine Disaster in 1968, a time when her grandfathers
were miners and her mother worked for the union.
"When Sago happened, I got catapulted back to that moment in my
life and thought, 'I need to do something with this emotion, and
maybe this album is the place to channel it," she explains. "I knew
the time was right."
In selecting songs for the project - the first released on
her own label, Captain Potato Records - she specifically sought
out material that would "speak to the sense of place and sense of
attachment people have to each other and to the land."
Thanks For The Music Kathy!
Childhood home where
Kathy Mattea grew up in Cross Lanes, West Virginia
Cross Lanes -
Home of Kathy Mattea
plant near Nitro
School where Kathy Mattea went to high school
Music Hall of Fame Director Michael Lipton with Kathy Mattea
& Andrew Santee
with husband Jon Vezner
Connie Smith & Kathy Mattea
Bob Brunner, Kathy Mattea
& Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares)
(steel drum innovator) & Kathy Mattea
& Kathy Mattea
"West Virginia Mining Disaster" with Tim O'Brien on fiddle and
Bill Cooley on guitar
finale with a performance of "West Virginia, My
Kathy Mattea, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (America's Got Talent
winner), and his wife Jennifer
Connie Smith & Charlie McCoy
Bill Cooley, Marc Dottore, Kathy Mattea, Connie Smith, Marty
Tim O'Brien, Bill Cooley, Kathy Mattea, Don London, Connie
Michael Lipton, Kathy Mattea, Jon Vezner & Billy Cox
(longtime Jimi Hendrix bassist)
& Glenda S. Paradee (Thanks For The Music)
and fan club members, the Matteaheads, who flew in from all
over the country to attend the induction ceremony
More on the 2011 West Virginia Hall of Fame Induction
Prior to the induction ceremony, there was a special reception at
the West Virginia Governor's Mansion with the inductees and the West
Virginia Hall of Fame Board of Directors and special friends.
After the reception everyone moved over to the Culture Center
Actor Peter Marshall, a Huntington native, hosted the induction
ceremony along with Director Morgan Spurlock.
The program started out with a welcome by Adam Harris and also an
introduction by Michael Lipton.
Opening song was "Up Above My Head" with Turley Richards with
Moll O'Brien and the WVMHOF house band.
They played a special video tribute to Butch Miles from Bill
Cosby. David Hartmen then presented to inductee Butch
Miles. They then had a performance of "I'm Leavin'" with Butch
Miles on drums with Bob Thompson, John Inghram, Chris Tanzey, Doug
payne, Austin Seybert.
Col. Bruce Hampton presented to Blaine Waide for inductee
"Diamond Teeth" Mary McClain. "Down by the Riverside" was
performed by Col Bruce Hampton & house band with Molly
Janie Hendrix presented to inductee Billy Cox and then they did a
performance of "Rockin' and Rollin' On/Voodoo Chile" with Billy Cox,
Byron Bordeaux, Vincent Fults and Gary Skipper.
Larry Groce presented to Jim Buscmeyer for inductee Jack Rollins
and then they did a performance of "Frosty the Snowman" with Larry
Groce and Mollie O'Brien & house band; "Smokey the Bear" with
Champ Zumbrun and Keith Zumbrun.
Another performance was "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" with
Charlie McCoy & house band.
Next the Spirit Award was presented by Bill Withers to Ellie
Manette. Then a performance of "Little Girl" by Ellie Manette
and Kaethe George.
Next performance was "I Really Don't Want to Know" by Peter
Marshall & house band.
Tim O'Brien presented to inductee Kathy Mattea. They then
performed "West Virginia Mining Disaster" by Kathy Mattea, Bill
Cooley & Tim O'Brien.
Bland Simpson presented to Jessica Eustice & Tom Thompson for
inductee Tommy Thompson with a performance of "Boatman" by The Red
They played a Dolly Parton taped video tribute to Connie Smith
and then Marty Stuart presented to inductee Connie Smith. They then
did a performance of "The Storms Are On The Ocean" with Connie
Smith, Marty Stuart, Everett Lilly, Tim O'Brien and Wayne Moss.
