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Ronnie Fray

 

”RONNIE FRAY BIOGRAPHY”

 
 
 
 

 

Ronnie Fray with his Strat

 

”FRAY’S PHOTO SITES”
http://community.webshots.com/user/rafray

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/4101760StnUOFpvQb#forum

”RONNIE FRAY BIOGRAPHY”

Once voted Ontario’s ‘Entertainer of the Year’ the extremely talented entertainer RONNIE FRAY has performed throughout the United States, Canada and the Orient.
He has entertained in some of the top nightclubs such as Gilley’s..Pasadena,Texas.
Billy Bob’s..Fort Worth Texas. Royal York Hotel..Toronto Ontario. Hollywood Bowl..California.
Joe Namath’s Bachelors Three in Alabama, and the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.
He has shared the stage with other great entertainers such as Ms. Gus Hardin, Bonnie Raitt,
Greg Allman, Buck Owens, Bobby Bare, Delbert McClinton, Jack Scott, Alabama, Ronnie Milsap,
Leon Russell, Hank Williams Jr., David Alan Coe and Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins, just to name a few.

The following has been condensed from an article in the September 1992 issue of ‘For The Records’
a Canadian record Collectors ‘magazine’ published in Sarnia Ontario Canada. June-1997.

Rerevised Nov. 2000.
RON’S BACKGROUND…….
Proudly displayed on a wall of Ronnie’s apartment is a picture of his grandfather, Reginald Fudge.
He played the saw, fiddle, banjo or ‘anything with a bow’, on Vaudeville Stages.
Ron’s mother ‘made’ records (quite literally,she pressed them) at Spartan Records Co.Ltd.
London Ontario Canada. Ron’s dad worked there too.
“My dad played harmonica, spoons and he could really yodel quite well too.”
RONNIE FRAY…
Ron was born in London Ontario Canada.
He used to walk to a friends house and the two of them would go to their guitar lessons from
‘Edith Hill Adams’ on Egerton St. His friend? Canadian singer, Tommy Hunter! Ron studied
steel guitar for a few years. He and Tommy attended grade school together…
Ealing School on Hamilton Road in east London.

TRAVELLIN’……..
His first public appearance…at age 15…was with “The Middlesex Ramblers,” with Larry Broderick of London
in 1956. He played steel guitar with Vic Cole..Delmer Schlon and Buddy Henderson. During their rehearsals,
Ron would often grab an acoustic guitar and sing some songs of the ‘upstart’ Elvis Presley.
His first ‘paying’ performance was in the Capitol Theater in Woodstock Ontario….between movies.
At one of these early performances, some girls started yelling for them to do Elvis songs.
Larry said, “Sure, we’ve got a steel guitar player here who’s going to sing you some Elvis songs”
and motioned for Ron to take his guitar. Knees shaking….He sang “That’s Alright Mama” and
“Love Me Tender”. He was so taken with audience reaction, he bought an old Harmony guitar..
(at Novak’s Pawn Shop in London). He quit the ‘Middlesex Ramblers’ found some new players
and formed “The Belaires” on his own. Larry Broderick went on to be ”Larry Lee and the Leasures”
and then he moved to Nashville and became a booking agent.

Then……. THE CAPERS..
RON formed his first band, “The Belaires”, with Tom Leyes..Bruce Wallis..and Bob Pickle.
This band lasted about 3 years. The Capers meanwhile were already a functioning group.
About this time, Garth Hudson (organist) Paul London (vocalist) and Gery Risser (guitarist)
left the Capers. Garth to play organ with Ronnie Hawkins’ band…’The Hawks’.
Ron was subsequently hired as lead singer and guitarist with the Capers.
He then he hired Jerry Penfound who had been playing organ for Ronnie Hawkins.
Ron said “we sort’a swapped keyboard players.”
Ron’s first gig with the Capers was in January of 1961 in Sudbury Ontario. Ron laughingly recalls…
“We drove there in Tom’s 1957 Ford ‘convertible’ with no heater and it was sooo cold….just ridiculous!”
Jerry Verga of the “varjac” entertainment agency in Detroit Michigan was the main drive behind the
bands eight years of continual touring.
Ron says…”Man, Jerry kept us workin’ from Tokyo to Atlantic City. From Detroit to Val’dor Quebec.
Youngstown Ohio to Nashville Tenn. “We had to fake an illness just to get a damnvacation.”
“We all loved Jerry a great deal”. He was ‘THE’ booking agent.

