1977 Ronnie McDowell – The King Is Gone
Ronald McDowell was born in a small town near Nashville in 1950. Like most of us from that era, he grew up listening to Elvis on the radio and became a huge fan of his music. While serving in the Navy in the Philipines, Ronnie began singing. In 1977 he released his first two singles, but neither one charted.
When Elvis died, Ronnie co-wrote The King Is Gone with Lee Morgan as a tribute to Elvis. He recorded the song and Scorpion Records quickly released the record. The single reached #13 on both the Hot 100 and the Country chart in the US. The next year, in January, Ronnie performed the song on an NBC special, sounding a great deal like Elvis. Sales of the single have totalled over five million copies.
Ronnie wrote his next single, I Love You, I Love You, I Love You. The record turned out to be too country for most pop stations and only reached #81 on the Hot 100. It did, however, reach #5 on the Country chart. That helped kick-start his career as a Country singer. Ronnie recorded over a dozen top ten Country singles, two of which (Older Women and You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation) each topped the Country chart.
In 1979, they hired Ronnie to sing dozens of Elvis songs for the TV movie Elvis in which Kurt Russell played Elvis and lip-synced to Ronnie’s vocals. That led to other productions utilizing Ronnie’s singing, including the 1981 TV movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen and the 1988 TV miniseries Elvis and Me.
Ronnie has recorded almost two dozen albums. He was still recording new music and actively touring in early 2020 and has his homepage at https://www.ronniemcdowell.com/home
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