Welcome to our new series, “Heritage and Legacy.” In this feature we will profile West Virginia musicians who have been inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. (WVMHOF). Since 2007 there have been 9 induction ceremonies, and a total of 62 artists are now in the WVMHOF.

Inductees include Kathy Mattea, Bill Withers, Charlie McCoy, Blind Alfred Reed, Johnnie Johnson and Hazel Dickens.The museum has most of its exhibits located at the Charleston Town Center Mall. For further information including hours of operation, check their Facebook page or website: West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Six Things You Need to Know.

1. The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame was established in 2005 to recognize musical achievement among performing artists with close ties to the state. The Music Hall of Fame also seeks to educate the public regarding the range and depth of musical styles in West Virginia, including classical, gospel, jazz, soul, funk and rock, as well as country, folk and bluegrass music.

2. Nominations are accepted from the public in separate categories for living and dead artists. Nominees are expected to have significant ties to the state, generally having been born in West Virginia, grown up in the state, or lived here for a large portion of their lives, and to have attained substantial success in music.

Heritage & Legacy is proudly presented by Haunting Hill Winery

3. This hall of fame is the brainchild of its founder, musician Michael Lipton, who was inspired by a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. The first exhibit was records from his personal collection.

4. MISSION STATEMENT. The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting and preserving the rich and lasting contributions West Virginians have made to all genres of music. The Hall of Fame’s mission is to recognize the many important musicians who have helped shape the rich spectrum of American music from country, classical and jazz to rock, R&B, gospel and traditional. The WVMHoF’s mission also includes establishing a permanent facility to house the Hall of Fame and an accompanying museum to exhibit and archive recordings and memorabilia.

5. The organization is staffed and governed by volunteers, and also offers their Music Career Counseling Program.

6. Working with the West Virginia Department of Education, the Hall of Fame developed an educational component with lesson plan suggestions. The Music Hall of Fame traveling museum and recording studio, created in 2007, has visited more than 350 schools. An extensive website includes detailed information about the organization, inductees, and special projects. An interactive display, available both on location and online, offers photos, brief biographies and sound samples from artists in all 55 counties. A trailer and portable stage provide a mobile venue for live performances.

Hours of Operation:

  • Open Thursday-Saturday: 11am to 6pm.
  • Sunday noon-6pm
  • CLOSED Monday-Wednesday.
  • The WVMHOF exhibits are located on the second floor of the Charleston Town Center Mall.
Steve Goff is a past President of West Virginia Writers, Inc.; and his record reviews have appeared in national music publications such as Goldmine, Stereo Review, and Hit Parader. An avid music collector, he is still hanging onto over 8,000 pieces of recorded music, 6,200 of which are on poly-vinyl.