Vernon Fulp: Saved by music

Vernon Fulp (Our York Media)

The concrete “corner office” in the 400 block of North Queen Street doesn’t look like much, but to Vernon Fulp, it holds a world of potential. Climbing into the loading dock and up a set of wooden stairs, Vernon cranks up a space heater, the only source of warmth in a frigid room where a foldout table serves as a desk and a pair of speakers and recording equipment wait for creative minds to get to work. 

The York native just started leasing the space several days ago, but he’s already dreaming of bigger things to come.  

“I was born into music,” Vernon says. As the youngest of six brothers and six sisters, Vernon grew up watching his father play guitar and piano and his mother sing any melody that came to her mind. 

His childhood was a good one, he says. His home life was safe. He hardly wanted for anything.  

He shakes his head and says there was “no excuse” for the choices he made, some of them leading to his arrest. 

“Music can keep people busy. It can teach them skills to start a career. It can keep them off the street and save their lives.”

“Kids in this city need something to cling to,” he says. “I was saved by a few things – my mother, my wife, and music.” 

That’s why, standing proudly in that loft, Vernon wants to save others. 

He remembers playing basketball in Lighthouse Youth Center, doing homework in the Princess Street Center, and pausing to show respect in various churches that opened their doors to York’s inner-city youth. 

They were a haven for teens who had nowhere else to go. But many of those centers no longer exist, and so, Vernon believes, York’s crime stats will continue to climb. 

He started two record labels, an entertainment company, and Oh!YnotPa, an online radio station, and Vernon’s next goal is to create a new community center that focuses on bringing music into the lives of York’s teens.  

“Music can keep people busy. It can teach them skills to start a career. It can keep them off the street and save their lives,” he says. “I have a long way to go, but I’m determined to get there.” 

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