2020 Appodlachia Appalachian Awards

01/30/2021

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We recap this wild year in the best way possible – an awards show! Chuck and Big John host, and talk about some of the greatest Appalachia has to offer. We put it out to the world that we were doing an awards show, and the response was incredible. So sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride!

Chuck Corra 00:16
Let me just let me take you on a real quick journey through my first suit. Because I think that’s a great way of really building to this. I remember I did Model UN in high school. And we went to we went to New York City for it. So we had I had to get a suit. I did not own a suit until my senior year in high school. And I went, I don’t remember where it was like JC Penney, maybe, and got a suit that vaguely fit. They were talking like, we know I you know what, let me rewind, I only got a suit jacket. And I just paired it with a pair of pants that I had. And it was black, black as luck. And so is a suit jacket that vaguely fit a pair of pants that probably had cat hair on it. And I was there ready to go and it but the best part is the pants were too big. And we actually for one aspect of Model UN we got to go into the actual United Nations building and got to pretend like pretend vote whatever. Anyway, you had to go through security, which was metal detectors yet take your belt off. And I was a little worried. I was like, Man, this these pants like they’re they’re very big. They’re very big. I was getting nervous. And I take them off. And so I’m like, Okay, I’m fine. I’m fine. You know, like, I’m kind of like holding them up by the belt loops. Like you know how you doing puff puff your stomach out so that it stretches the waistband so you look like bloated like having a baby. But you can keep the pants stay up. And we’ve literally all had that problem.

Big John Isner 02:03
Listening Husky just Just come with me on this journey. All right, you got to choose to look bloated. I look like a swollen fish every freaking day. Listen, I went through a brownie bite phase. Okay, I know what it’s like, oh, you went through a brownie. I went through a brownie sheet. Where I just eat a good sheet pan brownies. That was

Chuck Corra 02:29
alright, I’m not gonna get into a fat off with you. All right. I know it’s a losing battle. I get going anyway. But we’re where the fatal flaw of this whole experience was when I had to lift my arms up and they had to do the wand and I’m like, I lift my arms up. I couldn’t hold the stomach anymore. I felt confident enough that it was gonna stay up and up. And they got down through one arm and they’re getting ready to the other and I’m like, I’m, I’m free. I’m like, I’m scot free. I can this is gonna work and be fine. No, because I think what happened was the wand just barely grazed the side of my leg just enough so that the friction from the wand yanked just a little bit and Those sons of bitches fell right down. And the whole world or at least the whole security line of the United Nations building in New York City saw that I was wearing Twilight Zone boxers that day. We have very similar first suit stories, the growing up poor, I didn’t get to see a lot of people in suits. And I thought that when you buy a suit, like everybody gets black and everybody gets blue, so I thought like it’s smarter to get

Big John Isner 03:46
to get something like people don’t get all the time. So do you remember when Barack Obama got like, he got heat for wearing like that tan suit?

Chuck Corra 03:57
Yeah, I believe it was a cream color. I thought it was a bold sartorial choice. And I approved that. But yeah, it kind of was like, I believe the media reaction was somewhere along the lines of Obama created a 911. Right.

Big John Isner 04:11
I had that I had that suit. But for poor people, because his suit fit perfectly looked great. You know, my suit did not at the time. I think I wore a 58 suit jacket. A 58

04:30
that is so it’s like Shaquille O’Neal sighs

Big John Isner 04:34
Well, I don’t Well, to be fair, we are great basketball players, but I think he might be a little bigger. A 58 jacket size like literally it would engulf me today.

Chuck Corra 04:46
But for context, I wore a 42 regular

Big John Isner 04:51
my body my body has gone through some terrible changes at that time of war. 58. When we were at Sheppard, I wore a 40

05:00
Okay,

Big John Isner 05:01
I have the fluctuation. But anyway, back to the story. I had this terribly, terribly fitting, ugly suit didn’t know how ugly it was. end of the story is we I ripped my pants at my very first debate tournament. And the entire day, I walked around in a tan pinstripe suit with a with a light blue shirt, and a black tie. I looked. Not only did I look

Chuck Corra 05:35
unhealthy, I look with Republicans terrible. And you went and debated like that. That’s probably why you won because people were laughing

Big John Isner 05:44
probably is the first time I’ve it’s the first and only time I’ve ever killed. I mean, it’s, it’s insane.

Chuck Corra 05:51
When he first started the story, and you’re talking about the colors, black and blue, I thought what you were gonna tell me was that you were like, well, I’ll combine it and I’ll get both. I’ll get black pants with a blue.

Big John Isner 06:01
I did that one time. And I think my wife almost left me. I did not. Well, I did not know that was a thing. I thought that you could do that.

