The Kennedy Center

Larry Groce



Biography

Larry Groce is a singer, songwriter, and arts and entertainment producer. He is one of the founders of “Mountain Stage,” a live music program on National Public Radio, produced by West Virginia Public Radio since 1983. He has served as artistic director and host for all of its shows to date, and holds the same positions in televised versions of the show.

Mr. Groce was born in Dallas, Texas and became interested in music—especially songs and singers—in elementary school. He attended Adamson High School in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, which was fertile ground for aspiring singer-songwriters.

The first of his twenty three albums, a collection of hymns entitled Peace and Joy and Power, was recorded in 1969, while he was still in college.  After graduating in 1970, Mr. Groce moved to New York and signed a recording contract with Daybreak Records, a subsidiary of RCA. His first album of original songs, The Wheat Lies Low, was released in 1970. Rolling Stone gave it a positive review, describing him as, "an artist of unusual sincerity and depth.” In 1971, he moved to Los Angeles and in 1972 he moved again, this time to West Virginia where he continues to make his home.

Mr. Groce recorded twenty-two albums from 1969-1990, along with scores of singles, EPs, and collections for RCA/Daybreak, Warner-Curb, Disneyland/Walt Disney Records and independent labels. They range in style from singer/songwriter Americana, to gospel hymns, to children's music.  In 1976 his satiric novelty song "Junk Food Junkie" became a top-ten national hit.

During his recording career, Mr. Groce performed in almost every state of the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, France, England, Italy, Greece, and Russia, and he has appeared on television and radio shows in Canada, England, and Russia. He continues to perform on occasion, solo, with the Mountain Stage Band or with his wife, Sandra.

Besides singing, writing songs, and working on Mountain Stage, Mr. Groce has long been involved in the arts. From 1972-1985 he was a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored "musician-in-residence,” visiting schools in twenty different states.

In 2005 he became Executive Director of FestivALL Charleston, a ten-day festival of music, dance, theater and visual arts in West Virginia’s Capitol City. Mr. Groce is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from West Virginia Wesleyan College.  In 2008, he was awarded a West Virginia Governor’s Art Award for Leadership in the Arts, and, the same year, he also recorded his twenty-third album, a sixth collection of hymns (produced by Don Dixon).

In 2001 Mr. Groce married Sandra Armstrong, former principal violist with The West Virginia Symphony. The couple has two daughters.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/13/2014: The ASCAP Foundation Presents: “Songwriters: The Next Generation” featuring Tyler Lyle and Kavita Shah

Under the auspices of The ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Composers) Foundation, an evening of original musical works hosted by Larry Groce and featuring performances by Tyler Lyle and Kavita Shah.

Video 3/12/2014: The ASCAP Foundation Presents: “Songwriters: The Next Generation” featuring Nii Akwei Adoteye and Nicky Egan

Under the auspices of The ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Composers) Foundation, an evening of original musical works hosted by Larry Groce and featuring performances by Nii Akwei Adoteye and Nicky Egan.

Larry Groce