The free program gets under way at 3 p.m. at the 5th Quarter Lounge, 306 E. Prospect St. in Fountain Square, and will include solo sets by Ralph Jeffers and Craig “Slim” Small, who played with Pumpkin Holler Boys, Randy Joe Duke (Direwolf), Rick Freeman, James Booth (Spirtles), Pete Justice, Jeff Beyer, Dan Bent, Mark Proctor and Ed Rose. A jam session is expected to start around 8 p.m
Welling played folk music as a youngster and moved with the groove as folk morphed into Americana.
A stage hand by profession, he organized open stages in Kokomo and Indianapolis and ran the Acoustic Roadblock at Chubby’s Club LaSalle for many years. He is known for hollering at musicians to “play something you wrote!”
Hundreds of people have played with him over the years, and they, fans and friends are invited to reunite, raise a toast and cheer on Wheeling, who is battling cancer.
He won a radio station contest in the 1970s for his song “Marble Hill Talking Nuclear Blues,” which was written in protest of the soon-to-be defunct nuclear plant. His song “I Am a Caver” was used in the 2010 documentary film “Texas Cavers.”
His lyrics are known for their sly humor, as depicted in “Acme Chocolate Covered Carbide,” and he has a reputation among his peers for “having forgotten more songs than they know.”
He and Jerry Baker produced a public access TV show, “Music Indianapolis,” which featured local musicians. Welling played often for “Jabberwocky Junction,” a live radio program that originated from the University of Indianapolis.