West Virginia Hall of Fame Inducts First Class

All five living members of the first class of inductees into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame were on hand at the West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston Friday (Nov. 16) to accept their awards. These recipients were Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens, folksinger Hazel Dickens, songwriter and dramatist Billy Edd Wheeler, pop singer and songwriter Bill Withers and classical composer George Crumb. The deceased inductees were songwriter and singer Blind Alfred Reed, fiddler Clark Kessinger, jazz saxophonist Leon “Chu” Berry, pianist and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson and country singer Molly O’Day. The ceremony was broadcast live on West Virginia public television and featured performances by Tim O’Brien, Molly O’Brien, the Nichols Family, Hazel Dickens, Kathy Mattea, Crumb and his daughter, Ann. The entire cast of musicians, presenters and honorees concluded the event by singing Withers’ 1972 pop hit, “Lean on Me.”