Several tribute events have been announced for Fredericksburg, Virginia native Randolph P. “Sonny” Ludlam who passed away in May of last year. A committee consisting of Mark Newton, Mike Loving, Barry Surles and Warren Bauserman considered Sonny a dear friend and mentor organized a Golf Tournament and Special Tribute Concert taking place in May 2015.
Due to Sonny’s passion with helping young people, the Sonny Ludlam Memorial Golf Classic has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2015 and will benefit the Fredericksburg Elks 875 Summer Youth Camp. The tournament will be held at Lee’s Hill Golf Club located at 10200 Old Dominion Parkway in Fredericksburg. Check in begins at 8:00am with a 9:00am Tee Time. Music will be provided by Mark Newton & Friends, Sound by Poncho Honaker, Sponsored by Mr. B’s and MVP Awards. For information, please contact Mike Loving at 540-379-5510 or Barry Surles at 540-295-7720.
Golf Tournament participants will receive $15 off the ticket price of the Sonny Ludlam Tribute Concert scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015. This special concert will be held during the annual Mr. B’s Bluegrass Festival located at Mr. B’s Bluegrass Park, 7243 Gatewood Rd in Woodford, Va. Tribute artists include: Carol Phillips, Patsy Godley, Diane Beverly, Mark Newton, Larry Stephenson, Rosemary Perticari, and more special guests.
The Mr. B’s Bluegrass Festival takes place April 30, and May 1-2. Tickets can be purchased by calling 804-449-6350 or visiting www.mrbspark.com. Three-day advance tickets are available through Wednesday, April 15 for $75. During the festival, music fans will enjoy performances by Newton & Thomas; Larry Stephenson Band; Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice; The Country Gentleman Sound; Spoon Creek; Davis & Bradley; Clay Hess Band; Goldwing Express; Code Blue; Malpass Brothers; David Church; Cabin Hill; Mark Templeton & Pocket Change; Bluegrass Brothers; Sonrise; East of Monroe; Bob Goff, Jr. with Billie Sue & Mill Run; Leon Morris; and Sherry Honaker & Warren Bauserman.
Sonny Ludlam worked for many years in newspaper and radio as an Advertising Representative and Photographer for the Free Lance-Star as well as Sales Manager for WFLS Radio. He had a life-long love for and commitment to Bluegrass and Gospel Music and served as promoter of the bluegrass festival at Graves Mountain for 19 years. He was Host of the popular Stained Glass Reflections, a two-hour gospel radio program, which aired every Sunday morning on Thunder 104.5. He was also an accomplished songwriter during the late 70’s and early 80”s, penning a number of songs for the Knoxville Grass, Virginia Squires and The Forbes Family.
Mark Newton remembers Sonny’s impact within their community saying, “I was raised in Fredericksburg and met Sonny when I was in middle school. As time moved forward, I witnessed the importance of Sonny’s impact within our community of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. Sonny taught me so many lessons in life, from a young person and throughout my adult life, along with countless others in the community. It is our honor and pleasure to pay tribute to Sonny’s inspiring life.”
More on Sonny:
Born in Fredericksburg on January 3, 1935, to Gladys Blackley Ludlam and Howard Joseph Ludlam, Sonny lived most of his life in the Fredericksburg area. He graduated from Spotsylvania High School where he lettered in four sports: he then attended the University of Virginia.
Sonny was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 26 and served for two years, primarily on a 13-month tour of duty in Korea, and then he served the remainder of the time at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. Sonny attained the rank of Specialist 4th Class and was appointed as an official U.S. Army Correspondent, serving on the staff of the Bayonet and the Pacific edition of the Stars and Stripes.
He was devoted to his family, but also to his community. Sonny was a long-time member and past Exalted Ruler of the BPOE 875 Elks Lodge. He also worked diligently promoting the Fredericksburg Fair. Sonny was not only a charter member of the Fredericksburg Civil War Round Table, but also a charter member of the National Sportswriters-Sportscasters Association. Furthermore, he was founder of the Greater Fredericksburg Sports Club, and he co-founded the Spotsylvania Little League Football with Charlie Graves and Buddy Embrey. Sonny coached and refereed a variety of sports for the Fredericksburg area youth, including football and basketball. He was a larger-than-life person who lived life to the very fullest.