THE RECORDINGS……..
RON’S first album was recorded at United Sound Systems in Detroit Michigan in April of 63.
1t was titled. “Introducing The Versatile Capers.”
Four years later….. the second album “Get Caperized” was released with Michael ‘Dean’ Wilson on organ.
RON’S third album was “The Ronnie Fray Capers” a trio with Alan ‘Clark’ Eakin on bass. Ron and Clay Highley
were the only original Capers left. The group’s name again changed to “The Reptile Band” in Grand Rapids.
He recorded his fourth album at at ‘Bavarian Inn’ in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Hal Beveridge on bass and vocals. Clay Highley on drums and vocals.

Clay Highley - Dickie Harris - Hal Beveridge - Dale Thomas - Ronnie Fray - Backroom of the Bavarian Inn...

Clay Highley – Dickie Harris – Hal Beveridge – Dale Thomas – Ronnie Fray – Backroom of the Bavarian Inn…

The fifth album, and best in my opinion, was called “Put This In Your Ear.” It was recorded in 1980
in Detroit Michigan and Memphis Tenn. The songs on this album were original compositions by
Ronnie..Delbert McClinton..J.J. Cale and Michael Martin Murphy.

“Delbert McClinton is my hero” says Ron. “He’s the guy I enjoy listening to and learning from.”
And now his son is taking up all my space on my c.d. player. He’s really fantastic.
“J.J. Cale is another guy I really enjoy. They’re both great writers.”
During the 1970’s, he did a lot of touring and recorded about nine singles.(45’s).
Among them “She Taught Me How To Yodel” and “Road To Nomineui.”
A number one hit in Japan,(Okinawa) for nine weeks!
He has appeared on several TV shows including Austin City Limits with Roy Clark and Gatemouth Brown,
and The Tommy Hunter show before it was the ‘Tommy Hunter’ show…(Carl Smith’s ‘Country Hall of Fame’.)

He fronted the Gus Hardin Band on tour and on the Nashville ‘After Hours’ T.V. show.
Ron has performed as a band member with the likes of…
The Capris..Jack Scott..Ronnie Hawkins..Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown..Ms.Gus Hardin and
The Chuck ‘bob’ Carnes Show with the ‘Dusty Chaps Band. On one occasion, while playing guitar
and harmonica for Gus Hardin at the ‘Hollywood Bowl’ on a show with Ronnie Milsap,
Ron says he looked out into the front row and saw Barbara Streisdand! “Wow..boys, we better be good”
he said! Another occasion was in Florida, when Greg Allman found his way to the stage to jam.
Bonnie Raitt sat in with the band in St. Louis Mo. and Gerald Stewart was on drums for a few months
while they backed up the Florida country rocker ‘Gary Stewart’….Playing drums with ‘Stewart’ later was
Randy Panda..a Texas born fatback drummer who joined up with the boys in Columbus Mississippi.
Randy played drums on several recordings and toured with Ron for about four years…
touring all across the southern United States and also into Canada. Panda (Randy Woolery) was a solid force
with the short lived trio they called..R’ale. ‘Dusty’ Dale Thomas played guitar and bass. Ron played bass pedals.

VERY LIKEABLE FELLA……..
Ron comes across as being rather shy, unassuming, and not at all egotistical. “I’ve never thought of myself
at all as ‘quote’…a star. “I don’t have stars in my eyes…I just want to be happy and play music for people
and get paid for it!”

He describes his occupation as an ‘entertainer’ rather than ‘singer’ or ‘musician’. (He really plays harmonica well too.)
But believe me…he is all of those things. I asked why he didn’t sell some of his recordings at his appearances?
“I don’t think about it often enough.”
Well thankfully he decided to record again. Ron is still busy entertaining throughout South Western Ontario and Michigan.
He plays some ‘good ol’ rock’n’roll, old country n’ some western swing, beebop and lots of the blues…..and just about
anything else you can think of.
Though he is basically a single act, I have yet to see him play alone! Why? Because there are so many of his peers
who like to join him on stage! Fairly regular guests are…Bruce Dean, guitar…Tony ‘lefty’ Smith from Detroit…guitar. …
Another is Gary McCracken of Sarnia Ontario, well known for his percussion artistry as a member of Kim Mitchell’s
early group ‘Max Webster’. He still has a few friends from ‘The States’ dropping in to jam with him.
You never know who will be performing with him on stage but you are guaranteed to be completly entertained!

