Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ronnie Walker In UK In Jan 2007

Ronnie Walker is due in the UK for his first gig outside of the States. Here are the details:

Friday 26th January

NCS and Urban Soul Promotions The Quayside Exchange, Wylam Wharf, Low Street, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR1 2AX 8pm till 3am £10 advanced ticket. Northern Room with Ronnie Walker on stage and DJ's Des Parker, Philly Dave, Neil Rushton, Steve Wilson, Davey & Matty and Terry Jones.Modern Room DJ's Cubo, Terry Jones, Liana, Colin Johnson and Neil Rushton.Ticket Hotline 01253 318267 or online contact Chris 07737 341585

Saturday 27th January 2007

Wolverhampton Allnighter Brookfields Club, Cannock Road, Shareshill, Wolverhampton, WV10 7LX 8pm till 7am £10 advanced ticket with Ronnie Walker on stage and DJ's Andy Dyson, Mick H, Kev Murphy, Jumpin Joan, Steve C, Neil Rushton and The NCS Residents.Ticket Hotline 01253 318267 or online at contact Chris 07737 341585

I met Ronnie over in New Jersey earlier this year and enjoyed a short chat with him. It is good to see that he has got the chance to perform in the UK which he told me was one of his big ambitions.

Ronnie's falsetto voice was one of the first of those magical voices which epitomises the birth of Philly Soul which brought a new richness to soul music in the late 60's. The Sound of Philly would reach its zenith under the aegis of Gamble and Huff in the 70's.

Ronnie began is career at the age of 15 after he was introduced to the producer Phil Gaber. He then began writing and recording at the Impact Studios on Caster Avenue in North East Philly. One of his first songs was "Trouble" co-written with Glen Williams was recorded by the Agents and has subsequently become a big Northern Soul favourite and I guess he will be singing this song on his visit! He recorded the song himself on acetate back in 1965 but we had to wait until 2000 before it was issued on Impact Sound.

Ronnie's first release "I'm Saying Goodbye"/My Baby Doesn't Love Me Anymore was for Bell in 1966. He followed it the next year with his biggest hit "Really, Really Love You" for Phillips. I have featured below one of his best songs "Precious" which is typical of the rich Philly soul I mentioned above. You can hear this sound in the songs of Eddie Holman, The Ethics and other groups as producers such as Phil Gaber, Bobby Martin, Morris Bailey and of course Gamble and Huff developed the sound. "Precious" was recorded at the Sigma Studios in 1968 and released on Vent. The song features the embronic MFSB players; Earl Young (drums), Ronnie Baker (bass), Norman Harris (guitar), Bobby Eli (guitar), Leon Huff (piano), Tom Bell (organ), Vince Montana (vibes) and Larry Washington (congas). The song was produced by Bobby Martin and Phil Gaber.

Ronnie went on to record further smooth soul classics for Vent, ABC, Paramount, Gala and Event. His songs were recorded by a number of artists including Brown Sugar, Charo, Double Exposure, Fat Larry's Band, Sunny Gale, Goody Goody, Cecil Parker, Esther Phillips, Dave Schultz and Carole Williams. He also has a long career in music with various groups such as Techniques/In Ecstasy/Tangent/La Rue working the US nightclub scene including the Casinos of Vegas and Atlantic City.

Several of Ronnie's 45s for Phillips, Vent, Nico and Paramount were collected together and released with unissued cuts on a CD "Someday" by Philly Archives back in 2000 and which is still available via Ronnie. Ronnie sums what music meant for him in the notes to the CD "Someday":

"My whole life changed when music found me. The love of it has given me so much joy and pain. I always believed that I was given the chance to record the thoughts, the sights and lessons that I learned so that they could be shared and passed on through the music that possessed me. I may not be able to pass on as much as I wanted but if any of it touched you then I feel was my part and I thank truly those who helped. I am sorry there wsn't more but who knows maybe someday."

Bell 651 I'm Sayin' Goodbye/My Baby Doesn't Love Me Anymore 8/66

Phillips 40470 Really, Really Love You/Ain't It Funny 7/67

Phillips 40501 You're The One/Thanks To You 11/67

Vent 1005 Everything Is Everything/Precious 11/68

Nico 1000 It's A Good Feelin'/Precious 2/69

ABC 11215 It's A Good Feelin'/Precious 4/69

Parmount 0065 Didn't We/Guess I'll Never Understand 12/70

Gala 5202 In Search Of Love/Now There Is You 5/72

Event 220 You've Got To Try Harder/No One Else Will Do 1974

Event 225 Magic' In The Air/Just Can't Say Hello 1975

Impact Sound Trouble/Why Did You 9/00


  1. never heard about him, a nice one but difficult to find

  2. Anonymous3:06 AM

    I had the pleasure of working with Ron, AKA "Ronnie", through most of the 90's. He is one of the nicest guys you'll ever want to meet and a super musician. I'm glad to see he is still doing well and is appreciate across the pond!