Friday Aug 14 2009
Ronny & the Classics work that latter-day rock ’n’ roll
By: Megan Sanders Journal Correspondent
Black & White Ball
On Aug. 29 the Black & White Ball’s Memphis Stage will be rockin’ with music from Ronny & the Classics and Steve Williams. Ronny & the Classics consists of five members. They have an oldies rock ’n’ roll sound and will be on stage in front of the Gold Country Museum. This is not the group’s first time at the Black & White Ball. They played a couple of years ago when the theme was “American Band Stand.” Ron “Ronny” Kakebeen is the lead vocalist for the group and has been playing music since he was 14. He started out with the guitar, moved on to the drums, and then learned bass. Glen “Guitarizan” Stiglic, the lead guitarist, started playing at age 8. He plays the guitar along with the steel guitar and a mandolin. Steve “Stix” Jenkins plays the drums and has extensive knowledge of the instrument. He has attended many workshops and classes on drums and is able to play in multiple genres like jazz, rock, country and even heavy metal. Andy “Slick” Horoway is one of the original members of Ronny & The Classics and is keyboard player. He plays a Roland Phantom S-88 and it has a range of instrumental sounds ranging from the piano to the organ, strings, horn and even creates sound effects. Horoway also sings when they perform songs from the Righteous Brothers, and on songs like “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer.” Ralph Parillo is the band’s newest member. He has been with the group for a couple years and took over as their saxophone player when Freddy Kakebeen retired in 2007. The group has been together for 22 years and this is the first time they have had a new member. All of them have a nickname, which was a really popular thing in bands of the the ’50s and ’60s. “We are a tribute to all the rock ’n’ roll classics,” Kakebeen said. Steve Williams will be appearing with Ronny & The Classics, performing music from Buddy Holly and Elvis. Williams wears an Elvis costume and also has a Buddy Holly outfit. Kakebeen said they have tailored their performance to music from the last great Buddy Holly concert which also featured other music pioneers. “We try to present it with the same energy that they had,” Kakebeen said. He also said that they like to focus more on the specific energy and the theme to the music. Even their outfits are a tribute to the era. Kakebeen said that they wear either sparkly ’50-’60s outfits or Zoot suits. Kakebeen said he likes the response that they get from the audience, and also the different crowds. Laurie Penn, the Black & White Ball’s publicist, had positive things to say about Ronny & the Classics. “They really love what they do and they do it well,” Penn said. She said they dress up in different vintages and at one point in the night Steve Williams will come out as Elvis and will perform in full Elvis attire. During this time Ronny & the Classics will be a backup band for him. She also said Williams will come out later in the show dressed as Buddy Holly, complete with the horn-rimmed glasses. “He really brings these legends to life,” Penn said. She said Ronny & the Classics have performed in a wide variety of venues and have a professionalism about them. “They will be good,” Penn said. Megan Sanders can be reached at megans@goldcountry media.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com. -------------------------------------- Black & white ball background Theme: “Summer Nights: It’s America Anywhere USA.” Tickets: Available for purchase at the Grass Valley Raley’s and Auburn Bel Air locations. They are $70 or $60 with the $10 off coupon from Raley’s/Bel Air. Info: Auburn Chamber of Commerce at (530) 885-5616.