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Inside Appalachia Podcast

Inside Appalachia Podcast

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Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. Host Jessica Lilly leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture. Subscribe to our Inside Appalachia podcast here or on iTunes here, or on Soundcloud here or on Stitcher here.Watch Inside Appalachia videosInside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with help from public radio stations in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.


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Podcast Episodes




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How Do We Tell Appalachia’s Story?

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, May 26, 2017


This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with Marcus Murrow, a West Virginia native who’s telling the story of southern West Virginia, and the surprising way cultural divides are sometimes bridged in and around Appalachia. He's working on a film called Starring up from the Mine Shaft .

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Preventing Veteran Suicide Through Mutual Support Inside Appalachia

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, May 19, 2017


Our next Struggle to Stay story comes from someone who might be familiar to you -- Mark Combs. He’s a veteran who helped us produce a documentary last fall called Still Taking Casualties . The documentary features veterans speaking about how their experiences in war taught them what it means to support their fellow soldiers. And our host Jessica Lilly speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Eric Newhouse , author of Faces of Combat.

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Amazing Grace, Pentecostal Revivals, and How Gospel Music Inspired Rock ’n Roll

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, May 12, 2017


In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find our the story behind a song that became an American icon, and we’ll learn more about a project Glory that depicts images of Pentecostal style tent revival in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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Inside Appalachian Storytelling: What is Your Struggle to Stay Story?

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, May 05, 2017


Here in Appalachia, thousands of young people are leaving each year, moving from their hometowns to find opportunities elsewhere. In this episode, you will hear part of Colt Brogan’s Struggle to Stay in Appalachia. It’s part of a series on Inside Appalachia called, “ The Struggle to Stay .” This decision is different for each of us. While academic studies might provide a generalized view, the complexities are found in the individual journey as we try to find a place where we belong.

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Inside the Appalachian Opioid Epidemic Part 2: Veterans, Chronic Pain & Alternative Treatment

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Apr 28, 2017


It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids than the general, or civilian, population.

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Treatment & Mistreatment, Our Complicated Relationship with Pain: Inside Appalachia

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Apr 21, 2017


It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some doctors and patients. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

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Inside Appalachia Launches The Struggle to Stay

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


It’s not always easy to live in these mountains, but some of us are determined to stay. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll explore the deep roots to the region in a new series called The Struggle to Stay . Appalachia isn’t alone in watching its young people fight with the decision to stay or go from their homeplace—it’s a conversation happening all over the country. But people are leaving parts of Appalachia at a rapid pace. It’s also true that some cities in Appalachia are gaining population- but rural areas, especially coal-dependent communities in southern W.Va. and eastern KY are seeing young people leave in droves. In this episode, we hear from several young Appalachians working to create new opportunities in their communities. They joined us on stage at Virginia Tech at the annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference (ASA) in March 2017. In this episode you'll hear: Cassidy Wright and Cheyenne Coogle, two young people who help with Higher Ground - a

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Three West Virginia Leaders in Health, Science and Business

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear three of our favorite stories from the Inspiring West Virginians series. The series highlights leaders in health, business and science.

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Inside an Appalachian Coal Legacy: Black Lung

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Mar 31, 2017


Coal mining has touched so many aspects of life in Appalachia. The coal industry has provided more than just jobs — it’s helped build towns, bridges and it’s even provided money for many Appalachians to go to college. We also have a deep cultural connection to coal and its history. Still, there’s no denying the coal industry has changed the landscape of our mountains, and infected many miners with a deadly disease known as black lung.

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Does Holding on to Appalachian Traditions Matter?

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Mar 24, 2017


In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising bread or making sorghum sweeteners. Some folklorists, artists and educators are wondering what the future of traditional arts in the country will look like. On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would eliminate the state's Secretary of Education and the Arts and reorganize several of the departments the position oversees. Most of those departments oversee cultural and arts programs like the state archives, the state museum, the annual Vandalia music gathering and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate to take effect.

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Is Appalachia Trump Country?

