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WVU professor says West Virginia has great songwriters, could use more help supporting them


Charleston Gazette-Mail

With his book, “Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia,” released through WVU Press, Travis Stimeling hoped to “boost the signal” of local songwriters, help get their names and profiles out to people who care and study American music.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Texas is not the center of great American songwriting, Travis Stimeling said, despite what the Lone Star State might like the rest of the country to believe.

The WVU musicology professor, musician and author of “Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections,” said Texas does have a lot of famous songwriters. Then he rattled a couple off the top of his head, including Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver.

“Anybody with three names, they got ‘em,” he joked.

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