30 years and counting

The very first cover of C-VILLE Review The very first cover of C-VILLE Review

In 1989, Bill Chapman was a senior at Hampden-Sydney College and Hawes Spencer, a former student, was working in the communications office. Chapman had just completed a summer internship at Richmond’s Style Weekly, and “It seemed like Charlottesville needed a smarter, less reverent paper than The Daily Progress,” he says.  

The two founded C-VILLE Review that fall, a bi-monthly publication with Chapman as editor and Spencer as publisher. In the vein of other alt-weeklies at the time, it was nose-thumbing and often goofy, with an inaugural issue that featured a garrulous history of Foxfield by the man who’d designed it, and an ode to a 1964 toaster. Another early issue, in 1991, featured a farcical story on Patricia Kluge following her divorce from her second husband (then the richest man in America) with a cover headlined “Going Back to Work: One Woman’s Story.”   

While the paper, which went weekly in 1994, has changed with every editor, its motivating force—to provide an alternative voice on local news and culture-—is as relevant as ever. In a special insert in the paper this week. you’ll find every cover from C-VILLE’s 30-year history—more than 1,400 in all, from this Foxfield illustration to last week’s photo of jazz legend Roland Wiggins (who, incidentally, moved to Charlottesville in September 1989). The highlights are below.  

Taken together, the covers chart the ups and downs of Charlottesville’s transition from Southern college town to emerging small city—and every local uproar in between.

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bring back the hook.