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Latest posts of: Jm
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December 13, 2018, 09:19:23 PM
42 Posts in 13 Topics by 689 Members
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1  General Category / FORUM REGISTRATION / FORUM REGISTRATION on: June 12, 2011, 01:33:44 PM
Due to the daily bombardment of spammers joining this board for no other purpose but to SELL products and services... User Registration has been DISABLED.

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2  General Category / Remembering Ron / Not a day passes... on: August 03, 2008, 03:16:50 PM

Sure do miss you my friend.
3  General Category / Remembering Ron / Re: Ron & Billy on: June 12, 2008, 06:11:42 PM
Ron, Jm & Billy, September '05.

4  General Category / Remembering Ron / Ron & Billy on: June 10, 2008, 07:00:41 PM
Ron was excited to find that Billy Strange was a friend of mine. Being the historian of modern music that he was, he was well aware of Billy's tall shadow behind the LA music scene in the 1960's.
It was a kick, not only to introduce them, but to watch their friendship grow.

In August 2006, Ron produced a multi-part tribute to Elvis for KGBR.
In part 6, he interviewed Billy for the series.

Here's that segment as it aired.
5  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Ron & Dave Franklin on: May 07, 2008, 02:24:59 AM

6  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Bree & Ron on: May 07, 2008, 02:23:39 AM

7  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Ron & Roy Stamps on: May 07, 2008, 02:21:40 AM

8  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Pea's in a pod... on: May 07, 2008, 02:19:03 AM
Al Hart, Sean & Ron.

9  General Category / Remembering Ron / Welcome on: May 02, 2008, 07:56:18 PM
Ron passed away on August 3rd 2007.

He is missed by his family and friends more than words can express.
Those of us who were gifted with his presence in our lives are far richer than we would have been otherwise.
His talent was enormous. And so was his heart.

We will not soon forget and that is the purpose for continuing on with RonLyonsRadio.
To preserve as much as possible of his life's accomplishments, his insights, and provide a place for his friends and colleagues to gather from time to time, and share their memories.

Thanks for visiting... and remembering.

Jonmark Stone - 2008
10  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Two pea's in a pod... on: May 02, 2008, 07:50:07 PM
...looking deceptively angelic.

11  General Category / Share Your Photos of Ron / Adding Photos on: May 02, 2008, 07:46:33 PM
When you start a new topic, or reply to an existing one, you'll see an "Additional Options" link displayed lower left below the message box.
Click on that and use the "Browse" button to find the location of the image file on your local computer.
Then click "Post".

Maximum image size is 600x600.

12  General Category / Stories from Ron / Billy Strange Birthday Bash on: May 02, 2008, 04:03:27 PM
October 2nd, 2005

It was a magic night, that Sunday, certainly one of the best in my life and a wonderful display of love; one of the evenings you really don't want to end. You linger and savor these precious moments because they are so few and far between. The love for Billy Strange and his music motivated people from all over to make a long journey for this single evening of celebration. Whatever I was expecting, it was a whole lot more.

Mickey Newbury put me in touch with Jonmark and Bree Stone who became part of me and they, in turn, connected me with Billy Strange about 5 years ago. His web site is a repository of knowledge about the music industry when it was so much a part of our lives.

As Billy and Jeanne arrived, the sinking Tennessee sun briefly highlighted that beautiful red hair and what a striking couple they make. Billy was resplendent and regal towering above us all with Stetson, suit, suspenders, tie, and boots. He took off the hat and gave Lana and me a hug. This was the first time I had ever met Billy Strange.

Bree had selected the Union Hotel in Nashville and it was the perfect combination of grandeur and history with deep, dark wood and marble floors. As Billy and Jeanne entered "The Majors Room", there was the quiet roar of 140 people and it took them quite a few minutes just to make their way to the front table. Elsewhere here, Billy has written of all who were there. I only got to meet a few.

As my friend Mickey Newbury would say, Billy Strange is the real deal. Off came the hat, the tie was loosened, and he made himself at home. Lana and I were honored to be seated at his table with his son Rusty(genetics all over his face), Chuck, one of Billy's oldest friends and recording allies, Jan from Switzerland, and of course, Billy and Jeanne.