Chuck Corra 06:12
Your wife leaving you? Yeah.

Big John Isner 06:15
Oh, shit.

Chuck Corra 06:17
Well, that’s some weird conflicts. But speaking of bold sartorial suit decisions. JOHN, it’s we’re here we are at the end of 20, Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. And let me just insert a stereotypical line from graduating high school. Welp, we made it. Alright, now that I got that out of the way. Yes, we are here the 2020 Appalachia Appalachian awards first annual we’re going to be so bold as to say annual. But before we get started, john, I think we do have some shout outs to

Big John Isner 06:58
Yeah, this week’s newest Patreon Members, we’re so glad that you’re here. We’ve got three this week. There Chuck, it’s Mason, Zack and Ashley all have joined in the past week, we’re so thankful that they’re, they’re here. And now they get to enjoy all the awesome exclusives that we have over on our Patreon.

Chuck Corra 07:19
I gotta admit, they are pretty, pretty dope. This week, we are going to do an exclusive and it’s going to be basically previewing the year to come. We’ve got we’ve already got a few things lined up for next year, we’re going to be talking through some of the ideas we have some of our hopes and expectations. And you know, also from our Patreon members looking for feedback. What do they want to see what do they want to hear? Who do they want to hear from?

Big John Isner 07:41
And don’t forget last week’s groundbreaking Patreon exclusive where we got to hear from the boss herself. My wife, my attorney, Taylor, great content. She hated every moment of it, which means I loved

Chuck Corra 07:57
it. You know, unprecedented I guess is one way to put it. The Boone’s farm bendito herself,

Big John Isner 08:04
been sworn for life.

Chuck Corra 08:11
Well, let’s jump right in big john. This is I would argue the most anticipated award show of the year so of all time, probably. Yeah, it’s I mean, yeah, I’d say I’d say definitely top three. And you know, we don’t want to keep our listeners waiting or our viewers if you’re watching on YouTube, if you’re not youtube.com slash c slash Episode lashup. Please do it. Without further ado, john, you’re going to start with the first category hotly contested category.

Big John Isner 08:36
This this category, one of the most popular one of the most popular categories when it came to voting people didn’t skip pain. People did not skip over this. They wanted to vote and a very, very close race. That’s all I’m gonna say. Anyway, let’s get to it. For Appalachian book of the year. The nominees are bullets for silverware by Jim Anthony in the country dark by Mike mallow. A fishy Tale by Diana pitner Walker and the lightness of water by Rhonda white Chuck. Can I get a drumroll? in the country dark by Mike mallow.

09:21
Whoa,

Big John Isner 09:23
there’s your winner. A little bit about the book because I think we need to let people know about it since it just one probably the biggest award that it’s ever won. The book in the country dark by Mike mallow is a story of a murder for hire gone wrong. In the small town of chancy West Virginia capital Walsh, a dish enchanted journalist becomes wrapped up in the plots Fallout thanks to his childhood friend Troy Mason Mason, a recently fired CNA is fed up with life and just wants to watch the world burn as their opinions become limited capital and Troy confront the demons of their past and resort to drastic measures to overcome the darkness of the present. Gotta get that book I sell it it’s.

Chuck Corra 10:05
So one thing I’ll say, though, too is is we will put, I don’t know how we’ll do this, maybe we’ll link in the show notes. Or maybe what we’ll do is we’ll have a thing on our website where you can access all the people, even all the finalists, including the winners, and find out where you can find their books. And for the rest of the categories, we can find out more about those people or what they do. So just know that if you want in the country dark, you want to look at some of the other books, you’ll be able to find them. We’ll have something in the show notes for you.

Big John Isner 10:31
And I saw it, there’s a hellacious sale on it right now on amazon.com. I’m gonna guarantee you that sales going to go away because of the massiveness of this award, because he’s not going to need a sale. He’s not going to do the sale. There’s no fly off the shelves. So either getting right now off

Chuck Corra 10:48
the shelves, like flying books. Absolutely. Well, congratulations to Mike on that. Again, like you mentioned, hotly contested category, we had so many people voting on it legitimately. And it was wild. It came down to the to the wire there but congrats to Mike and everybody else that had a book in the finals. That’s a big deal. Moving on. This one was an exciting one Appalachian visual creator of the year john, this is basically just like it sounds a visual creator, someone who is visually creating for Appalachia. A lot of these people are entrepreneurs, or solo entrepreneurs in their own right. And the nominees are Julie Ray powers Jamie Lester Adams film and Liz Pavlovich winning winning winner crazier is Liz Pavlovich.

11:45
Nice.

