Ronnie Gene Bryant,
Born in Ohio
This now soulful voice can remember the gospel music flowing from the Hi Fi’s of my parent’s generation, mainly the voice of Mahalia Jackson on Sunday mornings. But not just gospel; the voices of Solomon Burke, Chuck Jackson, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles and many more.
I remember as a child about 8 waiting for the bible school bus, where this gentleman would pick us up at our corner of the block and take us to the Holy Ghost Church where he would play piano and we would sing (the candy bars he passed out guaranteed that we’d be waiting for that bus).
Then there was the church choir led by Ms. Gwen Morgan and the knowledge of what Tenor and Alto voices meant.
And even though Juvenile Hall would play a big part in my life, music continued even in the Ohio State Juvenile System – Talent Shows, and the playing of all the most current music of the early and mid sixties. I was bad, but I was passionate about music.
I have to admit, my voice is a voice from another generation, a style that hasn’t been trained, the voice of a black man that grew up hard in the sixties, wild in the seventies and eighties and mellowed out in the nineties. The new millennium brings me back to the old styles of my original influences with a contemporary twist.
In the eighties I was signed to a Record deal with “The Sound of New York” an independent label, where promise was cut short because of the success of another record released by the same label at the time. The song “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life.My records, “Homeboys & Homegirls Too”, written by myself and Clarence Brice, ran into a problem when both records could have actually taken off, but the distribution company wanted to get an album ready for the other record and funds were limited.
Clarence and I continued to write, trying to place songs for a potential hit. The last endeavor in NYC was to place a tune with then Delite Records, writing the single “Let Me Ride On The Waves of Your Love”, which actually had big potential, but wound up with very little airplay – the artist at the time was Crown Heights Affair.
I left New York City in the summer of 1983, confused and feeling a little whipped, and moved to Los Angeles. I got married and started a family. Feeling that California was not the place to raise our two children, my wife and I moved to Santa Fe, where promise looked good once again. Here was a place I felt I could heal and write. I formed several bands and played in smaller, more intimate clubs with a pretty good following and a moderate amount of success.
In 1995 I lost my wife to Lupus. She was the person who believed in me the most. The loss was devastating for me and my young son and daughter. Needless to say, raising my kids became my only priority. I went on sabbatical and as a result, ten years later, my Gospel Album was created. I believe, through that album, the lord has allowed me to reclaim my passion and love for what is my calling; a singer, a songwriter and a performer. I have begun to write again. My website allows me to reach a wider audience than I could have ever dreamed. I hope you stop by and take a listen.
P.S.-My son just graduated from college and my daughter is off to her first year. They are great and I am proud.
A Ronnie Gene Story:
I remember back to New York City - 1977 or 1978 - I was in the Big Apple to make it big. I remember meeting a cousin of Al Green, his name was Albert Green. He said "Let's take a ride out to the Westchester Theater, we'll go backstage, Al Green is my cousin, I want you to meet him". I met Al Green that night. He said to me, "Son, how are you?” I was so excited, I just stood there speechless.
Years later, I hooked up with the late Great Wilson Pickett (Bless His Soul). What an incredible inspiration he was to me. He called me New Years Eve 1995 to let me know that he really liked a song that I had sent him. We hooked up later that summer, but he was gigging in Europe that year and our timing was off. All of this is to say that I believe that I should continue writing songs and hope that those who hear the tracks enjoy them!