Joe Mullins has spent his life performing and promoting bluegrass music. In addition to time in the studio and on the road with his band, The Radio Ramblers, he owns and operates a network of broadcast radio stations that pump out bluegrass and traditional country music in southern Ohio.
His dad, Paul ‘Moon’ Mullins had also carried the bluegrass banner throughout his life, until his passing in 2008. Paul had served as fiddler with The Stanley Brothers in the late 1950s, and was later a founding member of both The Boys From Indiana and The Traditional Grass, the latter of which also included son Joe. Perhaps his most enduring legacy among modern grass fans is having written the song, Katy Daley, now enshrined in the canon of bluegrass classics.
The Mullins family just recently suffered the loss of Paul’s wife Prudence, Joe’s mom, and grandmother to regular Bluegrass Today contributor, Daniel. With their annual Southern Ohio Indoor Bluegrass Music Festival just two weeks following Prudence’s funeral, the family found a way to memorialize her while raising money for breast cancer research.
Joe says that he contacted the new owners of Janet Davis Acoustic Music, who generously offered to help.
“My sincere THANKS to ALL who contributed to the festival and the fundraiser. Our friends, Dave and Vicki Thompson of Janet Davis Acoustic Music, donated a Martin guitar. Raffle ticket sales were over $2000 for the guitar.
Other efforts, including Isaac Moore singing for tips, allowed us to generate a $2500 donation to the Breast Cancer Fund for our local health network in memory of Mom – we are grateful!”
Southern Ohio Indoor Bluegrass Music Festival attendee Bill Breeze took home the guitar.
Vicki Thompson also shared some remembrances of their participation in the raffle.
Nearly everyone who purchased a ticket had a story to tell – some were celebrating their recovery from breast cancer; others shared the story of a loved one who did not survive the struggle. One gentleman bought $20 in tickets because his wife was celebrating 20 cancer-free years. Another gentleman bought tickets to honor his wife who had passed away, not from cancer, but from other causes. He said that ‘she was a wonderful person and would have wanted me to do something good like this.’
Other people who received treatment for various cancers at the Miami Valley Hospital wanted to buy tickets because of the wonderful care and attention they received there. Some people bought tickets because they knew Joe’s mother, and they all shared stories about her, especially about how she loved to feed the hungry!
So many people said they had always wanted a Martin guitar and hoped to win one – I wish they all could have won. I am so glad I had the chance to hear all of these wonderful stories, and what a pleasure it was to be associated with this memorial to Joe’s mother, Prudence Mullins.”
Here is a gallery of photos from the festival shot by Bill Warren.