Monday, May 7, 2018

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Ronnie McDowell

Getting back on track this week. I've been working hard to line up some great interviews. With the husband home, my time is limited... and I need to devote that time to the paying gig.

So here we go!

This week, I was privileged to interview Ronnie McDowell. I've had the chance to talk with Ronnie in person. Our last interview was in 1997 when he did a show for the Peoria Elks Lodge #20. The show marked the twenty-year anniversary for Ronnie performing for them. Their entire program was dedicated to him.

In the opening letter from the Elks President, Steven L. Harken, a paragraph reads:

We are proud to help Ronnie celebrate his 20th year in show business. Over the years, Ronnie has done many things to help fraternal organizations, like ours, to raise the necessary monies needed to continue our good works. With a friend like Ronnie helping us, how can we go wrong?

Twenty years later, marking his 40th year in the business, Ronnie McDowell still makes doing for others a priority.

Let's find out a bit more about Ronnie McDowell:

Thank you, Ronnie for taking the time to visit with us in KellysCountry.
~ Country Blessings!

When I interviewed you in 1989, you were working on the American Music video. In the opening of that video, you said that as a kid you had two loves – music and cartoons – and wanted to put the two together. You’ve also done sculpting. Now, you’ve added painting to that repertoire. What is the common thread for you that binds these mediums together?
Because I feel it's the right side of the brain which is the arts and entertainment and it's all connected.

You once said “I would rather have the people behind me than the industry. I’d like to have them both but if I can’t have them both then I’d rather have the peopleI’m having a good time.”  Do you think your independent spirit and needing to have control plays a part in that?
That's exactly right and 30 years later I still feel the same.

Is ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ still your favorite song?
That is one of my favorites...Star Dust is another...I have many favorite songs.

I want to step back to your early days, before music. Do you remember the first billboard you created?
Yes I was my pre Vietnam days in high school...I painted a sign for a boot company in Portland Tennessee.

You’ve been at this business in multi-facets for a long time. You’ve seen a lot of changes to the industry. What is the one golden piece of advice you’d give to a younger you just starting out?
That there is no secret have to be in the right place at the right time...and when you are you have to have the talent to back it up.

You are a multi-talented artist, love life, live healthy and seem happy with who you are. What is one thing most of your fans do not know about you?
That I'm roller blading at 68

Like a writer, you do a lot of research for your paintings. What has been the most difficult for you to research so far?
The new one That Magic Moment...just coming up with new ideas.

You have a new project coming out, Ronnie McDowell Painting America. Great project. Regarding the Tupelo Hardware piece, you said you set it up the way Norman Rockwell did his paintings. I think your transition is very similar. Is there something about Rockwell’s art form that speaks to you?
Yes because he was a realist and painted life the way it is and that's what I try to accomplish.

Your first notable big break came with your tribute to Elvis – The King Is Gone. To me, the song has a lot of the nuances of “My Way”, one of Elvis’ favorite covers. While that opened a lot of doors for you, you’ve followed your own path, doing things ‘your way’ for the past forty- plus years. What’s next for Ronnie McDowell?
I'm still writing songs...still being creative and staying healthy...still being aggressive and never giving up.

Ronnie McDowell paintings are truly Norman Rockwell quality in composition and realism. His painting of Reflections of a King is his most popular piece. His painting of George Jones getting a DUI while riding his lawn mower hangs in the George Jones museum - downtown Nashville TN.
You can view images of those and more of his paintings HERE as well as his Facebook Page specifically for his art HERE

Earlier this year, Ronnie talked with WREG News Channel 3 about his paintings:

To find out more about Ronnie McDowell, purchase his music and track his tour dates, check out his WEBSITE  
You will also find Ronnie on various social media sites:  TWITTER      FACEBOOK

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