Wetzel County native Gary Eller has issued an 80-page interpretive booklet and CD with 22 audio tracks of historically-based songs, poems, and stories about Wetzel County and adjacent areas. Eller now lives in southwest Idaho and is a recognized authority on historically-based songs of that state, having issued 10 booklets/CDs on the subject. He is in great demand as a member of the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and travels the length and breadth of Idaho to present historically-based song programs.
The Wetzel County region project contains tracks about events ranging in time from the days of Lewis Wetzel in the late-1700s to an autobiographical song written in the 1990s by Knob Fork's Pansy Yoho, who has been singing her heartfelt ballads for over 70 years.
Johnny Gamble's Ghost is about one of West Virginia's most famous ghost stories and trials, a story that began near the Wetzel/Tyler line in 1853. Casto Hole is a rare Civil War-era song related to the Underground Railroad and split loyalties in the region. Ballad of Frank Jennings concerns the last vigilante killing in West Virginia, which occurred on Tarpen Ridge a few miles from New Martinsville in 1873. Sistersville Airship relates to a famous UFO sighting in 1897 and Benwood Coal is about one of West Virginia's worst mining disaster, it occurred in 1924.
Two songs, Trip to Wetzel County and Rush Run Crew, originally were collected at Hundred in the 1930s by famous Penn State University musicologist Samuel Bayard. The interpretive booklet includes background information and short summaries of the history and music of the Wetzel County region. The booklet is richly illustrated with historic regional photos.
The audio tracks were recorded by Gary Eller and friends from Idaho and Utah; Wetzel County region musicians Terry Sands, Ron Hoskinson, Gay Schwing (deceased), and Pansy Yoho; and Fairmont's Leigh Ann Hood.
Copies also are available in New Martinsville from Fred Eller, 304-455-4852, and in Littleton from John Rice, 304-775-4066.