Born 1948, Dallas, TX
Born in Dallas, TX, Larry Groce moved to Phillipi (Barbour County) in 1972 when he was a NEA-sponsored musician-in-residence, for Barbour, Tucker and Randolph Counties. Since then, Groce has had a profound impact on music and the arts in his adopted state, co-founding the NPR show Mountain Stage in 1983 (now in its 36th year) and as the director of Charleston’s music, art and dance celebration, FestivALL.
His projects have been incredibly diverse and speak to his appreciation of all facets of the arts: He owned and operated The Morgantown School of Ballet; starred in the WV feature film Paradise Park (and recently wrote the songs for the musical of the same name); was co-publisher of the statewide alternative newspaper Graffiti; produced, directed and composed music for an audio version of Gauley Mountain — a collection of 81 historical poems by the late WV Poet Laureate Louise McNeill; and produced a three-hour audio version of five short stories written by McNeill’s father, G.D. McNeill.
Prior to moving to West Virginia, he was a noted singer and songwriter, having recorded three albums of original songs and hymns. The rest of his recordings, including a number of LPs for Disney Records, were made when he lived in West Virginia.
In 1976, his satirical novelty song “Junk Food Junkie” charted in the Top 10. The song was once sung by a young Michael Jackson on his family’s TV show in the 1970s, and led to appearances on The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show, American Bandstand and The Midnight Special. Larry has recorded more than two dozen LPs, scores of singles, EPs and collections for RCA/Daybreak, Warner-Curb, Disneyland/Walt Disney Records and independent labels, ranging in style from singer/songwriter Americana to gospel hymns to children’s music.