FIRST C.D……..
Ron finally made another recording. His first CD called “Progressively Basic”.
It contains six of what Ron modestly calls ‘home grown’ songs…his own compositions.
One you’ll especially like is ‘So Goes Another Day’, a cool country song.
Also a couple of my favorites are….The Yodeling Song and ’53 Buick Blooze.

Joining Ronnie on his album recorded in Sarnia and Toronto Ontario, are:
Gary McCracken…drums; Jim Lewis…bass; Al Weiss…saxophone;
Michael “Woody” Woodhull…dobro guitar; “Dusty” Dale Thomas…
electric guitar; Tony Bandoni…guitars; Dale Rivard…pedal steel guitar;
Gregg Chad and George Webber…keyboards; Billy Heater…harmony vocals.

Ron has just rereleased his ‘Put this in your Ear’ album on C.D…
He says “they’re goin’ like warm cakes”….ha ha!

The above, written material is courtesy of Dave Wilson, publisher of “For The Records”
a Canadian Record Collector’s Magazine.
Please contact Dave at this e-mail address: dcwilson@cogeco.ca

The C.D.’s… ‘Progressively Basic’ and ‘Put this in your Ear’ are now available for purchase.
To get your copy-s, send a cheque or money order for $15.00 each in US funds to:
Ronnie Fray
161 Nelson St. #104
Sarnia Ontario Canada
N7T 7S7
The complete address is on our main page…..

Thank you.
rfray@mnsi.net

YOU WANTED A LIST OF INFLUENCES IN MY LIFE AND MY MUSIC.
HERE THEY ARE……
Mr. Herbert Long (grade school history/music teacher) Edith Hill Adams (hiwian guitar teacher)
Tommy Hunter (grade school bud). Then, coming later…..David Clayton Thomas (singer)
Clay Highley (drumer) Dale Thomas (guitar player) Garth Hudson (first keyboard player)
Ronnie Hawkins (singer) Randy Panda (drummer). Tom Davis (drummer).
and the pros….Delbert McClinton…J.J.Cale. Ray Charles…Buck Owens…Chuck Berry….
Fats Domino…Buddy Holly… Tony Bennet….Bobby Darin…George Jones..Jimmy Reed…
Frank Sinatra…Buddy Emmons…Chet Atkins…Jimmy Reed…Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland….
Hank Williams Sr. ‘n Jr. Elvis Presley.. John Prine…Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown…
Leroy Parnell…Gus Hardin…Brent Mason..Hank Garland..All the ‘Big Bands’..
And of coarse, my dad, Arthur J. Fradgley. My mom for her everyday inspirations…
and my grandfather, Reginald Fudge. (he played all strings and the saw.)
There are many many more … far too numerous to mention….
but, without these people in my life, I just wouldn’t be!

Thank you and ‘Keep on Pickin’.
=R=

Ronnie Fray is a member of Musicians Home and a Great Friend!

”FRAY’S PHOTO SITES”
http://community.webshots.com/user/rafray
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/4101760StnUOFpvQb#forum

