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    Self, Ronnie (5th July 1938 - 28th August 1981)

    Ronnie Self had the greatest career that never was.  Although he recorded with major labels like Columbia and Decca, he only managed to hit the Billboard charts once, with "Bop-A-Lena" in 1958.  The recording is considered to be a forerunner to the garage and punk movements.  Self grew up listening to Elvis and formulated his own style of country, R&B, rockabilly, and rock and roll.  It is possible he had the same trouble charting as Carl Perkins did, as he didn't fit into any one category.  An energetic performer on stage, he was dubbed "Mr. Frenetic".  His real legacy is the catalogue of four hundred songs he left behind.  The most famous of these was "I'm Sorry" which Brenda Lee took to #1 in 1960.  He and his collaborator Dub Albritton also wrote Lee's "Sweet Nothin's" which went to #4 and became an international sensation.  In 1969, another one of his compositions, "Ain't That Beautiful Singing", won a Grammy award for Best Sacred Performance.  After Albritton's death in 1971, Self moved back to his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, and set up shop with Si Simon at Tablerock Music.  It was a short-lived partnership.  Self backed out a couple of years later and disintegrated into a morass of pills and alcohol.  Known for his wild behaviour, on-stage and off, he was reputed to have fired a shotgun at a shelf full of his own demos and set fire to his gold records outside of a BMI office in Nashville.  Self died in his apartment on 28th August 1981.  His other musical legacy is his son Roman, who recently recorded A Tribute To Ronnie Self.

     

    Diana Ross recordings

    Sweet Nothings (Dub Albritton/Ronnie Self)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.rockabillyhall.com/RonnieSelf1.html
    2. http://www.rockabillyeurope.com/artists/rself.htm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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