graduated from Renton High School in Renton, Washington in 1956 and went on
to join a local singing group known as The Eligibles. They contributed backing vocals to a
pair of Bobby Vee albums, Bobby Vee Sings the New Sound from
England and I Remember Buddy
offered and turned down the song “This Diamond Ring” so it went
to Jerry Lewis’s son Gary and his group, The Playboys. “The Playboys” comprised
Al Capps, Stan Farber, Ron Hicklin, and Jim Keltner.
Gary had his vocal limitations, however, and it was actually Ron who
laid down the primary vocals, then Gary was dubbed and overdubbed, the
other Playboys were recorded on top of that, and then finally Ron again. It was just a portent of things to
come. Ron would be a ghost
singer for a couple of high-profile, made-for-TV groups, including The Monkees and The Partridge Family.
In 1967, he
was a member of the California Dreamers, who backed Gabor Szabo on Wind,
Sky and Diamonds. Around
the same time, Ron, along with Tom Bahler, Glen
Campbell, and Davy Jones, sang backing vocals on the Jan Berry album, Carnival of Sound. He also collaborated with Hugh
Montenegro on 1969’s Moog Power.
The turn of
the decade found him joining The Ray Conniff Singers, and teaming up with John Bahler,
Tom Bahler and Jackie Ward to provide some vocal
muscle to The Partridge Family.
A pair of early albums on which he appears are
A Partridge Family Christmas Card
and The Partridge Family Shopping Bag. These singers were sometimes billed
as The Ron Hicklin Singers and The Jackie Ward
mid-‘70s, Ron added his second tenor to a wide variety of albums,
including Elkie Brooks’ Rich Man’s Woman, Johnny
Cash’s John R. Cash, Elton
John’s Blue Moves, Keith Moon’s
Two Sides of the Moon, Gram
Parsons’ Grievous Angel,
and The Tubes’ White Punks on
Dope. He scored a #5 hit
with the Happy Days theme song in
1976. The same year saw him
re-uniting with Micky Dolenz
and Davy Jones on Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, as well
as performing on Donovan’s Slow
Down World, Linda Ronstadt’s Hasten
Down the Wind, and The Tubes’ Young
and Rich. In 1978, he sang
on Neil Diamond’s You
Don’t Bring Me Flowers and the soundtrack of Grease. He also
acted as Choir Contractor on the soundtrack of 1979’s Apocalypse Now.
continue to do movie work in the ‘80s on soundtracks such as Lady in White and The Mosquito Coast. Ron served as the director of The
O.K Chorale on a pair of Carpenters albums, Made in America and Voice
of the Heart. He even did a
few stints as a Chipmunk on Chipmunk
Punk, Club Chipmunk: The Dance Mixes, and A Very Merry Chipmunk, on which he
In the 1980s
and 1990s, he ran an advertisement-jingle outfit known as Killer
Music. It did not keep him out
of the recording studios, however.
He served as Vocal Contractor on the soundtracks of Apollo 13, Casper, and The Hunt For
Red October, and Vocal Recording Supervisor on the soundtrack of Man Trouble. In 2002, he and Sally Stevens
contracted the backing vocals for Perry La Marca’s
Hopelessly Romantic album.
The CD era
affords us many opportunities to hear Ron in all of his digitized glory, on
albums such as Harry Connick, Jr.’s When My Heart Finds Christmas, The Very Best of the Partridge Family: Come on Get Happy, and Frank
Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy. At last report, he was still working
and living in Pasadena, California.