Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

April 24, 2014

Ronnie McDowell to play Palace may 2

CROSSVILLE — Ronnie McDowell has an amazing string of hit songs that he has amassed over the years, but it is his riveting stage presence and genuine warmth that fills the seats again and again. Like all great entertainers, Ronnie McDowell has a personality that remains luminous long after the lights go dim. These qualities have inspired a nationwide network of fan-clubs with more than 3,000 members, each one a devoted promoter of everything McDowell does.

Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, Ronnie McDowell came out of nowhere to dazzle the world with his heartfelt and self-penned tribute song “The King Is Gone” on the independent Scorpion label. The record took off immediately, gaining airplay on country and pop stations across the country and around the world. To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than 5 million copies.

All of a sudden, the young man from Portland, TN, was a star, and he quickly proved that he wasn’t just a one-trick pony. McDowell scored a second hit for the Scorpion label titled “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You” before being wooed and signed by CBS Records — Epic label in 1979.
Ronnie McDowell charted a string of hit singles and albums for Epic between 1979 and 1986. Every single release with the exception of just one became a Top 10 Hit including the chart toppers “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation.” Other hits during his Epic years included “Watchin Girls Go By,” “Personally,” “You Made A Wanted Man Of Me,” “All Tied Up,” and “In A New York Minute.”

McDowell toured constantly to support each album release and consequently built an astounding fan base throughout the country. He sought the advice of artists such as Conway Twitty who became, in essence, not only his mentor but his friend as well. Twitty helped the young singer with advise about touring, recording and most of all entertaining the fans. Twitty was certainly the master and Ronnie McDowell quickly became his prize pupil.

Moving to Curb Records in 1986, his current label to date, McDowell scored a Top 10 hit with “It’s Only Make Believe,” a duet with Conway Twitty on what was Twitty’s breakthrough hit from 1958. Two years later Ronnie teamed up with Jerry Lee Lewis for a rocking duet that McDowell wrote titled,”You’re Never Too Old To Rock N’ Roll.” He also recorded yet another Top 10 hit with his version of the pop standard “Unchained Melody,” which also became a #1 country music video. His entertaining abilities soared and he began to draw larger crowds. He started appearing in larger venues and touring with artists such as Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn before headlining his own shows.

Two of McDowell’s most recent projects on Curb Records include an album of beach music with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters, titled, “Ronnie McDowell with Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters.” The second project is a new country album titled “Ronnie McDowell Country,” a collection of six new McDowell penned songs, and a few country standards by such legendary writers as Buck Owens, Harlan Howard and Dallas Frazier.

Ronnie McDowell is still constantly in demand on the road and he tours relentlessly with his band the Rhythm Kings. Additionally, he often tours with Elvis Presley’s original sidemen Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana along with Millie Kirkham and The Jordanaires staging a tribute to Elvis Presley’s music. Ronnie McDowell sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer. He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me”, the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis” as well as, the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.”

While Elvis Presley has played a big part in Ronnie McDowell’s musical career over the years, Ronnie continues to entertain audiences with his own blend of romantic intimacy and country excitement! He looks great, he sounds great, and judging from the longtime adoration of his fans, he seems to grow better with each passing year!

You can see Ronnie at the Palace Theatre in Crossville on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. Call theatre at 931-484-6133 for tickets or buy online at www.palacetheatre-crossville.com.

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