For the finale, all the performers & inductees got onstage
and sang "West Virginia, My Home".
It was a wonderful night with lots of laughs, tears, and great
Here is more on all of the 2011 inductees:
"Diamond Teeth" Mary McClain, Huntington
Mary Smith McClain, known through her career as
"Walking Mary" and later "Diamond Teeth Mary," was a blues singer
and entertainer. The sister of legendary singer Bessie Smith, she
spent the 1920s and 1930s performing in a variety of medicine and
minstrel shows. She toured with the USO and sang at the Apollo
Theater, the Cotton Club, and at the White House, where her
show-stopping charisma received standing ovations. She shared
bills from Boston to Miami with her sister Bessie Smith, Billie
Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Big Mama Thornton, Ray Charles, Charlie
Parker, Nat King Cole, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Levon Helms
mentions seeing her perform at a medicine show in the 1940s in his
biography, and refers to her as "The Lady with the Million Dollar
Smile" in The Band song "W.S. Walcott's Medicine Show." She
continued to perform until her death at the age of 97, appearing
at blues festivals with the likes of Derek Trucks, Robert Cray,
and Jeff Healey.
Walter E. "Jack" Rollins, Keyser
Along with his writing partner Steve Nelson, Rollins
wrote two of the most popular children's songs of all time, "Here
Comes Peter Cottontail" and "Frosty the Snowman." Rollins also
wrote "Smokey the Bear" for the public-service mascot Smokey Bear,
and co-wrote many country songs including the No. 1 hit "I Don't
Hurt Anymore" for Hank Snow and "A Prison Without Walls," a Top 10
hit for Eddy Arnold. His songs have been recorded by artists
including Fred Astaire, Martina McBride, Dinah Washington, Henry
Mancini, The Carpenters, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, Rosemary
Clooney, Willie Nelson, Anne Murray, Kenny G and '08 WVMHoF
inductee Frankie Yankovic.
Tommy Thompson, St. Albans (Kanawha)
a stint as a Coast Guard officer in New Orleans where he heard
many of the great old time jazz players and was introduced to
Cajun music, Thompson entered the graduate program in Philosophy
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963. He
divided his time between five-string banjo and academia. In 1966,
he formed the Hollow Rock String Band which became a seminal force
in the folk revival of that time. After Hollow Rock dissolved,
Thompson continued to perform locally and at fiddlers'
conventions, including the prestigious gathering at Union Grove,
NC, where he took first prize in the World Champion Old Time Banjo
contest in 1971. That same year, he co-founded the original Red
Clay Ramblers, which he anchored for 22 years during which the
band toured North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa
doing four U.S. State Department tours. In 1974, the Ramblers
began its long involvement with American musical theatre, writing
and performing a number of off-Broadway plays. The Ramblers' music
was also featured on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home
Companion," in Sam Shepard's film "Far North," and on TV shows
including "Northern Exposure" and "Ryan's Hope." Thompson also
wrote and performed an acclaimed one-man show about American
blackface minstrelsy, "The Last Song of John Proffit." In 1995,
the North Carolina Folklore Society honored Thompson with its
coveted Brown-Hudson Folklore Award and the Orange County, NC,
Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in his honor.
Billy Cox, Wheeling (Ohio)
Redding is the better known of Jimi Hendrix's two bassists, Billy
Cox knew - and played with Hendrix - longer. As a member of the
King Kasuals, the two traveled the fabled "Chitlin' Circuit."
