Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Am Music

I am a rock n’ roll piano player, a world champion fiddler and an award-winning composer. My groundbreaking approach to the tenor sax won me recognition from Metronome Magazine in 1937. I won the Pulitzer Prize for a piece of music inspired by my Kanawha Valley heritage. I also have numerous Grammy Awards and contributed to the soundtrack for an Academy Award winning film.

My material has been recorded by Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Presley, Kathy Mattea, Barbra Streisand, Judy Collins, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, and Mick Jagger. My songs have also been sampled by Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Will Smith.

I have performed with Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Orchestra, Keith Richards, Count Basie and Hank Williams.

I have represented West Virginia in venues around the world, including the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Grand Ole’ Opry. I once played a concert before the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasa, Ziare, when Mohammed Ali knocked out George Foreman and regained the heavy weight title.

I am the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame inaugural class of inductees:

Leon, “Chu” Berry, George Crumb, Hazel Dickens, Jimmie Dickens, Clark Kessinger, Blind Alfred Reed, Molly O’Day, Bill Withers, Billy Ed Wheeler, and Johnnie Johnson.

- Andrew Dunlap


Post a Comment

<< Home