Home » Ronnie Fray » Ronnie Fray
The Capers
The Capers
Ronnie Fray - Put This In Your Ear
Ronnie Fray - Put This In Your Ear
Clay Highley (RIP) - Bavarian Inn
Clay Highley (RIP) - Bavarian Inn
LARRY BALLARD - TOMMY DAVIS
LARRY BALLARD - TOMMY DAVIS
LARRY BALLARD - W. DALE AND FRAY
LARRY BALLARD - W. DALE AND FRAY
Pro-Co Sound- Kalamazoo
Pro-Co Sound- Kalamazoo
Uncle Dirty (RIP)
Ronnie Fray - Capers - Shamrock- 1968
Ronnie Fray - Capers - Shamrock- 1968
Ronnie Fray - Takin' a break in Columbus Mississippi
Ronnie Fray - Takin' a break in Columbus Mississippi
RonnieFrayBand80s
RonnieFrayBand80s
The Reptile Band 1974 - Dale Thomas, Ronnie Fray, Randy Panda, Cal Freeman.
The Reptile Band 1974 - Dale Thomas, Ronnie Fray, Randy Panda, Cal Freeman.
Who remembers this party
Who remembers this party
Fray -Tom-Chuck-Randy
Fray -Tom-Chuck-Randy
Ronnie Fray Reptile band poster
Ronnie Fray Reptile band poster
Fray -Tom-Randy-Chuck (A.W. Rodeo) Pontiac
Fray -Tom-Randy-Chuck (A.W. Rodeo) Pontiac
Ronnie Fray with his Strat
Ronnie Fray with his Strat
RONNIE FRAY AT THE 'BOB'
RONNIE FRAY AT THE 'BOB'
Ronnie Fray on Muskegon River
Ronnie Fray on Muskegon River
Barney's Tavern Sand Lake, Mi.
Barney's Tavern Sand Lake, Mi.
R'ALE 1970 (L-R) Randy Panda, Dale Thomas, Ronnie Fray, Wally Webber  Buffalo, N.Y.
R'ALE 1970 (L-R) Randy Panda, Dale Thomas, Ronnie Fray, Wally Webber Buffalo, N.Y.
Ronnie Fray, Ronnie Dunn, Cal Freeman
Ronnie Fray, Ronnie Dunn, Cal Freeman
Ronnie Fray, Randy Johnson
Ronnie Fray, Randy Johnson
Ronnie Fray w. Dianne Wright 3 -Reunion Oct. '11
Ronnie Fray w. Dianne Wright 3 -Reunion Oct. '11
Ronnie Fray  More Binez cards....
Ronnie Fray More Binez cards....
Randy 'Organissimo' Marsh - with Ronnie Fray - 'reunion'
Randy 'Organissimo' Marsh - with Ronnie Fray - 'reunion'
Paul Thorogood - Fray's friend
Paul Thorogood - Fray's friend
HA HA - HEY BOB REILLY - GET A HAIR CUT...(Oh, you did.)
HA HA - HEY BOB REILLY - GET A HAIR CUT...(Oh, you did.)
Fray's BINEZ CARDS...boring
Fray's BINEZ CARDS...boring
A.W.'s Rodeo in Pontiac Mich. Randy -Chuck -Tom -Ron
A.W.'s Rodeo in Pontiac Mich. Randy -Chuck -Tom -Ron
1982 WCUZ New Years Party ad
1982 WCUZ New Years Party ad
7.4.1981 GRP Ronnie Fray
7.4.1981 GRP Ronnie Fray
.Fray - with Woody Timmy and Tom Dever...Up north somewhere
.Fray - with Woody Timmy and Tom Dever...Up north somewhere
Ronnie Fray - Joni Markus (st.nvto)
Ronnie Fray - Joni Markus (st.nvto)
Joni and Donna
Joni and Donna
The House that Ronnie Fray Built !!!  YUP....YOU'RE RIGHT! THIS IS THE HOUSE ON STRAIGHT ST. AT VITO. GRAND RAPIDS FINEST HANGOUT. AL VAN. ONCE HAD TO REPLACE A PANE OF GLASS, AND SOMETIMES WE HAD WAY MORE ACTION HERE THAN AT THE BAVARIAN...YOB HAW!
The House that Ronnie Fray Built !!! YUP....YOU'RE RIGHT! THIS IS THE HOUSE ON STRAIGHT ST. AT VITO. GRAND RAPIDS FINEST HANGOUT. AL VAN. ONCE HAD TO REPLACE A PANE OF GLASS, AND SOMETIMES WE HAD WAY MORE ACTION HERE THAN AT THE BAVARIAN...YOB HAW!
Ron Fray - Hal Beverage Clay Highly - Dale Thomas
Ron Fray - Hal Beverage Clay Highly - Dale Thomas
Ronnie Fray and Gary Stewart taken in Fort Pierce, FL. 1982 or so.
Ronnie Fray and Gary Stewart taken in Fort Pierce, FL. 1982 or so.
Ronnie Fray w. Dale -Gary -Chuck Ft. Pierce Fla.
Ronnie Fray w. Dale -Gary -Chuck Ft. Pierce Fla.
Timmy Johnson and Tommy Davis  ?'LONE STAR CAFE' New York City. With Gatemouth Brown
Timmy Johnson and Tommy Davis ?'LONE STAR CAFE' New York City. With Gatemouth Brown
Tom Dever's Jewelry to Fray
Tom Dever's Jewelry to Fray
Gatemouth Brown and Ronnie Fray
Gatemouth Brown and Ronnie Fray