After Hendrix relocated to New York City - where he was discovered
by ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler - and plans were made for him
to put a band together in England, he asked Cox to go along. Cox
declined and continued to back R&B acts passing through the
area. When the Jimi Hendrix Experience broke up in mid-1969,
Hendrix called Cox and they went on to play Woodstock (as "Gypsys,
Suns, and Rainbows") and record. Cox also played a series of
legendary shows with Hendrix and the late Buddy Miles as the "Band
of Gypsys." After Hendrix's death, Cox played for a time with the
Charlie Daniels Band. Following that he continued to do sessions
and club dates including some legendary performances of Hendrix
tunes with Stevie Ray Vaughan. More recently, Cox reunited with
Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and guitarist Gary Serkin and
performed a series of shows under the name "Gypsy Sun Experience."
Recognizing his contribution to rock music, the Cort Company
released the Billy Cox "Freedom" model bass.
Kathy Mattea, Cross Lanes (Kanawha)
mid- to late-'80s, Kathy Mattea was one of the most respected
female country stars and a successful hit maker who brought
elements of folk, bluegrass, gospel, and singer/songwriter
intimacy to her music. In 1976, while attending WVU, Mattea joined
the bluegrass band Pennsboro. Two years later, she dropped out of
school and moved to Nashville. She landed a deal with Mercury
Records in 1983 but it wasn't until her third effort, 1986's "Walk
the Way the Wind Blows," that she broke through critically and
commercially. Her 1989 album, "Willow in the Wind," became her
first gold record on the strength of the No. 1 hits "Burnin' Old
Memories" and "Come From the Heart," and the No. 2 "She Came From
Fort Worth." In addition, the album's Top Ten "Where've You Been,"
co-written by Mattea's husband Jon Vezner and Don Henry, won a
Grammy for "Best Female Country Vocal." In the early '90s, Mattea
predated many of her peers when she made several trips to Scotland
to study the links between country music and traditional Scottish
folk. The 1993 gospel-oriented Christmas record "Good News" won a
Grammy for "Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album." In
2008, Mattea released a CD titled "Coal," and took a controversial
stand on mountaintop removal. Mattea remains one of WV's most
Charles J. "Butch" Miles, Hinton
Technically, Butch Miles was born in Ironton, OH,
while his mother was visiting relatives in Russell, KY, over the
Fourth of July holidays. However, his mother quickly returned to
Hinton where Butch was raised. A top-shelf jazz/big band drummer
for decades, Miles' resume includes playing with luminaries
ranging from Count Basie (he was an integral part of the band for
many years), Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dave Brubeck and Mel
Torme to Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman,
Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Zubin Mehta and Itzhak Perlman.
Miles conducts jazz clinics at universities and high schools,
continues to record and plays frequently at jazz festivals around
the globe. Miles is both a skilled technician and a fiery player
whose solos are nothing short of spectacular.
Connie Smith. Born in Elkhart, IN, grew up in
A country singer and Grand Ole Opry member,
Connie Smith may be best known for her 1964 hit "Once a Day" -
written especially for her by country star Bill Anderson - which
spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Country music charts,
the longest of any female country music artist in history. Often
compared to Patsy Cline, she is still considered by many to be one
of the best and most underrated vocalists in country history. Her
string of hits continued until late 1968 with "Then and Only
Then," "If I Talk to Him," "Ain't Had No Lovin'," and "The
Hurtin's All Over." After working non-stop on the road, in films,
and on The Lawrence Welk Show, Smith changed courses, devoting
herself to family and religion. Subsequent hits included "You and
Your Sweet Love," "I Never Once Stopped Loving You," "Just One
Time," "Just What I Am," "If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It
Alone)," and "Love is the Look You're Looking For." She is
currently putting the finishing touches on a new album to be
released in 2011. The project, recorded at historic RCA Studio B,
was produced by Smith's husband Marty Stuart and is expected out
in August 2011 to celebrate her 70th Birthday. Smith continues to
perform with the Grand Ole Opry and remains a country
The mission of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is to
recognize, document and preserve those contributions and to remind
and educate the people of West Virgina and beyond of these important
For more information about the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame,
go to www.wvmusichalloffame.com.
Thanks For The Music!