RONNIE MACK at the PALOMINO
November 6, 1994
You may already know about Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance, the show he hosts every Tuesday night. But given his high visibility as a tireless booster of local talent, it is easy to forget - heck, sometimes even he forgets - that Ronnie also has a musical career of his own.
While some artists would use the high visibility of the Barn Dance as a launch pad for their own ambitions, Ronnie has reached the point in his musical career where he says that "the important thing is the Barn Dance." Although Ronnie Mack and the Barn Dance Band always kick off the Barn Dance show every Tuesday night, Ronnie nearly always chooses to play cover songs rather than his own material. Perhaps it is because he wants to do familiar material that the other musicians already know how to play. Or maybe it's just plain lack of ego.
Whatever the reason, Ronnie Mack the legendary emcee is a fine musical artist in his own right.
When he first moved to Los Angeles from Baltimore, his style was similar to Rick Nelson, except that Ronnie also plays lead guitar. His music ranged from rockabilly ("Boppin' Around") to country ("Back to Tennessee").
A comprehensive collection of Ronnie's older material can be found on the CD BORN TO ROCK, which was released in Europe in 1997. Although Ronnie does not sell the CD at his shows, you may be able to find it at outlets around town or on the Internet.
Since late 1998, Ronnie has written a batch of pop-rock songs, and it is this material that he is most excited about. Starting in December 1998, he played a series of shows to spotlight the new music. (Click to see a PRESS RELEASE for the 2/26/99 show.) Here are scans of the actual set lists for some of those shows:
12/5/98 2/26/99 4/16/99
Ronnie is currently working on a new CD, with the generous help of Robbie Rist, the hardest working pop-rock musician in town. Besides playing in a number of bands, Robbie is also an actor. He portrayed Cousin Oliver on "The Brady Bunch," and in more recent years has gotten work as a voice-over artist. (Robbie was the voice of one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!)
Beside the Tuesday nights with the Barn Dance Band and an occasional pop-rock show, Ronnie continues to play other nights of the week with his country band at places like Crazy Jack's in Burbank.
BORN TO ROCK
Click on thumbnail to see full-size image.
BORN TO ROCK
Sunjay SJCD 603
S-524 22 Herrljunga
Voice: 46-513 123 45
Fax: 46-513 125 10
The inner sleeve of the CD contains this vintage photo of Ronnie with Rosie Flores and Ray Campi.
The 28 tracks on BORN TO ROCK include previously unreleased material as well as these two Rollin' Rock singles from the early Eighties.
CLICK 45 TO SEE FULL-SIZE IMAGE
Here are two Ronnie Mack songs in RealAudio format. These are complete songs, not excerpts.
We've also included a typical Ronnie Mack guitar solo. We don't know the copyright holders for this particular song, so we're just giving you an excerpt of the instrumental part.
BACK TO TENNESSEE
GUITAR SOLO (excerpt)
Don't have the RealAudio player? Click on the RA icon to download it for free.
You'll need version 3.0 or later to hear these songs.
Photos of Ronnie can also be found on these Web pages:
Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance (main page)
Ray Campi 1987
Rosie Flores: Birthdays
Rosie Flores: Musical Partners
Tony Conn's birthday salute 6-1-97
Barn Dance 6-24-97
Barn Dance 9-30-97
OTHER GUYS NAMED RONNIE MACK
Record collectors who are fond of reading the songwriting credits on 45s may recall the name Ronnie Mack in connection with the Chiffons hit "He's So Fine." That's a different Ronnie Mack entirely. In fact, he's dead. There's an interesting write-up about him on the Behind the Hits site.
There was also a New Orleans man named Willie Lee (Ronnie) McMillan, who was nicknamed "Ronnie Mack." He died in 1984. His family has a Web page in his memory. Maggie Harrison recently wrote to say that he, too, was involved with the music industry:
Ronnie owned a beauty supply and salon in New Orleans. He also had a business called Starship Enterprises out of Charlotte North Carolina which he scouted out new talent. That business was closed down though when he moved to New Orleans. Still having the "night life" in his system, he thought having a beauty shop, he may meet different people in the music industry. He did. I am told that he also is a cousin of Chubby Checker. Although I never met the man before, Ronnie did say that he came to a family reunion that they had one year.
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