Chuck Corra 11:47
Congrats to Liz. Liz is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in West Virginia. She draws inspiration from the places and experiences having lived in Alabama, Arizona, California, Iowa and West Virginia. And we should caveat this by saying that we are not biased, we only took the votes that we had. And we you know, we didn’t wait things in favor of any particular person. But we will say for for sake of transparency that Liz did our logo for the show, and it looks fucking awesome. And she does a lot of other cool shit. Especially with cryptids like Mothman and the flatwoods monster she herself is really cool.

Big John Isner 12:24
She is the moth man. artist, in my opinion. The I don’t know anybody. I don’t know anybody that else that does it as well.

Chuck Corra 12:33
And except for the person that designed the Mothman. But on the statues. So

Big John Isner 12:38
yeah, well that’s true. I don’t know who did that. But who knows. But anyway, congratulations to Liz for winning this prestigious award.

12:48
Anyway,

Big John Isner 12:51
on to our third category, Chuck, this was also this was one of the only categories with five nominees and I kid you not it came down. I had to count this three times to figure out the winner.

Chuck Corra 13:05
It went to a hand recount,

Big John Isner 13:07
hand recount. It was tough.

Chuck Corra 13:09
There were some hanging chads there, but we got them out of the way.

Big John Isner 13:12
That’s true.

Chuck Corra 13:15
Could you imagine? I literally couldn’t with an online forum.

Big John Isner 13:21
Alright, anyway, to our third category, Appalachian organization slash nonprofit of the year. The nominees are Appalachian prison book project, black in Appalachia, pantry plus and more shine on West Virginia and West Virginia hub. Chuck, the winner.

Chuck Corra 13:39
All great. All great organizations, first of all, say that, yeah, amazing organizations doing fantastic work.

Big John Isner 13:46
Every one of these nominees on every category, they deserve to be there. We’re happy they’re there. Everyone deserves to win. We just took the votes and we get to tell you who got the most votes, but in our hearts, they’re all winners.

Chuck Corra 13:59
Absolutely. We’re just the bean counters here.

Big John Isner 14:01
Right. That being said, I have the winner. It’s right here. I’m Appalachian. Appalachian organization slash nonprofit of the year goes to the Appalachian prison book project. Whoa, that’s a big one, congratulate you and congratulations to them a little bit about the organization by mailing books, creating prison book clubs and providing tuition support for incarcerated people taking college classes. The organization celebrates creative expression and defends the liberties that make it possible champions the freedom to read and write recognizes the power of literature to transform individuals and society. It supports educational, vocational and personal development for those who are locked up. This is an organization that has definitely definitely made its rounds in terms of notoriety. And they have just won one of the biggest awards Chuck of 2020.

Chuck Corra 15:06
I mean, are there any bigger?

Big John Isner 15:09
I have no idea. My mom says no, it’s hilarious.

Chuck Corra 15:12
Yeah. So this was a really cool organization that before starting the show wasn’t aware of. There were some other prison book projects that I had been aware of. But, but this one’s really cool. And it’s so important, the kind of work that they do anyway. Especially providing tuition support for incarcerated people taking college classes to help them reenter society after they, after they’re released from prison. This is such a cool organization. And so hats off to them. Very well deserved. Moving on, though, john, this is a this is a really cool category. I think it’s the Appalachian Rising Star Award what we couch this as well, it was young Appalachians making a difference in Appalachia and throughout the world. So this is a really cool one. The nominees are Kelly Pruitt. Roark Sizemore, Bailey Epperly and Michael mallow. And the winner john. Oh, boy, I have it here and this copy of Machiavelli’s the prince. We get we get very creative here with the folders or with the envelopes. The winner is Kelly Pruitt.

Big John Isner 16:25
Nice. Congratulations.

Chuck Corra 16:28
Congratulations, Kelly Kelly is a senior strategist for grassroots advocacy. And in her words, she teaches scientists how to talk to Congress, which is extremely important, as we all know, and something that uh, you know, members of Congress don’t really talk to scientists that much, they need to be talking more to them. And I think this year, more so than any of that. So God bless you, Kelly, for the word. Kelly originally caught our attention because of her Instagram posts outlining ongoing issues in Appalachia. Not only are they just like outlining issues, but they’re they’re very visually aesthetically appealing. And and she does a really good, she’s really good job of just breaking down the issues and why they’re important in very simple terms, so that people like like your average layperson can digest it is really cool the work that she does. She’s a native Appalachian, who I think it’s fair to say, carries Appalachia on her sleeve, and whatever she does, and so hats off to Kelly, congratulations to her, well earned. And we, we hope that she continues doing the important work that she’s doing.

