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    Hicklin, Ron

    Vocalist who 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 Holly. 


    Vee was 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 Singers. 


    In the 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. 


    He would 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 voiced Alvin. 


    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.



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    45. http://www.easylisteninghq.com/featuredcd.htm
    46. http://www.parfaitrecords.com/new.htm












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