Tuesday, January 10, 2012

J. Bazzel Mull...."Ain't That Right, Mizz Mull?"

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.


  1. Rhonda---thank you for asking about me. I tried E-Mailing you but I can't seem to get your address to work. Sigh. I simple "hit a wall" for awhile. But I am back now and life is gooood. Blessings to you, dear friend.

  2. Ahhh- what a delightful couple. I'm sure they're rejoicing at their reuniting.

  3. Ohhh, how sweet! It almost makes me cry remembering them being a fixture on local TV. You can't be a native of this area and not recognize their names. Bill Gaither was a big fan of theirs and mentions them often in his Homecoming videos and even in his biography.

    Love the post, thanks for the memories!

  4. Interesting!! We love Southern Gospel...but have never heard of them!

  5. Amazing story! About my email...everyone says it is coming back "not a good address" but it shows up in my hotmail ...when I first created my blog I used an older email address but I have updated the new since moving from the area of the older address: but I cannot for the sake of me find where that old address is still stored....I have updated until I can't update any longer: Sorry Clint...
    joybug0056 at hotmail dot com

  6. Well "son of a circuit judge" ain't that just the darndest story. I think I'll us that phrase once in a blue moon, thank you very much.

  7. A wonderful story Clint, I heard some Tennessee Gospel Music whilst there, it certainly was awesome. So sad Elizabeth passed away.


  8. Sounds like your loss was God's gain. At least they are together again.
    A really nice tribute to some very special people.

  9. I have never heard of them - but what an interesting story. Fascinating people - amazing what God can do.

    Loved her hair. I remember those days.


  10. They sound like they were wonderful human beings :)

  11. Never heard of him before, thanks for the interesting blog.

    Have a beautiful day and greetings to you and Cindy