Big John Isner 17:31
And we hope all of them do, because I’ll absolutely just because only one winner of the Rising Star War award could happen this year, doesn’t mean that these people need to stop rising to the occasion. In fact, we expect them to try even harder to maybe win in 2021.

Chuck Corra 17:49
Yeah, well, and every person that was nominated for this is doing incredible work. Oh, yeah. I mean, look, we’re just two guys sitting in front of microphones way

Big John Isner 17:57
more than we’re doing.

Chuck Corra 17:58
Absolutely. Absolutely. So congratulations to Kelly and congratulations to work Bailey and Michael for making that list as well. And and continue doing the good work that you’re doing because I think that the the work that they did in 2020 and may 2020, a little bit more bearable for people.

Big John Isner 18:16
All right on to our next category. This was probably the most tweeted about category in terms of people campaigning to win this award. Chuck, the people wanted this war and what am I talking about? It is Appalachian band of the year. This is this is huge. Yeah, this is this is a big deal. Appalachian band of the year. The nominees are. Hello June j parade. The Davison brothers, Phantom six and onah Chuck, I have the winner right here in my envelope. Whoa,

Chuck Corra 18:51
oh my god. Um, but bated breath. My

Big John Isner 18:55
nerves for this. It could be any one of them. But there can only be one. And the winner is the Davison brothers. Congratulations to them. They are this little band that really needed this award to really put themselves on the map. The Davidson brothers. The Davidson brothers is an American country group from the hills of West Virginia Clarksburg, West Virginia little known fact Chuck were big john was born, composed of brothers to him, Chris. Yeah, I was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Anyway, back to the Davis brothers because they’re what’s important here. Davis brothers is an American country group from Clarksburg, West Virginia composed of brothers Chris Davison and Donnie Davison Russell Reppert and longtime friend, Erin register. I think that’s how you say it. Their song po boys is available now and big known fact not For Song of the Year for the Potlatch Appalachian awards, so they’re still up.

Chuck Corra 20:06
Congratulations to Davidson brothers. Are they on? Are they on our Spotify playlist?

Big John Isner 20:10
They are. They are poboys is on that Spotify playlist, you could find that by checking out. The links are all over Twitter.

Chuck Corra 20:18
Yeah, yeah, well actually I added it Okay, when there

Big John Isner 20:20
It has gotten 1000s of listens. And I made the joke that the Davidson brothers are a little band that needed this award that in fact is not true. They’ve had like a top 40 album just about, I think, a decade ago. So they’re doing just fine. And now they’ll have a top 40 album after this award comes out.

Chuck Corra 20:38
That’s fantastic. And so all these bands, you can find all of them on our Spotify playlist, which we’ll link to in the show notes. You can also find it on appalachia.com slash community. And they’re all great. I’ve listened to all of them. And you know, one, One really cool thing about doing the show this year is that we’ve like we’ve mentioned, we discovered so many cool organizations, so many cool people. There’s so many cool bands and and so we love it and we’re excited for Davidson brothers, congrats to them. Congrats, everybody else. That’s really cool. And in a similar vein, we also had a category quick add category, it kind of came to the last minute Appalachian rapper of the year. And let me just say, john, I posted about the award show on Reddit, which maybe was a mistake, maybe it’s not we got a lot of listeners from from Reddit, but also some shit talkers. And there was some shit talking actually on this category. Ooh, let’s hear it was Appalachian rap question mark is that rap about moonshine stills in coal mines? And one person replied and said, No, it’s people slapping Appalachian on something in order to capitalize on a culture they don’t even identify with. I mean, to which I say that person because these people are fantastic rappers and artists who i think i think i don’t know if it’s all of them, but most of them write their own stuff. And most of them have content that’s about Appalachia.

Big John Isner 22:03
Yeah. And I will say I’m very vocal when I think that people are doing that because there are people who do that there’s no doubt about it. But these the nominees here don’t do that. They have been very open about some of their songs. Now I will say we didn’t go through their music and say this is quote unquote Appalachian music because doesn’t matter. Yes, that’s not a thing. Anything could be Appalachian. Yeah. These are Appalachians making music and these are Appalachian rappers making damn good music. So anyway, let’s get let’s get to the category

Chuck Corra 22:37
making damn good music. Okay, so the nominees were Huey Mac Logan, Dodd shalem. And David Morris. Dave Morris has been on the show before the winner john, tell me the winner of Appalachian rapper of the year drum roll shallum

Big John Isner 23:05
what I I’m gonna categorize this people might get mad. This to me was an upset.

