The beginning of our journey......

I would like to welcome you to "El Paso's Musicians (Past and Present)" My intent with this site is to bring information about musicians I have known in El Paso from the 60's to present day. Many of the musicians that you will be reading about were either in groups that I played in while living in El Paso, as well as, the ones that I befriended all throughout high school and college. I graduated from UTEP in 1972 and in 1973 my wife and I left El Paso with a vocal show group called The Sounds Royale. The group started out with Sam Stephenson (guitar-vocals), Gayle Hageman (bass-vocals), Tedd McKeever (keyboards-vocals), Debbie Wilson (flute-vocals) and myself, Rick Kern (drums-vocals) The group was based out of Newport Beach, CA. We performed at mainly Orange County venues such as The Disneyland Hotel, Charley Browns in Huntington Beach, The Newporter Inn, Del Webb's Townhouse and the San Francisco Hyatt Regency. Today these musicians are scattered all over the place. Sam is living in Houston, Tx. and serves as the Dir. of Safety for Union Pacific Railroad. Gayle and his wife live in El Paso where he is a self-employed entertainer. Tedd is still performing jazz in Bremerton, WA. We are still trying to find Debbie. I am sure she is warming many hearts out there somewhere with her fabulous voice. There was an additional bass/sax/vocalist by the name of Wayne Mills that played with the group. He is still living in Orange County, CA. and is retired. I moved back to El Paso with my wife to be with our respective families and to start our own family. Both of our kids, Ricky (25) and Nicole (23) are musicians both living in Austin. Nicole plays electric cello with an Austin band called Alex Dupree and the TrapDoor Band. She is also playing with a popular Austin band called "Balmorhea". Both of our kids went to UT Austin. Ricky graduated in May, 2007 and Nicole graduated in May, 2008. They both love photography and film. The YouTube videos on this site were produced by my son to show our capability to show videos of performers on this site. He also did my colorful splash page that you see when you first log on to the site.

There were two other groups that I played with while on the road. When the Sounds Royale disbanded I advertised my profile at the Local Musicians Union that I belonged to in Los Angeles. Two guys were looking for a drummer/vocalist and that was the beginning of "Tapestry". The members were Curt Hespe (keyboard-bass-horn-vocals) Dan Evans (guitar-bass horn-vocals) and myself (drums-horn-vocals) This was the group that travelled the most. We played many show rooms from one corner of the U.S. to the other, including two tours of Canada. Our very first job, after only being rehearsed for two weeks, was the Sahara in Lake Tahoe. During that time we appeared on the same billboard with Elvis, Diana Ross, Isaac Hayes, The Fifth Dimension and the Jackson 5. We were suppose to be there for one week and they held us over for 5. The only bad part of that booking was when we all came down with the flu at the same time. Remember the saying "the show must go on" well, it did with the grace of God and alot of liquids. This group continued travelling all over the country. We even took a three day break to cut an album in Cincinatti, Ohio at Queen City Studios. We sold the album mainly to people that saw our shows. This group lasted about three years. My last group on the road was also called "Tapestry" It consisted of Dan Evans from the first Tapestry, Jerry Johnson (bass-guitar-steel guitar-vocals), Danny Miller (guitar-vocals) and myself on drums and vocals. This group came together as a result of my old friendship with Jerry Johnson. He was a Chaplains Assistant at Ft. Bliss in El Paso around 1967-68. We played in a group called the Basic Sound at the Knights Club. That club was in the old Rodeway Inn at Bassett Center. Jerry was living in Long Beach, CA. when I asked him if he would like to form a new group. Out of my three groups on the road, this one was the group that was more destined for a recording contract and opportunity to break out of the club scene. We will never forget the night that we were playing at the Reubens in West Covina, CA. when our agent came in and told us that we were going to be on the Captain and Tennile TV Special with Neil Diamond. Dick Clark was the producer of the show. We signed the contract and had our original songs ready to showcase. There was only one small problem - none of the networks picked up the contract. How do you say "that's show biz" It was not too long after that that I left the group and came back to my home town of El Paso where I still live. This
is the rest of the story....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ron Stone - July 30, 1952 - December 16, 2009

Ron Stone will be remembered by all
as having one of the biggest hearts a
human could have. He was a great friend and
musician who loved performing and sharing
his wonderful talent. I know that Angels
and Ron are singing today.
Visit the following link to see the musicial tribute to Ron
Submitted by Rick Kern

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who was Ron Stone? A great singer, guitarist and massage therapist. An avid perfectionist and one of the kindest human beings ever. We met in 1967, playing in different bands at the same community center. I had never seen anyone play a right handed guitar left handed with the high E string on top - a true innovator. We both loved the Beatles' music and have played their music for the last four decades. I had been trying to get Ron to record at my studio for years. Two weeks ago he told me that he had some tracks he wanted to lay down during this visit. This tragedy has taught me a valuable lesson. Never wait to tell someone that you love them and don't waste the moments that God has given you. There just might not be a tomorrow. Who was Ron Stone? My friend, colleague and spiritual brother. Godspeed, Ron!!! Glenn Leffler

Cynthia said...

Thank you Glenn for your wonderful tribute to my husband and for playing at the church Monday. I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received these past two weeks from his friends in El Paso and here in San Antonio. I was his wife for 26 years but I always knew his first love was music. I didn't mind sharing him because he was a wonderful, kind, loving man and whatever part of him I could have was okay with me. He could throw temper tantrums, be the perfectionist, talk too much and take too long to do everything but my life was enriched by him. He brought joy, love and music to my life and it will never be as sweet without him. My grief and loss is almost overwhelming,except that I know he is with the Lord, but I also acknowledge that many of his dearest friends are also grieving. I am so grateful for the music you all made with him and the loving friends that you all were to him. Think of Ron when you hear "Pretty Woman" or "Unchained Melody" because they were his songs. Love, Cindy

Randy Hunt said...

Cindy, we're so sorry for you. Mary and I were stunned by the news.

Ron and I battled sometimes. We both were a little cutting with our "constructive criticism." But we both had the same vision for where the band should go.

There are so many great memories and funny stories, I would always look forward to the Christmas parties at your house to share them with current and past band members.

Speaking of which, there was nothing that was more perfect than your house at Christmas. A dazzling display of decorations that nobody topped.

I remember one time, when I probably had three too many egg nogs, that I really got under Ron's skin by making fun of his new Kenny G Christmas album. Being notably stingy on up tempo tunes, I called it "Kenny G's Manic Depressive Christmas." Ron never forgave me for that one.

If anyone hasn't seen the promo we did back in the 90's, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cg01u2hAas

God bless you, Ron Stone.

Randy Hunt

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Barbara Andrea Gomez and Im looking for my father. I'm writing a comment here because you said you know musicians that played in El Paso. My father's artistic name was "Eric" Gomez and his name is Jose Guadalupe Gomez. Unfortunately I don't have any information about his songs, or bands. I will appreciate is someone knows anything about my father or knows any sites about music and singers from the 60s. Thanks so much.
Barbara