MULLINS, PAUL “MOON” (1936-2008)

Born and reared in Menifee County, Kentucky, Paul Mullins came to Ohio in 1964 to take a deejay job at WPFB in Middletown. His approach to that job has made him a bluegrass broadcasting legend. Playing strictly bluegrass and hard country records, and using a friendly, folksy, down-home, ad-lib style of presenting his commercials, endeared him not only to the transplanted southerners in the southwestern Ohio area, but also to “Buckeyes” who were tired of announcers who all sounded the same. In 1995, Paul went to work for his son at Joe’s radio station, WBZI in Xenia, and continued there until his retirement. Being a working musician also worked to his advantage in producing concerts and staying visible within the bluegrass industry. Primarily a fiddle player, he was also capable on guitar and mandolin. Mullins worked off and on with the Stanley Brothers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1961 and 1962, he was a member of the Bluegrass Playboys in Kentucky, where he first recorded his signature song “Katie Daley.” He worked in the Log Cabin Boys with guitarist/singer Sid Campbell, who would later work with Paul in the Nu-Grass Pickers. After moving to Ohio, Paul worked in the house band at the Ken-Mill in Cincinnati with Jim McCall, Benny Birchfield, and Harley Gabbard, and they cut some singles on Rem Records. He worked with the Valley Ramblers, the Nu-Grass Pickers, the Boys From Indiana, the Traditional Grass, and the WBZI Bluegrass Band, and also cut LPs under his own name: one on Vetco, one on Jalyn, and a CD on Classic Country Productions. In 2000, he received the Broadcaster of the Year Award and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA. In 2007, he was awarded an Ohio Heritage Fellowship at the Cityfolk Festival in Dayton.

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