Chuck Corra 23:12
It was just a huge It was a huge upset

Big John Isner 23:15
going in. Going into this going into this. I had, you know, I had my reservations, but his fans showed up.

Chuck Corra 23:23
They did and yeah, he’s going up against some heavyweights David Morris, Huey man No. But and so just a little bit about shalom. Shalom is an up and coming rapper out of Charleston, West Virginia. Fun fact. He’s also a civil engineer by day and a song maker by night. his newest EP a Yup, the mixtape is on all streaming platforms. Now if I butchered that, I apologize. But yeah, so again, you know, a big upset but it awesome when and that’s what we’re here for. We’re here for the Cinderella story of these Appalachian awards. And this is just one of them. It’s kind of like you know, we got robbed of the NCAA Tournament this year, so it’s the next best thing. But look and Spartans were seated to man,

Big John Isner 24:05
he is he’s not only better at rapping than we are Chuck, he is probably smarter than we are based off of being a civil engineer.

Chuck Corra 24:15
Correct you insane? Not probably death. Well,

Big John Isner 24:17
that’s true. I

24:18
was just absolutely definitely my 2021

Big John Isner 24:23
my new year’s resolution is to pretend I’m a little smarter than I am. So that’s that’s the only reason I’m trying to practice Appalachian singer Songwriter of the Year. This was a down to the wire, no joke. 18 votes separated first and second 818 votes, Appalachian singer slash Songwriter of the Year the nominees are Tyler Childers, Mark Poole, Dolly Parton and Josh Connolly. Chuck I have the winner right here. No one knows who it is. But we’re about to find out. And the winner, rap legend singer, songwriter is the queen Dolly Parton.

Chuck Corra 25:14
Wow. Dolly, the legend herself. You know what I think this is a proper time to plug in. If you’re on YouTube, you’d see this. It says my bumper sticker which says Dolly for President.

Big John Isner 25:28
Well, Dolly is now an app Potlatch Appalachian award winner, a little bit about Dolly. Stephanie has the presidency. She really doesn’t need a intro at all. Dolly is in fact the queen of Appalachian. Honestly, this isn’t a surprise that she won doll is very popular. We love Dolly. We constantly talk about Dolly on the show. But here’s something Dolly’s new single, I still believe was just released December 7 2020. And it offers an uplifting moment for this year, which obviously we’ve talked about this year sucked. But some of the one of the lyrics that I wanted to let everyone know this is why this song is so important. Quote, I believe to my very core will walk again in the sunshine by the seashore that will dance and will sing and be happy again. The last part of the recording is don’t know how or when. But we will again you’ll see I still believe Dolly Parton not only funding vaccines, but also making beautiful music to help us get through 2020. And that is why she is the singer Songwriter of the Year.

Chuck Corra 26:36
He loved to see it. He loved to see it. Congrats Dolly. Hopefully she’ll accept the award on the show someday we’ll see. I mean, moving on, though, another I think hotly contested category award Appalachian Business of the Year. This was really a cool one to do. The finalists were all fantastic businesses that I think we all love 123 pleasant Street, full circle gifts and goods, Appalachian moon, rolling pepperoni and kinship goods. JOHN, the winner. Again, got it right here in the envelope. The winner of Appalachian Business of the Year is kinship goods. Man, this is a this is a huge, huge This is a great company. First of all, they make fantastic stuff. kinship goods. kinship goods is a quality of life brand dedicated to bringing comfort to all creatures as they put it out of Charleston, West Virginia kinship has become an apparel giant of Appalachia, their in house design and hand printed cozy ware is something everyone should experience in their words. Not to mention future friend of the show, Jennifer Garner has endorsed kinship. And that’s I mean, that may put them over the edge to be honest, and this so huge for them. And huge for them even more that they got the endorsement of the listeners of Appalachia with this award. So congrats to kinship goods. These other businesses are fantastic as well. We want you to patronize every single one of them. And Congrats, the kinship.

Big John Isner 28:20
Yeah, big win there for kinship. Speaking of big, this category, I know I’ve said it a lot but this one is a massive category because I think this one could put really could put anybody on the map, to be honest. And that is Appalachian Song of the Year. The nominees are long violin history by Tyler Childers, heart and minds by Jay parade. You can’t get to heaven in a rented van by William mfine and po boys by the Davison brothers. Chuck. could could the Davidson brothers have a two Pete? Could they have two awards? Let’s find out. And the winner for Appalachian Song of the Year goes too long violent history by Tyler chill.

