“In Search of a Song” radio interview with Stella Parton – coincidentally recorded on the day of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster about her new album “American Coal”


In Search of a Song is a radio program that airs in Bloomington, Indiana on 91.3FM WFHB and streams live every Saturday at 4pm EST. To give you some background on this post, Randy Maggard, the coal company representative from Argus Energy in the film Coal Country, asked me to post an article on Stella Parton, Dolly Partons sister, who had a new CD out called “American Coal”. He wanted me to show that there were musicians that supported coal miners, and the coal industry. I called Stella, and asked her to be on a radio program I produce with Jason Wilber, singer/songwriter and longtime lead guitarist for John Prine. Our program is about songwriting, and I asked her if we could interview her about the subject, her influences, and feature her new album “American Coal”. I told her I did not want to be political, but keep it about the music. Incredibly, the date we decided on to do the interview turned out to be the same day of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 miners in West Virginia.

A few hours after the interview had concluded, I saw the news that the mine disaster had just happened, and so I called Stella back, and we taped a final segment for the interview.  I have posted a link here to the radio program which will air 5/8/10, and you can hear the unedited version by listening to the audio stream at http://www.wfhb.org at 4pm Eastern Standard Time. In this podcast, I had to edit out the songs so they can’t be downloaded, however, the entire interview can be heard here. Again, if you want to hear the songs, listen online tomorrow, or you can also buy a copy of Stella’s new album “American Coal” on Itunes, or at your local music retailer.

I hope the interview speaks for itself, and you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed talking to Stella, granting Randy Maggards request, and editing the program.

Rich Reardin
Executive Producer
In Search of a Song with Jason Wilber

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3 Responses to “In Search of a Song” radio interview with Stella Parton – coincidentally recorded on the day of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster about her new album “American Coal”

  1. WV hollergirl says:

    Just listen to any song written about coal – they are all sad, morbid songs full of misery. The message is how bad coal is.
    I find it so very ironic for pro coal folk to smugly promote coal in song.
    The songs they sing are anti-coal and it is as if the pro coal singer is either “the queen of denial” or completely ignorant to the meaning in the lyrics – they are just singing words. WOW- even Parton here knows has bad coal is. She is just covering up for coal – because coal “brought her to the dance”- never mind that coal is poisoning and blasting those of us that live near coal–never mind that little children are being poisoned.
    Everyone deserves a safe place to live as well as a safe work place. How dare Parton sing “These are my mountains”- Hey parton- they are blowing them up and you are supporting that.
    Shame on you Parton. Why don’t you pray for us that are being blasted with 3 1/2 million pounds of explosives daily. for mountaintop removal that you support. Thanks for supporting the flooding that it causes too.
    Also Parton’s figures are completely wrong on coal fired electricity- coal fired is down to 45%. Time for wind and solar.

    • bulltown1959 says:

      I read Stella’s statements about how she loved miners and mountains. Then she says she is pro coal? I guess it may be confusing for some folks to understand that their water is being poisoned, their air ruined, their children in harm’s way, the blasting, the intimidation………. WAKE UP! Stella is no more pro coal than I am and I think I am an environmentalist. Another puppet of King Coal. King Coal, Massey, the death of miners, the death of mountains. Think again, Stella. If you love the mountains and people of Appalachia–honey, you are not pro coal. You are pro Appalachia.

  2. Mike G says:

    Ms. Parton needs to go down and talk to the folks who are suffering from the pulling of coal from the ground—like the ones who turn on their taps and the water is black or orange and when they test the water–it is full of heavy metals—-exposure to those things brings all kinds of negative health effects on the people there.

    The people who don’t even work in the coal mines, surface or deep shaft, are paying the price for coal too—-Ms. Parton needs to go down and talk to them—-I don’t think those folks are “jumping on some bandwagon” they are people who just want to have a decent life and not get exposed to bad water, bad air and all.

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