John Lilly, director of folklife and editor of Goldenseal magazine for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, will present “West Virginia Country Music and Goldenseal Magazine” on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Archives and History library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Lilly will discuss the history of Goldenseal magazine, which was established by the West Virginia Department of Commerce in 1975 and came under the Department of Culture and History in 1977. Now in its 39th year, the quarterly magazine of traditional life is still published by the state.
Lilly is Goldenseal’s third editor, a position he has held since 1997. He will discuss the magazine’s mission, its contributor guidelines, and production methods.
Lilly also will present an overview of the magazine’s coverage of traditional country music, a recurring topic in the publication since its inception and an area of specialty for him personally. Drawing on stories published in the magazine, the program will include details of prominent country music programs in the state such as WWVA’s Original Wheeling Jamboree, WMMN’s Sagebrush Roundup and WCHS’s The Buddy Starcher Show and The Sleepy Jeffers Show.
Country music pioneers Blind Alfred Reed, the West Virginia Coon Hunters and Roy Harvey will be included, as will musical celebrities Doc and Chickie Williams, Molly O’Day and Lynn Davis, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and more. Select recordings of these artists’ music and vintage photographs will be featured.
Lilly is a 1996 graduate of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins. He has worked as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn., and as associate editor for the Old-Time Herald magazine. Lilly edited the book, “Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music” from Goldenseal, and has contributed to “Grove Encyclopedia of American Music,” “The West Virginia Encyclopedia,” “The Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” and the “Country Music Encyclopedia.”
A recognized country music songwriter and performer, Lilly recently returned from a nine-week concert tour that took him from Alaska to New York and from Louisiana to Michigan. Lilly will conclude the evening with one or two live musical selections.
On Feb. 5, the library will close at 5 p.m., and reopen at 5:45 p.m. For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the lecture, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Bobby Taylor, library manager, at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov or at 304-558-0230, ext. 163.
Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at 304-558-0230.