29:18
Huge well deserved what

Big John Isner 29:19
a song I This one is a big song. One review of this song notes that as children’s bow makes convection heavy draws long violent history connects the bloody struggles of rural mostly white mining communities to contemporary fights for racial justice. Big thing here Chuck is 100% of net proceeds from long violent history will go to support underserved communities in the Appalachian region through the hichem Hall Hickman Haller apollyon Appalachian relief funds huge

Chuck Corra 29:53
that’s and that’s that’s 100% of the proceeds from the whole album. I think and like the merchandise Around Yeah,

Big John Isner 30:00
the album, the album, his album is called Yeah,

Chuck Corra 30:02
that’s a that’s okay. So that’s not only is it good song, but I mean, he’s literally putting his money where his mouth is. And for someone like him, he could be making a lot of money off that album. I mean, you just look at his, like monthly listeners on Spotify is in the millions, he could be making a ton of money off that, but instead he’s he’s essentially like rerouting it to Appalachia. And that’s, uh, and he you know, he didn’t make like a big deal about it either. He didn’t like, like, do a bunch of fanfare he just did it. And that’s awesome. That’s that’s really really cool. Well deserved man. Congrats Tyler, welcome on the show. By the

Big John Isner 30:41
way, all those songs all those songs are not I mean,

Chuck Corra 30:44
every single week, they might all be on our playlist. There we go. Alright, moving on. This one was actually another really, really cool category Appalachian online creator of the year. This is a really like this. This category is very broad because it It featured individuals and featured organizations, they could be creating art, they could be creating comedy, they could be creating video, audio, you know, like news, what have you so it’s very diverse or very cool. The nominees are a repeat nominee here Kelly Pruitt. Brian Pickens, Drew Morgan and Mountain State spotlight the watchdog journalism outlet out of West Virginia. JOHN, the winner of Appalachian online creator of the year I have it here in this copy of what you’re getting wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth cat. Very appropriate reader from this, the winner is Mountain State spotlight. big win. That’s a great, great organization. Mountain State spotlight is an independent civic news organization that tells stories of importance to West Virginians about the issues and challenges facing their communities. They produce journalism that exposes abuse of power by government, business and other institutions and keeps after the story until positive changes are made. So in their words, we will explain complex issues and illustrate how public policy decisions affect real West Virginians and we will lift up the voices of those who might not otherwise be heard. This is a fantastic watchdog journalism outlets. I believe it’s nonprofit started by some really strong veterans of the West Virginia journalism community led by Ken Ward, Jr. I think formerly over the Charleston Gazette. Also Amelia, I think it’s I think her name is pronounced nissley. If it’s if I’ve mispronounced that I apologize. Amelia, who’s another fantastic journalist who covers poverty, especially in in West Virginia, among other things, and Eric Iyer who is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who basically opened the open the floodgates of the opioid crisis story with a with a huge piece. Talking about it though I think we’ve talked about the about on the show before anyway, great, fantastic organization well deserved. Other the other online creators also amazing check them out, obviously mentioned Kelly Pruitt drew Morgan, one of the funniest comedians out there, hailing from the hollers of East Tennessee, love that love what he’s doing. And Brian pickins, as well, so check all of them out. Also, well deserved congratulations to the team at Mountain State spotlight who is doing incredibly important work in West Virginia.

Big John Isner 33:35
Definitely. Next category. This is one of the only ones that had three nominees. And this this was a close one if I I couldn’t believe how close this one was in terms of how many times I had recount it because it It took me for a loop a couple times. But we did have a winner Appalachian film of the year the nominees are Feast of the Seven Fishes born in a ballroom and pusher. Three great films. I have the winner right here in the getting started. Kaplan bar prep.

Chuck Corra 34:12
Wow, what an honor.

Big John Isner 34:16
And the winner. Welcome to bar review. The winner of the Appalachian film of the year goes to Feast of the Seven Fishes huge. This is actually filmed in Fairmont, West Virginia. A little bit of the premise just days before Christmas, the Vario family readies their feast to the Seven Fishes in Italian tradition stretching back to the old country and missed the preparations Tony a young man with big dreams and a bigger heart wonders if he’ll find love this Christmas season or spend it alone with his loud and loving family. These names Great Grandma Grandpa Johnny, great uncle’s, Frankie and kamin, his parents, his brother and a host of friends when Sarah the girlfriend of his best friend Angelo introduces Tony to Beth. It looks like Tony’s holidays experiences might take a turn for the better. That is, unless Noni thinks Beth isn’t good enough for her great grandson and Beth’s Ivy League suitor doesn’t steal her heart first. Come on inside where it’s warm and the smells of cooking fish permeate the air and let’s have a visit that review was written by Robert tonnelle

Chuck Corra 35:32
huge Yeah, I know that this was a this is a such a tight category. I mean, we’d like wow. Other two movies in there also fantastic pusher by filmmaker dimauro. We had her on the show, I think in April, a fantastic filmmaker and actress and telling a really important story about Appalachia. And, and and born in a ballroom. Another really good one that I was able to watch a little bit earlier this year. Fantastic stuff, all great movies. Congrats to FISA, Seven Fishes well earned.

