Tom Duffee

Host - The Midnight Ramble

Tom Duffee has been playing and listening to traditional and country sounds all his life.  He started playing the banjo when he was twelve.  In his later teens, he started playing in public, sharing in the rich old-time and bluegrass heritage that exists in the Miami Valley.  For the past 35 years, he has played in the old-time string band, the Corndrinkers.  In 1971, he started programming traditional music on WYSO.  With his brothers Dan and Jim, the Duffee brothers initiated a Saturday night bluegrass show as well as a morning offering, Rise When the Rooster Crows, both of which remain on WYSO to this day.  After an extended absence, Tom returned to WYSO to assist the ailing “Ramblin’” Ray Garrison produce the Midnight Ramble.  Tom lives in Springfield, where he teaches EMS Technology at Clark State Community College, helps run Bee Balm Music, a recording outlet for some neglected old-time musicians, and works as a part-time piano tuner (Middle C Piano Service).  His wife, Linda, with whom he shares his life and his music, is a renowned fiddler in the Miami Valley area.   

Ways To Connect

Bruce Williams, Floyd Alexander, Ken Wortman, and Doug Smith of the Jed Shed Pickers came to WYSO to play some songs for us. The Jed Shed Pickers don’t play shows or for money, they just meet every Tuesday night to play music for their own enjoyment. But on this episode of the Midnight Ramble they are playing just for your enjoyment. 

On this episode of the Midnight Ramble, host Tom Duffee speaks with Indiana 105 radio DJ (and father of local station manager Neenah Ellis) "Uncle" Len Ellis. The proud holder of CMA membership card #1, Ellis was around for the golden age of country music.

In the first segment, Ellis recounts his first visit to Nashville and being shown around the city by RCA's 'man,' legendary country-jazz guitarist and co-creator of the 'Nashville Sound,' Chet Atkins. Ellis tells of Atkins' commitment to music and integrity, and explains the difference between country and 'almost country.

Ramblin' with Sugargrove

Jun 5, 2013

On this episode of The Midnight Ramble, host Tom Duffee has Miami County band Sugargrove in the studio.

In the first segment, avid banjoist Duffee learns of the origins of Sugargrove's 1968 Gibson banjo, followed by a live performance of a pair of Bill Monroe tunes: an off-the-cuff rendition of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and a more rehearsed instrumental,  "Jerusalem Ridge."

Corndaddies live on the Midnight Ramble

Jun 11, 2011

Host Tom Duffee talks with local bluegrass band the Corndaddies about the formation of their band, the fun of being street performers, and the importance of live music. The band sings about steel drivin' with their rendition of "John Henry" and answers the burning question, "What occupation will never lose their job to a machine?" Listen to find out!

Host highlights features conversations between WYSO Music Director, Niki Dakota and WYSO's volunteer hosts about their programs, how they came to WYSO, etc. This week, fill-in host Juliet Fromholt chats with Tom Duffee of the Midnight Ramble. They discuss the Duffee's love of old-time music and how hosting a program on WYSO was a family affair.

The Midnight Ramble airs Saturday nights, 9pm - midnight.

Legendary bluegrass banjo player Red Spurlock joins Tom Duffee in the WYSO studios to share songs and stories from his career including first coming to Dayton in the 1950s and meeting fellow musician Red Allen.