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'Moon' Mullins Lives till 71 Yrs

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    Posted: Aug 06 2008 at 3:38pm

Bluegrass musician and pioneer radio personality Paul “Moon” Mullins, lived to be 71.

Sunday was his last day at the Hillspring Nursing facility in Springboro.

Mr. Mullins was as former radio personality for Classic Country Radio, WKFI AM 1090 in Wilmington, WBZI AM 1500 in Xenia and WEDI AM 1130 in Eaton.

After nearly 45 years in broadcasting, he retired in March 2005 from Classic Country Radio.

Mr. Mullins learned to play fiddle while serving in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1958. After his discharge, he took his first professional job in the music business as a fiddler with the Stanley Brothers’ band, the Clinch Mountain Boys.

He began his broadcasting career in eastern Kentucky in 1960 and in 1962 joined The Bluegrass Playboys where he composed “Katy Daly,” a well-known bluegrass tune.

He moved to Ohio in 1964 to join the staff of WPFB in Middletown where he broadcast the Moon Mullins show every morning and afternoon, promoting his style of music to fans throughout the Miami Valley.

From 1964 to 1978, he played fiddle on recording sessions with Charlie Moore and Bill Napier, Larry Sparks, the Goins Brothers, Charlie Monroe, Earl Taylor and Jim McCall, Jimmy Martin and the Boys From Indiana. He worked with Bill Monroe as emcee for the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Brown County Indiana for several years. From 1968 through 1988, he promoted such popular acts as The Osborne Brothers, Ralph Stanley, Don Reno, The Country Gentlemen, Jim & Jesse, J.D. Crowe and many others at venues and festivals throughout Ohio.

In 1983, he organized the group, “The Traditional Grass,” with his son Joe and Mark Rader.

He joined his son Joe at Classic Country Radio in 1995, and was the popular mid-day host for the radio stations in Xenia, Wilmington and Eaton.

Mr. Mullins is credited with introducing quality bluegrass to new audiences as well as preserving the genre’s musical traditions through his advocacy and stewardship. He also remained active as a performer, playing and recording with various groups, including The Traditional Grass in the 1980s and early ’90s.

His many honors include the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award and Broadcaster of the Year award, both in 2000. In 2007, he received the Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award for Performing Arts from the Ohio Arts Council for his contributions not only to the bluegrass music industry, but also to the Appalachian community.

His accomplishments in broadcasting and the traditional country and bluegrass music industry will remain for generations. The memories of his unique, ad-lib advertising style for the thousands of sponsors he has been a spokesperson for and his stories of real life experiences, many relating to his Appalachian heritage, will not be forgotten by his many loyal listeners.

“He was an influential part of the lives of thousands of people,” said his son Joe Mullens, also a bluegrass musician and broadcaster for his radio stations. “He spoke directly to his audience and he could make a personal connection with the listener immediately on everyday levels.”

Joe Mullins’ Classic Country Radio stations host The Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival, the largest indoor Bluegrass, Old-Time and Gospel event in the region, at the Roberts Centre at Wilmington. He also has brought bluegrass shows to the Murphy Theatre and the J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park in Wilmington.

A native of Frenchburg, Ky., in Menifee County, Mr. Mullins was diagnosed in 2007 with progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurological disease. He was cared for at his home in Franklin Township in Warren County until six weeks ago.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Prudence; his son and daughter-in-law, William Joseph “Joe” and Tammy Mullins of Cedarville; a daughter and son-in-law, Christy and Matt Jones of Middletown; a brother; three sisters; three grandchildren; and number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Anderson Funeral Home, 40 N. Main St., Springboro, with burial to follow in Miami Cemetery, Corwin. Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home, with Masonic services at 7 p.m.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Neuroscience Institute Department at the University of Cincinnati.

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