Bob Sullivan - Bavarian Inn
Bob Sullivan - Bavarian Inn
Common People at Ideal Park 3
Common People at Ideal Park 3
Common People at Ideal Park 4
Common People at Ideal Park 4
Common People at Ideal Park 5
Common People at Ideal Park 5
Common People at Ideal Park 6
Common People at Ideal Park 6
Common People at Ideal Park 7
Common People at Ideal Park 7
Fray and Tom - Indy Races
Fray and Tom - Indy Races
RONNIE FRAY - speedster
RONNIE FRAY - speedster
'TOOTSIES' with Hal, Dar and Dicky Harris
'TOOTSIES' with Hal, Dar and Dicky Harris
This is all Panda's fault...He made me and Dale dress like this. This was at the Guildwood Inn in Sarnia (Point Edward) around 1972
This is all Panda's fault...He made me and Dale dress like this. This was at the Guildwood Inn in Sarnia (Point Edward) around 1972
Horner called me a hippie....Uh uh...This was my hippie daze!
Horner called me a hippie....Uh uh...This was my hippie daze!
Gatemouth Brown and Ronnie Fray
Gatemouth Brown and Ronnie Fray
Dean Beveridge, Ronnie Fray, Scott Walls, Hal Beveridge
Dean Beveridge, Ronnie Fray, Scott Walls, Hal Beveridge
Ronnie Fray - Riverside Park Late 70's
Ronnie Fray - Riverside Park Late 70's
RONNIE FRAY & CAL FREEMAN - FINE STEEL  GUITARIST PRODUCER
RONNIE FRAY & CAL FREEMAN - FINE STEEL GUITARIST PRODUCER
Home » Ronnie Fray » The Capers w/Ronnie Fray
CAPERS - 1964
CAPERS - 1964
Capers marching
Capers marching
Caper's Photo - on 'E' Bay
Caper's Photo - on 'E' Bay
Clay Highley n Ronnie Fray (cinema sound)
Clay Highley n Ronnie Fray (cinema sound)
Clay holding Kayla
Clay holding Kayla
Clay John Highley w/cowboy hat
Clay John Highley w/cowboy hat
Frank- Clay- Tom- Fray Fairydock Hill
Frank- Clay- Tom- Fray Fairydock Hill
The Capers - Ferrydock Hill (Sarnia 1964)
The Capers - Ferrydock Hill (Sarnia 1964)
'THE CAPERS' - Penfound, Highley, Fray, Leyes
'THE CAPERS' - Penfound, Highley, Fray, Leyes
The Capers - promo pix w/Mike
The Capers - promo pix w/Mike
The Capers - w/Jerry Penfound
The Capers - w/Jerry Penfound
The Capers - w/Michael 'Dean' Wilson
The Capers - w/Michael 'Dean' Wilson
The Capers (Mike, Clay, Ron, Tom)
The Capers (Mike, Clay, Ron, Tom)
Two Capers Clay n Ron
Two Capers Clay n Ron
Ronnie Fray - Capers - Shamrock
Ronnie Fray - Capers - Shamrock
Ronnie Fray - Put This In Your Ear
Ronnie Fray - Put This In Your Ear

 

Comedy song “The Pretender”

Roy Clark and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown on Austin City limits T.V. show in 1981.
Backed By Dale Thomas on Bass, Tom Davis on Drums,
Cal Freeman on Steel guitar, Ron Fray on Rhythm Guitar and Harp, Garland on keyboards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoeBEFDrnZs&NR=1 5:28

Ronnie Fray “so goes another day”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxS8byuUHwo 2:33

Ronnie Fray – “I Miss Mississippi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isbvA_slB9U&feature=related 2:31

This is a recording of Ronnie Fray singing with backup from the Common People:

01 Morning Dew

[audio:http://www.westmichmusichystericalsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/01-Morning-Dew3.mp3|titles=01 Morning Dew]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to Ronnie Fray

  1. admin says:

    We have just added a recording of Ronnie Fray singing “Mountain Dew” with the Common People backing him up. This was provided by Common People keyboard player Fred Munch.

  2. Jeff Jones says:

    I like the picture of Bob Reilly. Its looks like he has seen a ghost.
    WOW that is a blast from the past.

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