The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame has announced their Class of 2023 inductees. They include well-known Braxton County musician, Buddy Griffin.
“The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s class of 2023 continues our mission to recognize outstanding artists who were born or raised in the Mountain State,” said Michael Lipton, Director of the WV Music Hall of Fame. “Our ninth-class honors five unique and diverse West Virginia artists who have made lasting contributions to the music of their home state and American music.
“Like most West Virginians, these inductees come from humble beginnings and succeeded on their own terms thanks to their passion and determination,” he added. “We want to send a message to all young West Virginians that no matter where you live and no matter what your circumstances are, if you have passion and determination you can succeed!”
One of WV’s best-known and most widely respected bluegrass and traditional country musicians, Buddy Griffin is a multi-instrumentalist who has toured and recorded with legendary acts including Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys, the Osborne Brothers, Mother Maybelle Carter, Johnny Russell, the Goins Brothers, and Mack Samples and the Samples Brothers.
Growing up in a musical family in Braxton County his parents taught him all the instruments as well as the importance of using humor to entertain an audience. Griffin graduated in 1971 from Glenville State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, and became the staff banjo and fiddle player for WWVA’s Jamboree USA in Wheeling. Over the years, he has played on the Grand Ole Opry more than 200 times and has appeared on more than 150 recordings.
In 2002, working with the Fine Arts Department at Glenville State College, Griffin introduced the first-ever four-year college degree program in bluegrass music and ran the program for several years. In 2011, he received the Vandalia Award from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and in 2019, he was honored with an honorary doctorate from the school.
Also joining the Hall of Fame next year will be Barbara Nissman, a world renown concert pianist; Fuzzy Haskins and Calvin Simon, founding members of Parliament Funkadelic as well as deceased members to be inducted include first-generation bluegrass group the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and Hammond B-3 organ player Winston Wells.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting will air the induction ceremony live in May 2023.