We just wanted to take a moment to show our appreciation to the NBBQA BBQ Hall of Fame and praise them on their induction of Mike Mills and John Willingham who are two BBQ guys who paved the way for so many of us in this sport. Many years ago, I was given a bottle of John Willingham’s Original Mild Rub, aka WHAM! and told it was “rub”. From that day forward, my life changed as we began our search for the best rubs and sauces we could find. I remember I rubbed some pork chops with Wham and just like that, I was a convert. Soon after I was given a Primo XL Smoker and a copy of Mike Mills, Peace, Love and Barbecue from my wife and the quest to stop “indirect grilling” and start smoking began.
A couple of weeks ago, these two gentlemen were inducted into the BBQ Hall of Fame and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe of OnCue Consulting was given honor of inducting her father and John into the Hall at the NBBQA Awards in Memphis. Here is an excellent article that was published in The Southern by Adam Testa.
MURPHYSBORO — 17th Street Bar & Grill pioneer Mike Mills has a long-established legacy in Southern Illinois, but after last weekend, he’s officially earned a place in the history of American barbecue.
Mills and longtime friend and occasional championship cook-off rival John Willingham of Memphis, Tenn., were inducted into the National BBQ Hall of Fame during the National Barbecue Association Convention in Memphis, Tenn.
“To be in there with the people who are already in there, I’m honored. It’s unbelievable,” Mills said, adding the surprise celebration was only made sweeter when Willingham was announced as his fellow inductee. “He’s probably forgotten more about barbecue that most of us know.”
The two men were the sixth and seventh inductees into the hall.
Amy Mills-Tunnicliffe, 17th Street’s marketing director and Mills’ daughter, had the opportunity to surprise the friends with the announcement of their induction. She said the night will always be a cherished memory.
“They were just tickled to death to be up there on stage together,” she said. “It was very special.”
Inductees are nominated by their peers and undergo a screening process. A two-tier, top-secret committee evaluates the nominees, and voting must be unanimous.