Larry Groce to be inducted into Folk Radio Hall of Fame

By Matthew Young, RealWV

Grammy-nominated West Virginia recording artist Larry Groce will soon add another feather to his already overflowing cap, as the legend of the music business was recently named as a 2024 inductee of the International Folk Radio Hall of Fame. 

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1948, Groce made West Virginia his forever home in 1972. The voice behind the 1976 top ten hit “Junk Food Junkie,” Groce also lent his voice to four volumes of Walt Disney’s “Children’s Favorites” through 1990. Groce was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020. 

Despite his many accomplishments and accolades, Groce is perhaps best known as the co-creator, artistic director, and former host of the performance radio program “Mountain Stage.” The show, which is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and broadcast nationally on NPR stations, celebrated its 40th year on the air in 2023.

“I look back with tremendous gratitude and satisfaction,” Groce told RealWV, shortly before the recording of Mountain Stage’s 40th anniversary special in December. “Not only do I think we did a lot of good shows, but we also had a great time and formed a team. This couldn’t be done without this team of people. We are a West Virginia show, and we’re happy about that. We just quietly proceed, and we don’t pay attention to what we can’t do. We think of it like a little light that we’re beaming out.”

Since its inception, Mountain Stage has featured more than 2,000 of the world’s most talented  up-and-coming and veteran performers, such as John Pizzarelli, Tyler Childers, James McMurtry, Joan Osborne, and current host Kathy Mattea. Mattea took over hosting duties after Groce stepped out of the role in 2021. 

‘I’m still involved in the show artistically,” Groce also said, “But more and more I’m turning it over to other people.”

Joining Groce in the Folk Radio Hall of Fame class of 2024 are Linda Fahey and Jan Vanderhorst. Brian O’Donovan and Bob Sherman will be posthumously inducted. The induction ceremony will take place as part of the Folk Alliance International Conference next month in Kansas City. Also as part of the ceremony, singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

For more information, or to attend the Folk Alliance International Conference, visit folk.org. To learn more about Larry Groce, read RealWV’s coverage of Mountain Stage’s 40th Anniversary here

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