Big John Isner 36:05
And these two these next two categories, Chuck, I’m going to caveat this by saying our our discussion of the winners will be a little bit longer than the past eight, because these were the most contested, and some would argue, two of the most important awards that are going to be given out on this episode. I would argue that all all of them are important. But some would argue that these two are highly important.

Chuck Corra 36:30
Yeah, they’re pretty big. They’re very big, in fact, huge. All right. So the one that I’m going to announce Appalachian activist of the year, this this category, man, I’ll tell you, so this was another super competitive category. You had some real heavy hitters in here. You had Daniel Walker, you had Ryan Eller, you had a lot of Norwood and you had Steven Smith. You know, you don’t get many more heavy hitters in that and this was a big one. So without further ado, john, the Appalachian activist of the year is Danielle Walker,

Big John Isner 37:16
Danielle Walker.

Chuck Corra 37:18
First one of the things I admire most about Dahlia Walker is her commitment to community and she constantly acknowledges how important that is to her. I wanted to read for our listeners. This is a piece from West Virginia living magazine from 2018 that I think really helps sum up who delegate Walker is this is prior to her election, I believe that this was written. Danielle Walker already had her hands full as a single working mother taking care of a son with autism, another son with rheumatoid arthritis and other medical problems, and her mother who has heart problems and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then in August 2017 violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia left one counter protester dead and dozens more injured. That was in Charlottesville. It’s a reference to Charlottesville by the way. Walker went to West Virginia University’s campus that night for a vigil and ended up speaking. Quote, I realized I needed to be the change. From that day forward. I have not shut my mouth and quote, local Democratic Party officials asked Walker to run for the House of Delegates. Since then she has spent nearly every day attending family reunions, church gatherings, rallies and marches. Quote anywhere I can shake someone’s hand and ask if you had one wish. What would you do for a state government and quote, Walker’s wishes to find a way to pull our people up, I will represent the people all the ones that voted for me and those that didn’t act admire that attitude. 100% This is from Daniels bio, delegate Walker’s book, excuse me. Danielle’s first and successful campaign for House of Delegates was in 2018, and was marked by an incredible energy for making connections with her neighbors. If there was an event she was there, if there was a cause she was probably contributing and if there was a need, she was probably trying to meet it. Her service as a delegate is marked by that same commitment to bring people together. Same gift for inspiring others insane passion for solving problems and serving the vulnerable. And amongst the many things that she’s been a leader on since joining the West Virginia House of Delegates. Racial Justice has been an issue that has certainly gotten a lot of attention and that she’s been a real leader on at a speech in Morgantown, West Virginia, she stated, quote, I am a black woman, I’m a mother of two black kids, my mother and father are also black. Why should I have to deny my heritage and my legacy? Why do I not stand up? I think I speak for many people, most people probably listening to this show and people throughout Appalachia when I say that we need voices like delegate Walker’s both in state government in West Virginia and state government throughout all of Appalachia and just throughout all of Appalachia in general.

Big John Isner 39:38
Yeah. Danielle is Yeah, I mean, the one of the big things that Daniels taken up here recently is the Black Lives Matter movement. She has been very vocal on her stance and some In my opinion, the right stance. It has pushed forward and in hopes of making West Virginia a better, more inclusive place. Danielle is is really the type of delegate that West Virginia needs more of, I’m glad to see that she remains in the House of Delegates and remains to be a major activist. They’re making sure that her son herself and people exactly like them, single mothers, with kids trying to make it through life are taken care of when it comes to representation in the House of Delegates.

Chuck Corra 40:25
Yeah, that’s a big, big deal on a big mantle to hold. And so we’re, we’re proud of Danielle for the work that she has done. Excuse me, delegate Walker, I should say, and in for all the other activists that were in this category, too, I mean, these people have done so much. All of them, all four of them. And everybody that was there was even mentioned in the voting have done so much to move Appalachia forward. And we’re really looking forward to what they’re what they all have in store for in 2021, especially delegate Walker,

Big John Isner 40:56
Chuck, the final award of the night or the morning whenever people are listening to this. Appalachian of the year this award goes to the person who best represented Appalachia in the year 2020.

Chuck Corra 41:13
This is a huge market this that’s a huge that’s a big, I say big man, that’s up that’s a big mantle to hold. That’s a 13 state region.