I was in Broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 50 years and am pretty much over being awed by celebrity but I wanted Billy to really like our presentation. I knew in my heart that "Billy Strange: A Man For All Sessions" was the best thing I have ever done professionally. Kurt Milliken took those words, music, and pictures, and made it really work. There were 365 pictures and God knows how many edits, supers, wipes, and everything else that went into it. In an amazing short 3 months, our respective passions created the story of one man's highly remarkable and unusual life.

We opened with Jennifer Warnes and her wonderful audio description of being a little girl on her father's shoulder around 1954 and watching Billy during "Hometown Jamboree" and somehow knowing she would someday be going down that same path.

"So there you were Billy....tall and commanding whether you sang alone or with the other performers...In the last few years, it has occurred to me that you were presenting the last innocent music of America; music that I have always loved and will continue to love".

Jennifer had the room.....quite an accomplishment for a 6 minute audio with pictures. There was thundering applause and it certainly set the tone for "A Man For All Sessions". It's an hour long and by the time it was over, I was totally drained. Kurt was sitting next to me and i think he was vibrating.

Billy Strange, a man I had only met 2 hours ago, put his arms around both of us and said some very kind things...enough to know we had accomplished what we wanted.

It is one thing to have lived your own life and know inwardly everything you have done.

It is quite another to see and hear it all at one time surrounded by the people who love you the most.

Billy's daughter, Kelly, and his granddaughter, Bailee sang to Dad and Grandad.

25 years ago, Jonmark Stone was living in his car and Billy Strange took him in and he worked for and with Billy till the end of the 80's. During that period, he wrote a song about Billy called: "Mr. Music"

He sang it that night and the love between these two hung in the air like magic smoke.

He still calls him "Papa".

You spend all your life wondering where it's going to go and I never figured it would lead to this Sunday night and that other people's passion will make you a better person and performer.

Even with all this, you never can quite get it all down. You can't even really imagine the literal millions of people who have been or will be touched by the music of Billy Strange. The smiles that go with the joy of music and the opening of arteries that goes with that.

Whether it's the open-throated vocals that Jennifer mentions, a guitar lick, like the opening of "Surfin' USA", or one of those arrangements that it is really the edge of a symphony, they have all been preserved one way or another. From old acetates and 78's, to tapes, LP's and 45's, to CD's, DVD's, and minidiscs, they will always be around.

Somewhere echoing is an AM radio station. Hear it? It's the one you listened to where hours of producing, mixing, and tweaking were boiled down to this 45 coming over the radio. And what always cut through the AM mud? A Billy Strange guitar riff or someone playing like him.

He could rock you with the Bond and Ventures stuff and then move you to the top of another mountain with the strings of "Younger Than Springtime" with Sinatra and the musical depths of "Some Velvet Morning". And you can ask Nancy Sinatra just how really good he is.

So we stood beneath the tall clock tower at the Union Station Hotel. The night was warm and so were we. We were brought together by Bree Wilson Stone and joined at the soul by Billy Strange and his undeniable generosity of spirit.

Yes, there were many rewards but the best one is knowing for sure that Billy Strange calls me his friend.(me and thousands of others).

Thank you,

13  General Category / Stories from Ron / Twice Upon A Time on: May 02, 2008, 04:00:54 PM
The winds were a hundred miles an hour the day of the evening our daughter, Michele, was killed at the age of 23. The power was out and It was a cold and dark December night when she was run over while crossing the street in 1988.  Apart from the obvious, the hardest thing was not being able to see her and to have sort sort of goodbye. Christmas meant nothing but pain and there was no relief the next Christmas when my mother died and it just brought everything back,

As horrible as it was for me, there is a bond between mother and child that transcends all others. It's the birth, of course, but there is a "hands on" part of parenthood that only mommys know. It also killed something in Lana's being that may take forever to heal but there was a moment of wonder this week.

We scattered Michele's ashes on the ocean and in that always elusive quest for serenity, we ended up living by the ocean and river here in Oregon some 15 years later.

