Died 20th March 1997.
Barron was quite a character and 'front man' among the bars & clubs of New Orleans, singing with rotating make-up bands of musicians such as Leonard James, Earl Stanley and Mac Rebennack.
Indeed, Barron was once the catalyst in a 'juke-joint' argument with its manager, resulting in Rebennack almost losing a finger from a gunshot - causing him to move from the guitar to keyboard work. The line "Lie, steal, drink all day... good folks try to keep away..." pretty much summed up the collective 'delinquent' nature of the group, and the club culture that was going down in New Orleans at the time, in their Ronnie & Delinquents recording of "Bad Neighborhood".
Early work by Barron was issued under several such pseudonyms, one being "Morgus The Magnificent" - a title taken from a 'crazed scientist' character on a popular sci-fi show that originated on a Louisiana TV station- with the band referred to as "Morgus And The Ghouls". One of Barron's music acquaintances was guitarist Tommy George, nicknamed "Chopsley" after the sidekick in the Morgus show. "Drits & Dravy" was another disguise for Rebennack & Barron on the AFO label.
Rebennack had originally hired Barron on the strength of his act as the "Reverend Ether", a 'spiritual voodoo persona' that Barron had created to entertain a jaded Bourbon Street audience, performing songs like his self-penned "Black Widow Spider".
In 1965 Barron left behind the mystical Reverend Ether (his 'majick stick' being taken up by Dr. John) and moved to California to work as a session musician with Sonny & Cher, signing with Don Costa to RCA. In LA he also performed with the Prime Ministers, signing with Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic and backing Bobby Darin in 1966. He broke from sessioning to become a group member of Paul Butterfield's newly-formed band Better Days in 1971 and he appeared on their releases in the following two years.
Between 1971 & 1988 Barron worked on recordings with a number of renowned artists, including Tony Joe White, Redbone, Gene Clark, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, John Mayall, B.B. King, Kim Carnes, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Tom Waits and Eric Burdon. In 1988 he appeared as a bartender in the Steven Seagal film "Above The Law". Much of his work can be found on compilations.
He suffered from complications to his heart in 1997, which led to his death.
Ronnie Barron Discography
- 17 Vocals
- 37 Instruments & Performance
- 18 Writing & Arrangement
- 4 Production
- 1 Technical
- 1 Management