WVABSSA Hall of Fame

September 6, 2016


We had mentioned briefly this amazing upcoming event in the past (see Priscilla! 8/2/2016). But now it’s come time to give it it’s due. And thanks D for reminding me and continuing to remind me to get this post out. 

Brief History: We had talked with Priscilla Price a number of times since our first meeting in Beckley last year. Since then we know she’s been nominated for membership to the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and we hope that goes well. However during one of our conversations there seemed to be some confusion… or at least I was confused. After a phone call to Helen Gillison in Weirton, I learned of the WV All Black Schools Sports & Academics Hall of Fame, of which Priscilla will soon be inducted. In our post “Priscilla!” I made the comment “Yes, we said Sports & Academics” and was quickly called-on-the-carpet. Because I had always attributed academics to education in particular higher-education. But as it was explained to me that qualifications for academics is “holding a masters degree or higher or comparable experience“. Sorry, I should’a read closer. At any rate this upcoming event is indeed a BIG DEAL and thanks to Lady D the following is much more an “official news release” about this years induction. Thanks again D!





W.Va. All Black Schools Sports and Academics Hall of Fame
A Celebration of the Arts: The West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academics Hall of Fame
The 8th annual inductee celebration of the West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academics Hall of Fame (WVABSSA)
will hold a special event to recognize and honor Black West Virginian artists and their achievements. The list of honorees includes
artists who have accomplished on the national and international stage such as Spyder Turner, the soul singer, formerly of Beckley,
with his mega-hit “Stand By Me”; who will also co-host the event.

Other famed inductees include John Ellison, formally of Fayette County and holder of the Guinness Book of Records for the most
recorded song in history and the third most played song in the world, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, Sonny Turner, from Fairmont,
lead singer for The Platters with his signature song “Only You”; Ms. Priscilla Price, a blues singer and the daughter of a West Virginia
coal miner who entertained United States Presidents, Queens, Prime Ministers and many other heads of state.
Charleston’s own Bob Thompson, nationally and internationally known recording jazz artist with multiple albums who has been inducted
into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame; as well as Hubert “Rabbit” Jones, West Virginia Symphony’s Principle bass violin chair, born in
Laing, West Virginia and living in Charleston, Jackie Hairston, pianist and former organist for Otis Redding a former Bluefield native. The
event will also include The Martin Luther King Jr. Chorus and many other entertainers and performers of West Virginia who have made
names for themselves is the arts and entertainment field.

All events will take place at the Embassy Suites in Charleston on September 16th and 17th beginning with the presenter’s program
at 5:00 pm and a Red Carpet Processional at 6:00 pm. After the inductee presentations, a special performance will take place.
Sonny Turner, Bob Thompson, Michael (Black Bach) Orr and inductees followed with a dance. The cost of the dance will be a donation of $20.00.
On Saturday, September 17th, a Black Tie Affair will take place with a commencement and special ceremony at 1:00 pm to acknowledge
Posthumous artist with oral histories that will end at 4:00 pm. Following the ceremony will be a cocktail hour and a dinner starting at 6:00 pm.
The cost will be $50.00. Special video excerpts from Fridays program will be aired showing performances by the artists.
To close out the historical weekend, there will be a special Farewell Musical Gala from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm featuring international stars Spyder Turner,
John Ellison, Priscilla Price and more. The cost will be a donation of $35.00. If you have attended the Friday or Saturday affair there will be no charge for
the Farewell Gala. All reservations can be made by calling 304-395-7671 or 304-748-7116 or email Helen@hlj-glaw.com.

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