11 May 2020

Requiescat in Pace, Ron Kimble

By: MB McCart

The One & Only, Ron Kimble

The one & only Ron Kimble broke his earthly chains & ascended to Glory today.

Many have paid their respects, and I've enjoyed & appreciated reading each & everyone.

Jeff Hullinger w/ 11Alive had this to say: 

           A local music legend died today.
Ron Kimble is gone and so too is a part of Atlanta. 
A musician, poet, story teller and friend. 
If you have lived in this metro area the last 45 years, you’ve heard Ron somewhere, someplace, sometime...

For those of you who maybe don't know the wonderful backstory of Ron, here's a little history from TPC from December of 2018:

A good number of you know who Ron is, and a fair number of you probably know his fascinating story, but for those of you who don't - here ya' go:

Ron Kimble has been a practicing musician for pushing 50 years. In Atlanta in the early 70s Ron started to blow folks away with his amazing voice & killer guitar chops. In fact, he was involved with a very successful touring act for a time until he realized that "living in a bus & being told what to do" was not for him.

Later, at the legendary Hemingway's up on North Druid Hills Rd, Ron would start a multi-year residency - playing usually at least 3 or 4 nights a week - that brought people in from near & far to witness this "golden voice" and the kick-ass Country & Rock 'n' Roll that he'd belt out every single time! 

At this time, getting an opening slot at Hemingway's is how up & coming folks would get a foothold in the ATL music scene. Several would open for Ron during this time including a fella named Jimmy Buffet & an obviously talented songwriter that tried his very best to sort of sing, Kris Kristofferson.

Later, Ron would move on to the also-legendary Texas Tea Room, a venue he helped to found, and that truly became the focal point for Country & Country Rock in Atlanta during the late 70s & early 80s. Folks like Leon Redbone & David Allen Coe would make it their local stop on their regional tours, as did a younger fella with a well known musical pedigree - Hank Williams Jr.

But the main entertainment for the Tea Room was The Ron Kimble Band, and just like he did at Hemingway's, Ron had folks coming from all over to check out those incredible sounds. In an Atlanta Journal article in January of 1980, Ron spoke about how fortunate & grateful he was to be making a good living by being able to play music.

More folks probably remember his later residency at the Country Rock Cafe in Lilburn, GA where he played four nights a week for many, many years. As always, he had a top-notch band including a superb bass player by the name of Larry McDonald, who still plays with Ron to this day.

At one time Ron tried to write down every song he either knew or played but gave up after the list hit 700 songs! While he's best known for belting out those classic Country tunes & Southern Rock, he also has an appreciation for the singer-songwriter stuff. Dylan's one of his all time faves, as is The Band & Neil Diamond.

The list of famous musicians, in addition to the ones I mentioned, who opened for Ron or played shows with him is a long one, as is members of his bands over the years that would go on to play for the likes of Greg Allman & others. There's definitely kind of this "six degrees of Ron Kimble" thing going on. Everybody knows him; everybody respects him. He is truly a Georgia Music Legend. 

Folks, we lost a giant, and we'll all be poorer for it...