BOB PUFFER spent 13 years in country music, beginning his music career in the nightclub business where he made significant progress toward a lucrative future as a performer and song writer. He succeeded in passing an audition to appear on the national television show, HEEHAW. He later contracted for a major concert where he shared billing with the OAKRIDGE BOYS. He was often interviewed as an up-and-coming Country Music personality and had the honor of being written up in MUSIC CITY NEWS, the most widely distributed country music news magazine in the nation. With all this success, Bob was not content and knew something was “missing” in his life. Some personal disillusionment and his mother’s illness further influenced him, along with the salvation of his friend and Holiday Inn Manager, Gary Welling.
In 1982, Gary Welling, (having become a Baptist pastor), sought Bob out and led him to the Lord. It took 6 months for Bob to make that final break from the night clubs, the only profession he ever had. He broke his contracts and was sued by his agent. He pursued other work and served the Lord in his church (with Pastor Gary Welling) directing music and writing songs. His only desire was to be in the Lord’s will. Four years later, in September of 1986, (and after much prayerful consideration), the Lord led Bob to step out on faith to enter the full-time Gospel music ministry. God had already prepared the way as Bob had 35 invitations within a month.
Bob can hold the attention of those who see him with a multitude of instruments, including acoustic guitar, five-string banjo, violin, mandolin, chet atkins guitar, dobro and ukulele. God has blessed him with over 400 original songs, which are interspersed with other familiar songs. You will hear a diversified program, ranging from lively instrumentals to southern gospel, country, folk, traditional and comedy.
DARLEEN was saved in 1985 and totally committed to God’s will for her life when she met Bob shortly before he went into full time ministry. They married in 1989 and she joined him in the ministry, adding a new dimension with vocals, keyboard, clarinet, and saxophone as well as collaboration with song writing. She brought a background of over 20 years in music which began at the young age of 7, performing with her 5-year-old sister throughout the Ithaca, New York, area and continued as a trio in high school. Darleen’s first instrument was Hawaiian guitar at age 9, followed by piano & clarinet at age 10. She held 1st chair clarinet in band throughout high school and played tenor sax in a local dance band as well as viola for a short while in orchestra. Later, she went on to perform with the singing groups, the “Village Singers” and the “Vocaleers”. Darleen was also a member of a professional ladies’ trio, “The Vocalettes”, doing specialty shows and night clubs.
Through the years, Bob & Darleen, known as “The Puffers”, have traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their songs have been played on TV and numerous radio stations, 3 of which have hit the European Christian Country Chart. As of 2006/2007 they hit the International Gospel Music Chart with their song, “The Christmas Tree Catastrophe”. As of 2008 they climbed the charts with their song “The Boat Cannot Sink” to #1 in April on the top 100 International Gospel chart, #2 on the National Christian Country Chart and #38 on the Southern Gospel Chart. As of March 2009, their song “Up In Glory” is #2 on the top 100 National Christian Country Chart and #4 on the International Chart and their song “It’s Good But It’s Gonna Get Better” hit #1 on the National Christian Country Chart for December 2009. Their latest song “Noah Had A GPS” has made #1 on the March 2014 National Christian Country Chart and #2 on the International Chart on radio.. They have shared the platform with such groups as The Anchormen, Dixie Melody Boys, The Dixie Echoes, The Weatherfords, Lorne Mathews, and many others.
As of 2001, Dick Everson of Phelps, NY, has joined the group on a part time basis. He plays skillfully on his bass guitar, adding some harmony vocals. One may also get a laugh or two from some of Dick’s “antics”. Also joining us occasionally is John Ouellette of Lewiston, Maine, on percussion and his son, Nathan (9 as of ’14) who has been singing Puffer songs since the age of 2 and recently added guitar on the platform.
The soul purpose of this ministry is to glorify God and lift up the saints through music and ultimately win souls for the Lord Jesus Christ!