After a ten year absence from the music business, Ron Rigsby is back with a brand new project entitled. " Banjo On The Run". For over twenty five years. Rigsby has been picking and singing his own brand of music.
Ron began playing the guitar at the tender age of five and begged his mother to change his name to Ricky Nelson, innocently believing that this would make him sing like his childhood idol. A little while later, he fell under the influence of his Bluegrass loving father and started listening to the music that eventually carried him to the varied stages and places all across the United States and Canada.
In 1974, after playing in local groups The Bluegrass Rangers and The Stevens Brothers, Ron got his first professional break with Bluegrass Legend "Charlie Moore". While attending Ralph Stanley's Bluegrass Festival in McLure, Virginia, Rigsby got the chance to audition for Moore. One month later, he got the call and off the fifteen year-old boy went to play with Moore at the renowned Festival of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky.
Ron continued playing for Charlie Moore off and on for the next two and a half years. At about the same time, Rigsby had the chance to play with a group in Las Vegas and moved there for six months for a very eye opening experience. Just a boy from the hills of eastern Kentucky was wide eyed and full of wonder at the bright lights and all of the glamour and glitz to behold in the desert oasis. He played such venues as Caesar's Palace and Uncle Tom's Cabin. He discovered that bigger is not necessarily better and returned home.
Even though Ron was infatuated with the music business, he was always noted for having a good head for business in general. While still in high school, he was made the manager of the local pizza restaurant and turned this into the opportunity to own his own restaurant "Ron's Giovanni's" at the age of 18. Unheard of! At the same time, he worked full time as a union pipe fitter and welder and still managed to run his restaurant absentee with the help of his mother and father. After a year and a half of this grueling pace he decided that it was just too much to handle and sold the restaurant to a local business man. Besides, all of this work was causing his music to suffer!
In 1978, Ron met the love of his life, Melanie Jane Allen. After a speedy courtship, the two were married and Ron moved to the Athens, Ohio area to be closer to his pipe fitting work. Shortly after moving to this area, Ron was introduced to Randy and Marsha Brady by a mutual friend and a new musical alliance was born. The group "One Way Track", (later known as Ron Rigsby and One Way Track) was formed with the original members Ron, Randy, Jeff Somerville and Allen Stack (now with The Rarely Herd). After a few personnel changes, a recording was planned and the result was an album entitled"Great Day In May" (soon to be re-released on HAM It Up Records) with special guest appearance by Dobro Legend Jerry Douglas. This was also the first time the public would have the chance to hear the many talents of then band member and current Clinch Mountain Boy "James Price".
In The early 1980's, Ron began to participate in numerous banjo contests throughout Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. He won most of them. In 1985, he was named the Ohio State Banjo Champion by then Governor, Richard F. Celeste and decided that this would be a good place to stop!
Around the same time, country radio began to take a turn back to the more traditional sounds popularized by people like Merle Haggard, George Jones and Lefly Frizzell. Ron had always loved this type of music from his childhood and decided to try his hand at this. For the remainder of the eighties, Ron could be found most Friday and Saturday nights in the honky tonks and night clubs scattered across the Tri-State area of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia playing his own flavor of hard-edged country music. In 1988, Ron moved his family to Nashville to try his hand at music in the country music capital of the world.
Ever the business man, Ron found a market in Nashville for a maintenance company that could handle anything needed, such as Parking lot striping, Sweeping, Paving, Concrete repair, Landscaping, Mowing, Snow plowing and anything else to do with maintenance. This proved to be so lucrative that Ron could not risk a foray into the uncertain world of country music and take a chance on his company failing. So for the next few years, he focused on his booming business opening branch offices of then "Complete Company" in Dallas, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada and put his music on hold once again. Ron's company now is "RJ Rigsby Enterprises".
In May of 1999, Ron found a renewed sense of urgency to begin performing and recording again. Fueled by his daughter Amy's requests for his music and dear friend Randy Howard's bout with cancer, Ron undertook the task of recording a project that was uniquely his own. Not 100% Bluegrass and not really hard core country, but a mixture of both and other things as well. Working to create a musical sound for anyone to enjoy, who would listen to his new project. It gave him the chance to stretch his musical wings a bit and put to tape ideas that had been floating around in his mind since his youth and all through his musical life. It also was sadly the last time Randy Howard would ever grace a recording session with his beautiful fiddle playing. Howard passed away shortly after he completed what was to be his last session.
The future looks bright for Ron and all of the people who have enjoyed hearing him play and sing over the years. He is back with a new outlook and plans to play shows and record often. Look for him to play in your area soon and watch this web site for further updates on his personal appearances, radio shows and recording.
We hope you enjoy!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Banjo On The Run
2. Ghost Rider's
3. Blue Fiddle Waltz
4. Cumberland Gap
5. Blue Kentucky Mts
6. Miss Amy
7. Haley Bird
8. Standing On The Mountain
9. The Price Is Right
10. Train 45 Jumped The Track
11. Takin The Back Road to JD's
12. The Young Man That Wouldn't Hoe Corn
13. Mandolin Rain