Big John Isner 41:23
Appalachian the UVA nominees are alone in Norwood. Tyler Childers, Ken Ward Jr. and Justin McElroy. These are some heavy hitters Chuck and it came down to really some names that we thought it would. But without spoiling I have the results right here. This is this is huge. This is your life. Right here. The Appalachian of the year goes to Tyler Childers, two big one children’s grew up in children’s grew up in Lawrence County, Kentucky with a father in the coal industry and a mother who worked as a nurse as a boy he’s saying for his Free Will Baptist church congregation and learned a few chords on a guitar given to him by his grandfather. That’s probably the best gift gift he’s ever received. By the way, he absorbed the classic rock his father liked along with the country artists of the 80s such as Alabama, Ricky Skaggs and Hank Williams Jr. started writing songs at 13 and occasionally played them for friends at parties at 15. When his grandfather died children’s turned to a bluegrass as a way to remember him. Children’s music is influenced by his home state of Kentucky, and its connection to country music and bluegrass. He often writes about coal mining, which was his father’s occupation and its effects. Rebecca bingle. writing for The Guardian describes children’s songs as a counter narrative to the outsiders who seek to perpetuate stereotypes of back wordiness and poverty. Chuck, I don’t know about you. We should have stole that in terms of what are our mission statement was, because that’s a that’s a damn good one. Children’s emphasizes lyrical content in songs comparing the songwriting process to telling short stories. And January 2020, January 2020. Children’s maintain his position on Americana, during an interview with World cafe quote, everybody always talks about the state of country music and puts down commercial country and says, something’s gotta be done. And we need to be elevating artists that are doing more traditional country, but then we’re not calling those artists, country artists, they’re getting put into this Americana thing. It is what it is. And I don’t really know how to define what Americana is. We’re our own thing. It’s a new time. And I don’t know what it’s called. But I’ve been calling it country, you know, I think a lot of times, it’s kind of become just a costume. Well, this costume is being ripped off, Chuck because Tyler Childers has just won the Appalachian of the Year award here in 2020.

Chuck Corra 44:01
This could come off as a bit presumptuous, but I would say arguably the biggest award he’s ever won,

Big John Isner 44:08
I would I have no idea what would be bigger. We, you know, we

Chuck Corra 44:11
mentioned this and the previous category they won, but a person who is is bringing a mainstream voice about Appalachia to a lot of different people. I know he resonates a lot with people from Appalachia, but he also does with people outside of the region. I think that’s equally as important. And the the, the music that he’s producing is incredible. And I think it’s a well deserved award well deserved very much. So congratulations to him. And congratulations

Big John Isner 44:39
to every nominee and every winner for the AP Potlatch Appalachian awards is the first annual Chuck I will I will go out on a limb and say there will be a second annual AP Potlatch Appalachian awards, but maybe with a better name.

44:53
We’ll call them the Abbey’s, I don’t know it’s pretty good or the Latins

45:00
I’m gonna go happy so I like that

Chuck Corra 45:01
sounds like we’re going to Applebee’s and and half half priced appetizers, our first award show. Uh, I think we I think we nailed it, I think fantastic people all around. And I think it’s a fantastic way to end this year ended on a positive note, a high note.

Big John Isner 45:21
highest note, highest note we’ve ever hit.

Chuck Corra 45:22
Well, I mean, that’s, uh, you know, I think this is our last episode right for for 2020

Big John Isner 45:29
Yeah, and and like I said last time, that was the last episode was the last beef with john 2020. So you’re not getting one this episode? I’m sorry. This is about the nominees and the winners. I got no beefs right now

Chuck Corra 45:43
his he’s, he’s got no beefs. I think that’s a Wow, it’s a first a hell of a way to end the year a hell of way to end the first full year of this podcast 2020 you can bet it a do with a couple of middle fingers in the air. But we’re doing it on a positive note here honoring some of the best people in this great region we call Appalachia. And we hope that you stick with us into 2021 to see what it has in store. Thank you all so much for listening. Whether you’re joining us for this episode, or whether you’ve been with us since episode one. And if you have God bless you, because that was rough. So thanks for that. Appreciate that. And

46:20
you’re trying to ruin a good movie.

Chuck Corra 46:24
We were and and appreciate that. Check us out. online@potlatch.com Follow us on social media. And if you’re not on YouTube, check us out on YouTube youtube.com slash c slash app Potlatch, it’ll be linked in the show notes. If you want to see full videos of each episode. We do them every week full video, you want to look at our beautiful glistening faces that are in suits right now you can And lastly, join our Patreon for exclusive bonus every single week for as little as $1 a month. We’ll be back next year, next year 2021

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