Our son, Sean, and his wife, Terri presented us with a granddaughter 4 years ago. She is a beautiful little girl with golden hair and her name is Elizabeth. Lana has always loved her but there was a certain holding back for fear of losing Michele all over again....something she kept mostly to herself.

As complex as the world appears, there is something totally pure about a 4 year old little girl. They are not yet tarnished by some of the reality that lies ahead and most of what they see every day is motivated by imagination and trust which will never be quite the same again.

We also had some very old and good friends drop by and when they saw Elizabeth, they remarked how much she looked like Michele as the midday sun captured all the yellow/gold highlights in her hair.

Yesterday was Lana's birthday and last night, we all sat around as she opened her presents. For the last 25 years, I have recorded a little something to reflect each birthday and this year, I had Elizabeth help me. After she sang "Happy Birthday", I asked her a few questions about Nana Lana. I had a music box playing as Elizabeth answered the question: "Tell me more about "Nana Lana"!

Like from a fairy tale, her answer was: "She's good....and.....she's brave".

Lana and Elizabeth happened to be sitting side by side as the CD goes into a song called "River Of Dreans" which is about our being able to live where we do.

Elizabeth reaches up and puts her arm around Lana's neck and as she pulls her to the floor says: "Happy Birthday, Nana Lana...I love you". This was not a child's pre-programmed response to an event. It came from Somewhere Else and it was so powerful, I think we all forgot to breathe. They stayed that way for most of the song until it turned into a tickling game.

It was watching something being freed and a door being opened. I am sure a part of her heart was full again from a little girl's wonderfully innocent and untainted love.

I won't forget those terrible days of 1988.....but I will also never forget my wife's birthday in 2005.

And i know she won't.

Thank you.
Ron Lyons
14  General Category / Stories from Ron / Santa Knew J.C. Higgins on: May 02, 2008, 03:59:08 PM
November 27, 2005
It was somewhere around 1946 and the boy lived on County Home Road in a small white house just below Green Hills Cemetery. His folks got a break on the rent for keeping an eye on the road that led up the hill and locking the cemetery gate every night.

This turned out to be his job and sometimes it was scary right after sunset since everybody knew that's when the vampires came out. It was close to Christmas and he had just listened to "Superman" who was flying around the Moon turning back time. He rode each side of the steel gate to the middle, shut the lock and shivered in the cold North Carolina air. As he walked back down the road, he looked  up and saw Superman still flying around the Moon.

He never doubted it for a second.

He was 8 years old. His family was Baptist and he had been saved more often than a ration book. When he grew up, he thought his childhood was a typical Southern cliche but that didn't change the pain. His mother was the daughter of a preacher and his daddy was a part time drunk working toward a permanent situation. It wasn't all bad as it was sad knowing that his dad must not love him.

It was the Saturday night before Christmas and the coal stove that separated the living room from the dining was keeping out the chill. His dad had the 4-11PM shift at the Enka Rayon plant so he and his mother were alone.  He was sitting on the couch staring at the old Philco which had 8 station buttons and right then, it was on WSM and the "Grand Ole' Opry" was bouncing from Nashville to Asheville. Red Foley and Minnie Pearl were having a good time as he lay on the couch and closed his eyes. She tapped his shoulder in a little while and handed him a slice of her chocolate pie which was the best in the whole world. She looked tired but smiled as he wolfed it down.

It became Christmas Eve and he always worried because there was no fireplace or chimney so they left the key under the mat so Santa could get in. He hoped Santa would bring him a bike and had hoped for a Schwinn. His mom took him to the Sears and Roebuck store one day and showed him a red bicycle with the name J.C. Higgins. Then she showed him a ballglove with the same name as well as a boy's jacket.  After that she drove by the Schwinn store and told him that all they had were bicycles but Santa knew J.C. Higgins who made EVERYTHING.

As dreams sometimes do, his wish for snow was answered... so much piled on the porch bannister's and you could see the colors of the tree lights reflecting through the window onto the icy surface. As it happened every year, he had trouble catching his breath when he saw the milk and cookies were gone....and the key was right by the glass.

