J Bazzel Mull (1914---2006) was the son of a circuit judge. He and his siblings and parents formed a gospel group, The Valdese Sacred Band. Mull played banjo.
Mull was legally blind since 11 months of age, when a fall into a fireplace destroyed his eyesight. As a child, he began to memorize bible verses as someone read them to him aloud.
He began preaching in 1932. In 1939, his sermons began to be broadcast on radio; and in 1942, he began to be broadcast from Knoxville, Tennessee stations WROL and WNOX. Mull, a shrewd businessman, soon syndicated his program and began to broadcast on the clear channel megawatt WWL 870 AM in New Orleans. Thus, Mull's broadcasts were heard all across the United States.
Mull soon began to broadcast with his wife, Elizabeth, at his side at the microphone. He would often make a statement, and then quickly follow it up by asking his wife, "Ain't that right, mizz Mull?"
J. Bazzel's program featured gospel music and banter between him and Elizabeth. The program was immensely popular, and soon began to air on television.
There was much humor in Mull's commentary, much of it unintended. He was simply a funny and engaging personality.
As an example, one of his advertisers was a Knoxville businessman named Cas Walker. Walker owned a string of grocery stores. One time when Mull was plugging Walker's stores, he said, "Cas Walker has the freshest nuts in town---ain't that right, Mizz Mull?"
"Ain't that right, Mizz Mull?" became his signature comment, repeated over and over on a daily basis by his millions of loyal listeners.
J. Bazzel Mull was inducted into the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame in 2003. Elizabeth was inducted in 2009.
I write of Mr Mull today because, although he went on to Glory in 2006 at the age of 92, his beloved wife Elizabeth passed away yesterday. She was 86.
A great chapter in Tennessee and gospel music history passed away with her.