Many great musical traditions, including country, folk and blues, were influenced by musicians in the Appalachian Mountains. The town of Bristol, which straddles Tennessee and Virginia, was officially recognized in 1998 by Congress as the birthplace of country music, and the town’s Birthplace of Country Music Museum celebrates and preserves that history.
A new exhibit, “Hometown Stars,” which runs from Feb. 7 until June 4, tells the stories of Southwest Virginia musicians from before World War II who recorded music but never achieved real fame. Instead, they performed locally and often held non-musical jobs, but they still had a big impact on the growing recording industry. Artists showcased in the exhibit include the Powers Family, Carl Martin and the Roanoke Jug Band. — Adrienne Fouts
In a 5-2 decision, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature’s move to seize Asheville’s water system was unconstitutional. The verdict, delivered in a 42-page opinion on Dec. 21, 2016, reverses an appellate court decision to uphold the legislature’s attempt and follows a suit from the City of Asheville.
According to the Triangle Business Journal, alternative energy company Enviva Biomass is now exporting their wood pellets to Europe from the port at Wilmington, N.C.
The facility has a pair of storage domes that can house about 50,000 metric tons of material.
Large-scale logging by the wood pellet industry has disrupted millions of acres of forest across the Southeast.