Bluegrass chart-toppers Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers will give a free concert at Beavercreek Community Library Sunday, January 28, from 2-4 p.m.
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers are one of the busiest bands in bluegrass. In addition to touring, they have made regular guest appearances at the Grand Ole Opry debuting there in 2013. They’ve also won several International Bluegrass Music Awards, including Emerging Artist of the Year in 2012 and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year in 2017 for Sacred Memories.
Mullins will also speak about the Bluegrass Music Heritage Project, which is working to document and share the cultural and historical significance of bluegrass music in southwestern Ohio. The project has collected information about more than 600 southwestern Ohio musicians, acts, and organizations. Mullins is uniquely qualified to present on the history of bluegrass. His father was the legendary broadcaster Paul Mullins, so bluegrass superstars were close family friends while he was growing up. Now a broadcaster himself and owner of WBZI, Joe Mullins remains immersed in bluegrass culture.
“Paul and Joe have broadcast great classic country, bluegrass, and gospel while teaching us—and our neighbors—to respect our mountain heritage and cultural gifts,” wrote Yellow Springs bluegrass scholar Fred Bartenstein in the liner notes for the band’s 2012 album They’re Playing My Song.
Beavercreek Community Library will host an exhibit based on the project starting January 28. The display features hundreds of photographs chronicling the evolution of bluegrass music in southwestern Ohio, highlighted by artists such as the Osborne Brothers, Red Allen, and Jimmy Martin.
The Bluegrass Music Heritage Project is a partnership of Miami University Regionals Appalachian Studies, the Smith Library of Regional History of the Lane Libraries, Greene County Public Library, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Mullins and Bartenstein both helped to create the display, as did Miami University Professor of History Curt Ellison.