by Bob Stealey
My subject today is Thomas "Tommy Dee" Dadisman of Taylor County. Although I've not had the privilege of meeting him, through my friend, Teresa Morris, I feel as though I have known him for some time.
He works closely with Olive Crowe at the welcome center beside the Anna B. Jarvis Birthplace Museum at Webster, a short jaunt south of Grafton on U.S. Route 119. She describes him as follows:
"Tommy Dee has been a writer, recording artist and entertainer for the past 25 years. He has played in Colorado and in the northern, southern and eastern regions of the United States. Tommy has entertained with such greats as Little Jimmy Dickens, Johnny Russell, Jean Shepard, Nat Stuckey and writer Tommy Collins."
She continued, "While Tommy is on stage, belting out hard-core country mixed with enough rockabilly that keeps his charisma moving into the hearts of his fans, standing ovations are not uncommon. He loves and writes all types of music, but is a true believer that country is country and a good song is kicked off with a heart-breaking steel guitar and ending the same way."
Olive said Tommy Dee came back from Nashville to restore the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum.
"He still writes songs all the time and sends them down for the new artists to try out. His heart is in West Virginia and he loves to write about it. Last year, he wrote a song about our state that he sang on stage for the governor about tourism in West Virginia. It was well received.
"'Coal Black Coal, Fire in the Hole' was recorded because of his time in the mines. He also wrote a song called, 'The Flood of '85.' ...
"He still does a lot of shows, mostly in the park at the Anna Jarvis House as fund-raisers. He helps other groups throughout the year to raise funds, also. Tommy Dee is a great entertainer who has paid his dues and still helps others with good advice about a career in music," Olive concluded.
In a note, Tommy Dee Dadisman stated, "For many years of writing country music, I've always included songs pertaining to our wonderful state of West Virginia. Some of these songs pertain to my days working in the coal mines. Now that I've come home to West Virginia, Olive Crowe and I have dedicated our lives to restoring the great history of our state.
"By working with tourists from all 'round the world, we discovered many who are interested in the history of mining. This year, I have finished the recording of 'Coal Black Coal' that is now available on CD or tapes. This recording tells a story and then a song related to that story is played. Some of the songs were written years ago. However, most I have written from my own experience in the mines. Many are buying the tapes for gifts, and others for the history of coal mining. We have these for sale at the Welcome Center.
For more information about the tapes, they can call 265-5549. They can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at email@example.com.