MEIGS COUNTY — A recent Emmy win for Meigs High School alumnus Evan Shaw may not have been his first (or even only one for this year), but this one may have been a little more special as it was a family affair.
Shaw, along with his parents Lynn and Liz Shaw, were nominated for an Emmy award for the soundtrack to the documentary “Our Town: Jackson.”
Last weekend at The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Regional Emmy Awards, the Shaws received the award for Music Composition/Arrangement, along with Rusty Smith and Adam Rich.
Evan Shaw also won for his writing work on the documentary.
This was the first nomination for both Lynn and Liz Shaw.
Speaking with The Daily Sentinel, Liz Shaw explained that she was shocked to be nominated, let alone win, as much of the documentary’s music has centered around folk music.
“I was really shocked,” said Liz,. “I didn’t think we would win.”
She explained that folk music does not get much attention, leading to her surprise with both the nomination and the win.
The music is historic in nature, dating back to the settlement of the city.
For the documentaries, the Shaws not only research the music which would match the various eras told in the video and arrange it for the film — they play some of the music.
Specifically for the Jackson documentary, Liz performed the song the Battle of New Orleans on the fiddle. The song makes reference to Andrew Jackson who the city was named for.
Among the other songs for the documentary were those which represented the Welsh heritage of the area, including the Welsh national anthem.
Liz explained that work in music and television has been something the family has worked together on for several years, including for the previous Our Town documentaries.
The Shaws have played American Folk music for years, having had their own television show on public television in the late 1980s and early 1990s. On that show they traveled around the country to feature folk music from different cities and areas of the country.
The series worked to teach history of the areas through music.
Liz explained that at age 6 Evan got his first taste of the television industry, traveling with his parents and carrying items around on the set.
Evan told that story as part of his speech at the awards ceremony, said Liz.
Evan Shaw now has 12 Emmy awards, with numerous other nominations as well.
Our Town Jackson was the fourth in the series, following Lancaster, Pomeroy and Nelsonville. The 2018 documentary focuses on Athens, with the 2019 film currently in the works as well.
According to WOUB, “Our Town: Jackson” is one in a series of WOUB Public Media documentaries focusing on the culture and communities of Appalachia.
Evan Shaw, Smith and Rick work for WOUB.
It is produced in partnership with the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact at Ohio University.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.