Ron performing with the Peter Duchin Band on GMA 1992
Born in Staten Island, New York, Ron began taking guitar lessons at Merola’s Music Store in South Beach, Staten Island. At the age of fourteen, he started his own band with friends Larry Lamatina, Bud Rosso, Pete D’Antoni and Sal Curto. While performing at a block party in Great Kills, Staten Island, the band was discovered by a talent scout. Ron’s father Joe acted as their manager and arranged for the band to audition for record producer at the Ed Sullivan building in New York City.
They were signed by producer Jimmy Gribble and that began a long career for Ron taking him through every aspect of the entertainment business.Jimmy Gribble used Ron’s band as a studio group providing the backup music for hundreds of vocal group recordings. During this time, the band, known as “The Demotrons” recorded dozens of their own records as well. Some of the groups Ron recorded with include:
The PassionsKenny Vance and the Harbor Lights – Later becoming Jay and the Americans
The Five Satins
The Del Satins – Later becoming the back up group for Dion (Runaround Sue and others) Later becoming the Brooklyn Bridge featuring Johnny Maestro
The Demotrons were busy performing at live events all over the tri state area promoting their records and gaining a fan base. Ron’s dad Joe got them a job performing every Sunday evening in Levittown, New York. Each week radio station WADO and DJ Alan Fredericks produced shows with all the big name groups of the day.At these shows Ron’s band backed up all the following groups:
The Del Vikings
The Jive Five
The Ronettes (Known then as Ronnie and the Relatives)
The Four Seasons
Dion and the Belmonts
Randy and the Rainbows
Ron met “The Tokens” on one of these shows and that would later eventually result in a new phase of his career a few years later. During this same era – 1963-1970 – the band played all over New York working for Radio Station WMCA and the famous DJs known as “The Good Guys.”On the Good Guys shows Ron met and worked with more recording artists such as:
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Vanilla Fudge
and dozens of others
One of the singers Ron met was Lenny Welch. Ron began working as Lenny’s musical director and traveled around the country with him. Ron appeared with for one week at the Apollo Theatre sharing the stage with Flip Wilson, Little Anthony and the Imperials and Gloria Lynne. He also worked with Lenny on many TV programs throughout the country. Ron would later produce a CD for Lenny.
In the early 1970s, “The Tokens” remembered the Levitown show and called Ron and asked him if he would join their group replacing Mitch who was going into the Army. Ron agreed and began another phase of recording and performing. Ron recorded with “The Tokens” and toured with the group doing TV shows and Rock n Roll revival concerts.
In addition to performing the members of the Tokens were successful record producers. Ron participated in these productions with Mac Davis, The Chiffons, The Happenings, and many more. They also produced dozens of Jingles and commercials such as Pan Am, Exxon, McLean’s Toothpaste, Benson & Hedges and more.
In the mid 70s they produced a popular New York club singer named Frankie Paris. Ron recorded on his record “Candida.” Bell records did not like the way Frankie sang the song so they replaced him with Tony Orlando. The record became a million seller. Ron then recorded “Knock Three Times” with Tony and they formed the original group called “Dawn” see also this link for more information
Tony Orlando decided that he would work with two female singers instead of the band so Ron and Tony parted ways. Tired of the record business, Ron turned to performing as a freelance vocalist and guitarist in the New York, tri state area. In the late 70s he became a member of the Steven Scott Orchestra and worked over 250 jobs a year for six years. In 1980, Ron was asked to join the Bobby Rosengarden Tonight Show band for private events. At the same, time Ron was asked to join Peter Duchin and his orchestra and travel throughout the world with the band.
For fifteen years, Ron performed with both bands and play ed events such as:
Summer Concert Series – Lincoln Center, NYC
Bill Clinton’s second inauguration – Washington
DC Performance with The Cincinnati Pops, Eric Kuncel
President Bill Clintons Inauguration 1992
Ron performed for 15 years on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon with hosts Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Orlando, John Tesh, Maureen McGovern and guests:
and many more.
Also on the Juvenile Diabetes Telethon in Hollywood with
and many more
Other memorable events:
Marvin Davis Holiday party in Beverly Hills 5 years
Opening night of the Gund Arena, Cleveland OhioPeter Benchley House PartiesWilliam Randolph Hurst Family Events – NYCSave Venice event, Venice, Italy (2 years)
New Years Eve at Robert Duval’s NYC apartment
Henry Kissinger’s son’s wedding
New Years Eve for Donald Trump in Florida
Ivana Trumps second wedding
Sarah Jessica Parker, Mathew Broderick wedding, NYC
Secretary of State Charles Schultz wedding – San Francisco
Bill Clintons 50th Birthday Party – NYC
Private Event – Nice, France
Private Event – Moscow, Russia
Bicentennial Celebration – New York Harbor
E-Street Band member wedding – NYC
Marlo Thomas house party – CN
IBM Convention – Maui, Hawaii
ATT Convention – Acapulco, Mexico
ATT Convention – Bermuda
and many more
During these years, Ron appeared with and/or performed with these and many other artists:
Sammy Davis Jr.
The Pointer Sisters
and many more…
Ron also appeared in several motion pictures during this time such as “Mortal Thoughts,” “Jade” and “Sabrina”
and recorded the soundtracks for “Sabrina” and “XMAS”
In 1995, Ron and his wife Jean moved to Naples, Florida where they opened an entertainment company, Peter Duchin Music of Naples. Beginning in1998, Ron & Jean performed as a duo in the dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton Naples Beach Resort. During their time there the dining room won a five diamond rating from AAA,one of only five in all of Florida. They left the Ritz in 2001 and began a six year run at The Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort performing in the lounge six nights a week.
After leaving the Hilton, they performed with their band “First Call” at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort, Bonita Springs, Florida and at top Southwest Florida country clubs. They now perform at private functions all over southwest Florida with their bands NRG, Blu Wave and Island Breeze. They continue to operate their entertainment company booking entertainers at all the hotels and country clubs in the area.
Messianic Music Ministry
Throughout the events described above since 1981, Ron and Jean have operated their sacred music ministry, “Jerusalem Rivers.” Since then, they have recorded and produced a dozen CDs, sold worldwide Please see the information on the Jerusalem Rivers website (link below).
Jerusalem Rivers has ministered in every type of venue including:
Sing Sing Prison – Ossining, NY
Rahway State Prison – NJ
Woodbourne Correctional Facility – NY
Lambs Theatre – Broadway, NYC
Churches all over the tri-state area
Street corners in Times Square, NYC
Messianic Israel Conference – Orlando, FL
Your Arms to Israel Messianic Conference – Kansas City, MO
Below is a list of the people who donated their time, energy and talents to Ron and Jean in the work of their sacred music recordings and performances
Rev. Carl Dixon
Rev. Antonios Thigpen
Rev. Ike Mckinnon
Rev. Raul Pena
Rabbi Moshe Konioukowski
Leonard Korobkin Esq.
Ron’s partners and co laborers over the many years
Mitchel (Shenny) Brown