The mission of the Music Hall of Fame is to recognize West Virginians who have contributed to the field of music, collect and preserve their sound recordings and memorabilia, and educate the public about the artists.
This organization works to recognize West Virginianscontributions to music regardless of genre or style,Cuthbert said.One of my goals throughout my career has been to create broader awareness of the tremendous diversity of West Virginias cultural heritage in the arts. I look forward to being able to do that in regard to the field of music.
Cuthbert brings to the table a wide knowledge of West Virginia music history. Originally hired at the WVU Libraries as a musicologist, he was given the task of listening to, transcribing and cataloging the Librariesvast folk music recordings.
More recently, he has collaborated twice with the Wheeling Symphony in creating tributes to the radio programIts Wheeling Steel.Produced by the Wheeling Steel Corp. from 1936-44, the musical variety show was among the most popular radio broadcasts in America during the 1940s.
Cuthbert, who previously served on the nominating committee, will help assist the Hall of Fame in many ways, including collections management and emerging plans for a museum facility.
Established in 2005, the Hall of Fame has inducted two classes to date.
The 2007 inductees were George Crumb, composer; Billy Edd Wheeler, singer/songwriter; Hazel Dickens, singer; Johnnie Johnson, rocknroll pianist; Molly ODay, country singer; Little Jimmy Dickens, singer/entertainer; Blind Alfred Reed, singer/songwriter; LeonChuBerry, jazz saxophonist; Clark Kessinger, old-time fiddler; and Bill Withers, singer/songwriter.
The 2008 inductees were Ann Baker, jazz singer; Robert Drasnin, composer; Maceo Pinkard, songwriter; Charlie McCoy, musician; Red Sovine, singer; The Lilly Brothers and Don Stover, singers/musicians; Phyllis Curtin, opera singer; Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, bluegrass duo; and Frankie Yankovic, polka king.