Wilburn Hayden, Professor / Director of the MSW Program at California University of Pennsylvania and a South Side resident was one of the Appalachian scholars interviewed for the PBS documentary, The Appalachians.
The three-hour film on the history of Appalachia's land, people, unique legacy, courage, character, arts and culture is told in story and song as a special public television event.
The Appalachians presents a dramatically human overview of the Appalachian Region. Following a historical chronology, the narrative thread features the colorful writings of both common people and larger-than-life figures. Personal stories are told on camera by people whose families have lived in Appalachia for generations.
“This documentary film is without a doubt the larges media exposure I have ever had. Over 95 percent of all PBS stations has aired or have scheduled the film,” Hayden said. “When I was invited to be interviewed I did not realize how big this production would be.
“My interview was an hour long. I appear five times through the film and I am very pleased with the comments included in the film. It is strange to get calls from across the nation from colleagues and long lost friends.”
Along with comments from historians, the program features artists such as Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Senator Robert C. Byrd WV and a host of others who help tell this story through word and song. The series was written and produced by Phylis Geller. The executive producer is Mari-Lynn C. Evans who was born and grew up in West Virginia.
Evans's credits include Living Well: A Guide to Healthy Aging, a 26-week series for PBS and the FOX Health Network; Changes, a magazine-format program hosted by Nick Clooney, which aired on the FOX Health Network; the children's television program Geezbo's Alley; the documentary Standing in the Safety Zone, hosted by Surgeon General David Satcher, which aired on PBS and FOX Health Network; and John Glenn: The International Year of Older Adults for PBS.
Geller is president of Norman Star Media. Recent credits include: writer/producer/director of COSMIC JOURNEY: The Voyager Interstellar Mission and Message, for A&E; executive producer and co-writer of Korean War Stories, a PBS special which won the Emmy for Best Historical Documentary, 2002; and executive producer and co-writer of Tesla, Master of Lightning.