Midlands Musician Runs Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor in Father’s Honor

Bluegrass Music Family Legacy

Midlands Musician Runs Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor in Father’s Honor

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Willie Wells, a Midlands musician, has kept the music alive in his father’s longstanding music shop and venue, Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor, following his father’s passing in 2011. Fondly recalling his father’s bluegrass lessons, Wells is committed to carrying forward his father’s passion for bluegrass music.

Retracing his memories, Willie Wells shared his early experiences with music. “I always remember my dad pulling the guitar out and playing music,” he said. Encouraged by his father, Wells was introduced to bluegrass music in high school when his peers were more inclined towards popular bands like The Beatles. The passion for bluegrass music, rooted deeply in American heritage, was thus sparked and nurtured under his father’s guidance.

Shared Passion for Bluegrass Music

Bill Wells, a bluegrass enthusiast, formed a bluegrass band in the 1970s called Bill Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass. They were recognized nationally after securing the top spot in a band competition in Kansas in 1978. This win brought them tremendous amount of fame and recognition. Post this achievement, Wells Sr. relocated to South Carolina, where he opened the Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor in 1985 with a desire to continue sharing his love for music and providing a platform for other bands.

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: A Beacon for Musicians

Bill Wells’ desire to create an inclusive musicians’ hub led to the establishment of his music shop. The popularity of the venue grew tremendously, necessitating a large space to accommodate the audience. Thus, the shop was moved to its current location in West Columbia in 1987. Since then, the Pickin’ Parlor has been hosting night-long jam sessions and band performances, as Wells Sr. aimed at giving every performer an opportunity to shine in the spotlight.

Statewide Recognition and Honorable Awards

Bill’s dedication towards fostering the music culture earned him a statewide Folk Heritage Award in the 1990s and the eminent Order of the Palmetto from Governor Nikki Haley, few months before his demise from stage four melanoma in November 2011.

Continuing the Family Legacy

Since the passing of Bill Wells, Willie Wells has taken it upon himself to keep his father’s legacy alive by overseeing operations at the Pickin’ Parlor and maintaining his father’s band. Even amid his efforts to expand the scope of the venue, Willie Wells ensures respect to his father’s original vision. ensure respect for his father’s original vision. His commitment towards the Pickin’ Parlor signifies the perpetuation of a tangible love for music and an enduring family legacy.

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Midlands Musician Runs Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor in Father's Honor

Author: HERE Irmo

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