Aired: February 1, 2019

Mountains and Mining

An ex-miner at an abandoned coal mine in Romania. Image credit: Flore de Préneuf / World Bank

  • Frank Newsome and the Hymns of the Old Regular Baptists (16 min.)

    With: Jon Lohman (Virginia Humanities)

    Frank Newsome is an Old Regular Baptist preacher, singer of lined-out hymnody, and former coal miner in Appalachia. Virginia’s State Folklorist Jon Lohman describes Newsome’s musical tradition and its influence on bluegrass, gospel, and oldtime music.

  • Coal Miners of the Carpathian Mountains (10 min.)

    With: Theresa Burris (Radford University)

    Central Appalachia is unique for its musical traditions, its mountain landscape, and its coal mining industry. But travel to the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and you’ll find a place that’s not unlike southwest Virginia and Kentucky. Theresa Burris is co-chair of the Appalachian/Carpathian International Conference. She says the parallels of these two regions are striking.

  • The Surprising Inhabitants of Former Coal Mines (11 min.)

    With: Wally Smith (UVA Wise)

    Turns out, former coal mines can yield important biological discoveries. Wally Smith recently found a type of green salamander that lives in this habitat of vertical cliffs, bluffs, and rock crevices.

  • Decoding the Problem of Roadkill (13 min.)

    With: James Vance (UVA Wise)

    A study in Appalachia is taking a very close look at roadkill. James Vance hopes to find ways to help animals avoid crossing a particularly high-traffic area.



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