Book review: ‘Fiddler of the Mountains’ — a real-life character
by BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Feb 02, 2014 | 592 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
'Fiddler of the Mountains'
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From the pen of Dr. Eva Nell Mull Wike of Oak Ridge comes her second book,”Fiddler of the Mountains: Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull.”

The book made a grand September 2013 appearance in local bookstores and music stores.

Taking a legendary character from real life, her Uncle Johnny Mull (1922-2008), she produces an unusual biography of this good man.

He was known far and wide in Western North Carolina and North Georgia as a superb fiddler.

True to her upbringing when she heard “the talk” and “walked the walk” of her mountain ancestors, Wike frequently uses the vernacular language of Johnny’s times in telling his story.

You will see him as he goes to Canton, Ohio, to find work, but still manages to play his fiddle, even in that place far from his Southern Appalachian Mountains.

You will follow his association with a beautiful lady names Hazel, sister of his landlady in Canton, and see how they remained friends through the accruing years.

You will meet and hear the stories of some notable fiddlers, who like Johnny Mull, played their hearts out with plaintive melodies wherever their lives took them.

A brief look at the “Possum Drop” at Clay’s Corner in Brasstown, N.C., will give a glimpse of a mountain tradition in which Johnny participated.

Throughout this biography, family values and “making do” with what the sturdy people have is a recurring theme.

By the uthor of “The Matheson Cove — In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office” (c.2007), this second book by Wike in the Mull family saga is sure to please and arouse in readers the desire to learn more of the salt-of-the-earth people like the Mull family.

They lived and worked in the western Carolina mountains and spread their talents and love for life wherever they scattered from the place where they were born.

“Fiddler” is published by Donning Company Publishers of Virginia Beach, Va., and may be purchased from the author at 109 Oklahoma Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830; from Clay’s Corner or Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C.; or email: jimwike “Fiddler of the Mountains” is available on, also.