And next to the tree was a red bicycle. Hanging off one handlebar was a ballglove and on the other was a black jacket.

You. of course, know what was on each of them.

Santa knew J.C. Higgins.

He never doubted it for a second.

Ron Lyons

15  General Category / Stories from Ron / Church on: May 02, 2008, 03:57:09 PM
October 04, 2006
I returned to the hills of Western North Carolina for my 50th High School reunion and to the church in which I was raised. The fog and mist lie in the valleys where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge Mountains and there's still enough of the original Buncombe County to leave a lump in your throat. My grandfather was a beloved Baptist minister at the Calvary Baptist Church but after he retired, we went to the West Asheville Baptist Church. Although there was a lot of "hell, fire, and damnation", there were great values there. There was also a lot of guilt to be found where i went to Sunday School, Church, Baptist Training Union, Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, and Thursday Night choir practice. They were basically good people who practiced only what they knew and believed. In my teens, it sent me on a search that still continues.

Yes, I do believe in God but find (Him, Her, It?) in other people and especially in the music. I respect your beliefs because they are deep inside and make you who you are. I don't think God needs to be worshiped. God just needs to be inside you because the gift of LIfe has to come from somewhere and what you do with it marks you as a human being.

I bring all this up because I went back to my old church for a Sunday service, Rather than one minister, they had three and the hour was much like a Broadway show. They had a small brass ensemble. a huge choir, and three 40 feet video screens where the words to the hymns were displayed as part of Jesus's robe blew in the wind with a shot of the upper right side of the cross. Remember, this is happening simultaneously on all three screens. I recognize that these and all churches have to compete with the contemporary world but found it all disturbing. If I am to be honest, there's probably nothing wrong with it but there was a LOT of money in that church including a gym, a music suite, and an entirely new set of buildings. Two giant satellite dishes set side by side. For this place to run, it had to cost millions.

I was watching very old women as they watched with eyes as dim as the kerosene light they grew up with. Maybe the same thing was running through their minds that  was going through mine.The very essence of Christianity is it's simplicity: "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You."  Wearing his white robe, the message remained the same from the "main preacher". If you don't accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you will go to hell. Well, I'm here to tell you when i was 10 or so, I was saved more often than a porn file. When "Just as I Am" was played, about a dozen kids went down there because they were "scared to death".

I missed what I most remembered which was plain and simple times of open hymnals and open hearts. I missed seeing my breath in the air at Christmas after practicing the "Hallelujah Chorus" from "the Messiah", all the time fervently praying that I didn't do the extra "Hall..." at the end. It was always the music I remember the most. If you haven't heard one of those old hymns in 50 years, the words will never leave you. "The Old Rugged Cross" and "In The Garden" were sung almost every Sunday and then there was the kids character: "Gladly, The Cross-eyed Bear". The ones that were sung on this September Sunday were newer and more contemporary.

There were some wonderfully warm moments with two women who were adults when I was young.  Jimmy Gibbs brought his mother Velma who was so kind to me and was a member of the family.  Like just about everybody else, she chain-smoked when I knew her but kids know, you know. They feel kindness when it's there.

Lottie Robinson was there too and she used to babysit me at the church when I was really little. She was my mother's best friend. She's 90 now and had not forgotten anything.

The immediate surroundings have not changed all that much and for a moment it was easy to go back to 1950 where I would wait for my mother to change out of her maroon choir robe. I sat in our 49 Plymouth(to be mine 5 years later) and listen to the radio. She would drive us home where she would put an apron over her Sunday Best and fry that chicken. Daddy never went and I would cry myself to sleep as a kid because he wasn't "saved". That's a memory not easily forgotten.

They were of green hills and blue mountains but they followed me to California where now they lay in Inglewood Cemetery directly beneath the approach to LAX.

So I went back to church. But in spite of the brass and pageantry, the highly polished pews with velveteen seats, and the high tech presentations, the message was still basically one of fear. If you don't accept, you go to Hell.

It's really why I left.

Ron Lyons
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