The Goins Brothers

Listen to “Pistol Packin’ Mama”

The Goins Brothers

Melvin Goins, 1933-2016 • Ray Goins, 1936-2007
Goodwill, Mercer County

Born on Sinai Mountain, near the coal mining community of Goodwill, Mercer County, Melvin and Ray Goins hold a significant place in the history of bluegrass music. Both together and separately, the brothers played in The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and The Shenandoah Playboys as well as The Goins Brothers Band.

From the early ’50s, both have been involved in radio and TV, first on Bluefield radio station WHIS and later on stations in Prestonsburg, Hazard and Paintsville, KY. In 1994, when Ray stopped touring due to health problems, Melvin changed the band’s name to Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.

In 2005, the Goins brothers were included in the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s oral history project. Melvin was the first bluegrass musician to be featured on the cover of Smithsonian magazine and was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association of Fame as a member of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers in 2009 and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2011.