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Mar 17, 2017


Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs? Trump won 95 percent of Appalachian counties, and 69 percent of West Virginia voters chose him - the highest percentage of any state. But that doesn’t mean everyone here is happy with the results. On this week's episode of Inside Appalachia we check back in with some Appalachian supporters of President Trump. We'll also listen back to a classic episode, where we hear from Trump opponents. They’ll talk about their hopes and fears surrounding Trump. We'll hear updates on the 100 Days in Appalachia project, a collaborative media project which launched right after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. We'll hear how the project is going, now that we’re more than halfway through the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. We also check in with coal miner Jonathan Griffith and his wife Jessica, to hear their reactions of

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Inside Appalachia, W.Va. Mine Wars History

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Mar 10, 2017


Not many Americans know the story of the Mine Wars that were fought between workers, labor unions and mine company guards during the early 1900s. In this show, Jessica Lilly talks with filmmaker Randy MacLowry, whose new PBS documentary The Mine Wars focuses on these armed uprisings by labor organizers in the coalfields of southern West Virginia.

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Farming Gives Hope to Some Veterans with PTSD: 'I Found a New Normal in My Life'

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Mar 03, 2017


This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County West Virginia to meet Veteran Eric Grandon, the first veteran to go through the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program.

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What the History of Salt, Slaves & Coal Can Teach us about Appalachia's Future

rtodd@wvpublic.org (Roxy Todd)
Fri, Feb 24, 2017


This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cedar Grove, West Virginia, home of renowned novelist Mary Lee Settle. On this episode, we explore surprising, hidden histories through the work of Settle and the voices of women from Cedar Grove. Settle, who passed away in 2005, spent three decades on a series of books called the Beulah Quintet . The five books are each set in a different moment in West Virginia's history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition. "There's just kind of a feeling in the air, right now, in central Appalachia, that we have reached a moment, or a crossroads, where we're gonna have to choose a path for our future,” said Catherine Moore, whose hour-long radio documentary called Cedar Grove is featured in this week's episode of Inside Appalachia. “When I discovered that aspect of Mary Lee Settle's work, it really resonated with me, as

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Coal’s Legacy in Appalachia: As Mining Companies Close, Water Systems Fail

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Feb 17, 2017


The coal industry has done a lot for central Appalachia. It’s created jobs, and it’s helped many families afford college. Coal has also created a very strong sense of pride. But as jobs in the coal industry have declined, so have the opportunities in Central Appalachia. On this episode of Inside Appalachia , we explore one of the legacies of of the industry: crumbling water infrastructure.

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Our Valentine For Appalachia

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Feb 10, 2017


On this episode of Inside Appalachia, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to bring you voices from people who’ve written love letters for Appalachia, of a sort. And like most loves, this love, well…. it’s complicated. Some of the folks we’ll hear on our show grew up in these mountains and were eager to move away, but when they did, they felt a strong homesickness that seemed to draw them back.

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Three Inspiring Appalachians Who Save Lives and Defy Stereotypes

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Feb 03, 2017


Since 2010, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has produced a series called Inspiring West Virginians , highlighting 29 leaders in health, business and science. In this week’s episode, we hear three of these stories- a kind of finale- because this is the final year of the Inspiring West Virginians series.

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Exploring The Mighty Ohio River Inside Appalachia

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


It’s easy to take the water coming out of your faucet for granted, but tragedies like the Elk River Chemical spill that left thousands of residents in West Virginia's capital city without water for days have put tap water front and center. Appalachia is no stranger to water contamination, especially in places with a history of heavy industry, like the Ohio River Valley. But as a large source of drinking water, how do we know it’s safe?

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3 Things About Appalachia’s Signature Foods That You May Not Know

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


If you didn’t grow up in West Virginia, you may have no idea what a pepperoni roll is. But those who grew up eating them in school cafeterias or buying them at some of the Italian bakeries in north-central West Virginia, probably know pepperoni rolls are strongly connected to Appalachian culture and childhood memories . This week, we’ll learn a bit more about this signature Appalachian food, and we’ll learn about how its origins are deeply connected with the history and culture of coal mining, and to the food that miners brought to work in their lunch buckets.

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Hope Battles Fear in Appalachia as Trump Takes Office

jlilly@wvpublic.org (Jessica Lilly )
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs?

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