|R o n R o s s|
T h e B i o
Ron Ross started out with a strong interest in the piano and music in general, and despite many detours, including accounting, the stock market and an acting career, music remains his primary passion.
Ron was born in Detroit, the only child of a family physician and a schoolteacher. His earliest piano studies began at age 5 and continued to age 13. Shortly before he stopped taking piano lessons, he developed an interest in composition and began to write pop ballads and later wrote music and lyrics for a fraternity musical at the University of Michigan, where he received his degree in Business Administration/Accounting.
Ron moved to California, where he first worked as a CPA, and later as a stockbroker. All the while he pursued his music composing, with music and lyrics for a musical based on the play “Uncle Willie” and thrusts at the pop music scene. Two of his songs were considered for recording by the Limeliters and one by the Kingston Trio.
In the early 80’s Ron, having composed several comedy songs, appeared as a singer-songwriter in various clubs around the L.A. area. His most popular song from that era, "Studio Sensation,” is still often requested and appears on his 2001 CD, Ragtime Renaissance. A song Ron wrote for L.A.’s public television station KCET (Channel 28), “20 Years at 28,” was performed by Bob McGrath, Shari Lewis, Betty White and Gordon Jump at the 20th Anniversary party for Channel 28 at the L.A. Zoo in 1984. Ron’s Christmas song “That Very Old Merry Old Christmas” has been performed several times by three different choral groups as well as individual singers over the past ten years, and one year was featured in the televised annual Christmas Eve show from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Ron got interested in ragtime in a serious way in 1989, when a friend invited him to the Maple Leaf Club, which was then meeting in Van Nuys. The first pieces he remembers grabbing him were Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin's "Heliotrope Bouquet" and Galen Wilkes’s “Whippoorwill Hollow.” That opened the door for him to this branch of music and thus began a growing fascination and passion about ragtime and related forms.
In 1990, Ron performed for the first time at the Maple Leaf Club, then meeting at the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, with a raggy sounding pop tune he had written for a short film in which he had starred in 1987. It is called “Small Town Private Eye” and was well received, so he kept playing it at the Maple Leaf and later at the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club in Pasadena calling it “a medley of my hit.” But finally, in 1998, after some feeble attempts, Ron composed a piece in at least the rhythm if not the precise form of ragtime. That piece was “Rickety Rag” and in the years of 1998 and 1999, Ron was inspired to compose by the Rose Leaf Club and its members’ receptiveness to his new works. Consequently, he turned out several pieces in both ragtime and habañera rhythms and with a couple of pieces added in 2000 and 2001 put together 13 compositions on his first full-length CD, Ragtime Renaissance, issued in October 2001. Several tracks from this album are played from time to time on various ragtime radio programs, including Internet radio’s “Elite Syncopations” on Live 365.com and “The Ragtime Machine”, David Reffkin’s weekly show at KUSF in San Francisco. In fact, Reffkin interviewed Ron on his program in August 2002, and a transcription of this interview appeared as a cover story in the April 2003 edition of Mississippi Rag, a national magazine devoted to traditional jazz and ragtime music.
In 1999, Ron took on the position of Public Relations Director for the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club, which he still holds. His efforts have increased the Club’s reach through regular newspaper notices and articles. He plays his original compositions as well as classic rags at the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club (monthly in Pasadena), the Orange County Ragtime Society (bi-monthly in Fullerton), the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (Memorial Day weekend every year) and the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival (each August in the gold country of California.)
Ron continues to compose, a recent example being a 2002 song inspired by young ragtime and blues pianist Ruby Fradkin, called “When Ruby Plays the Blues.” The lyrics to this song were reprinted in the September 2002 issue of L.A. Jazz Scene, a local newspaper, and in the program for Ruby’s Sept. ’02 concert at Whittier College.
CURRENTLY APPEARS AS:
Ron continues his day gig as a stockbroker, but from time to time is featured as an actor in a TV commercial, movie or television show. He is usually called upon to play character and comedic roles, such as his appearances on "Seinfeld", "Hill Street Blues", "Night Court", the 1995 Billy Crystal film "Forget Paris," and the 2001 Coen Brothers film "The Man Who Wasn’t There."
In 2007 he appeared as the Chairman of the Kennel Club on Hallmark Channel’s mystery series "McBride." starring and directed by John Larroquette. He also had a small role on an episode of "The Naked Trucker and T Bones Show" on Comedy Central which airs from time to time in reruns..
He is represented for Commercials, TV and Film by Hervey/Grimes Talent
Agency - (310) 475-2010
Ron lives in Studio City, California and may be contacted by E-mail at: Ragtimeron@earthlink.net
His CD Ragtime Renaissance can be sampled on this site and can be purchased by going to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ronross on the web.