WANT TO GO?
"Mountain Stage" 30th anniversary celebration with Todd Snider, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Diego Garcia, Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore; special appearances by Deni Bonet, W.Va. Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and others
WHERE: Culture Center Theater
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: Advance $15, at the door $25
INFO: Call 800-594-TIXX or visit www.mountainstage.org
W.Va. Public Radio will air the hourlong special "Mountain Stage at 30: A Radio Retrospective" at 8 p.m. Thrusday, 6 p.m. Sunday and 9 p.m. Dec. 11. It explores the history of the show, which is the longest-running live performance radio show on public radio, as well as its reach and meaning to listeners worldwide.
Interviews come from the show's producers, established and emerging artists who have performed and public radio program directors nationwide who have carried the show. Some of the artists interviewed include Tim O'Brien, Kathy Mattea, Jason isbell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bela Fleck and Billy Bragg.
_____CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The band and crew at "Mountain Stage" have a million stories about things that have happened behind the scenes. In 30 years, they've met their share of musical heroes and heels. They've seen when things have gone incredibly right and when they've gone incredibly weird.
They have their stories, but they aren't the only ones. Some of the artists who've appeared on the show have stories, too.
Mollie O'Brien, who performs Sunday for the "Mountain Stage" 30th anniversary celebration at the Culture Center, sure does.
"The first time I played 'Mountain Stage' was probably 1987 or 1986," she said. "They recorded the show, I think, from 3 to 5 in the afternoon at the Capitol Theater in Charleston, and we would always take off right away, just as soon as the show was over."
O'Brien said most of the time she and her brother, Tim, didn't have a lot of time to hang around after the show. They had to catch a flight, usually back home to Chicago.
"We always played 'Mountain Stage' at the tail end of a weekend of gigs," she said.
The radio program was a much smaller operation back then, and host Larry Groce was sometimes the guy who picked up guests at the airport and got them to their planes after the show.
O'Brien said, "I don't want to say that it was a shoe-string operation, but this was before they had state vehicles to pick you up at the airport in -- and so Larry had this van.
"It obviously had some miles on it."