RONNIE HAIG

Born Ronald D. Hege, 21 March, 1939, Indianapolis, Indiana

Singer / guitar player Ronnie Haig is best known for his 1958 single "Don't You Hear Me Calling, Baby", which has been included on the ABC-Paramount instalment of the Bear Family series "That'll Flat Git It" (Vol. 13, BCD 15972). Prior to that 45, Ronnie had sung and played with a group called The Five Stars, who had releases on Kernel, Dot, Note and Hunt, some with and some without Haig.

"Don't You Hear Me Calling Baby" was originally recorded (in the Chess studio in Chicago, with jazz man Wes Montgomery on rhythm guitar) for the small Note label from Indianapolis, owned by Jerry and Mel Herman. It caught the attention of ABC-Paramount, who took over the distribution from Note. Though it didn't chart nationally, the record earned Ronnie an appearance on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" and it did well enough locally to warrant a second single, recorded on May 10, 1958, again in the Chess studio. The harvest of this session (a split session with the Students, who laid down "I'm So Young") was the excellent single "Rockin' With Rhythm & Blues"/"Money Is a Thing Of the Past" (Note 10014). This single never made it to ABC-Paramount because of an unfortunate incident. "Don't You Hear Me Calling, Baby" had just started getting airplay on the East Coast when a listener in Boston called in to a local deejay and told him that played at 33-1/3 rpm the end of the record sounded obscene. Instead of checking this at home, the deejay tried it on the air and immediately got a call from the station owner. The result was a ban of the single in Boston because it supposedly contained the "F" word in the final seconds.

In spite of this setback, Ronnie kept on performing and touring with some of the greats like the Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley, Ricky Nelson and Don Gibson. He recorded another rocking Note single (with Jerry Seifert) in July 1958, "Dirty White Bucks And Tight Pegged Pants", coupled with "Never Baby Never" (Note 10018) and again recorded at the Chess studio. His next recording session was in February 1961, resulting in four tracks which remained unissued until the early 1990s. Then Uncle Sam came knocking and on September 21, 1961, Ronnie began a 3-year stint in the US Army. After his discharge, he found out that the music scene had dramatically changed and he signed on with Prudential Insurance as a salesman, retiring from the music business until the mid-1980s. Over the last eight years, he has recorded four CD's with new material, one in the country field ("Branching Out"), one gospel album ("Treasures Of Time") and two rock and roll collections, "Up Close And Personal" and "Still Kickin' Butt" (2002).

For a review of the latter see
http://www.rockabilly.nl/reviews/ronniehaig.htm

My fellow Dutchman Robert Loers has just issued a 25-track CD collection by Ronnie, "Rockin' With the Rhythm And Blues" on his Redita label, which contains all of of Ronnie's 1958-61 recordings (some not sung by him, but with his involvement as a guitarist), mixed with five recent tracks like "Ode To Little Richard". The liner notes were written by another Dutchman, expat Adriaan Sturm (former editor of Rockville International), who has been living in Kentucky for the past 30 years. His notes and the track listing can be found here: http://members.aol.com/Zeeuw2/HaigR.htm

There's also plenty of info on Ronnie on the RABHOF site: http://www.rockabillyhall.com/RonnieHaig.html plus label shots and a short bio at http://www.colorradio.com/Ronnie_Haig.htm

I can recommend the Redita CD. However, especially in the USA, it might be hard to get. On the RABHOF site, Ronnie writes that he has the only 50 copies in the USA. I got my copy from Bert Louwerse in Rotterdam.

Dik

 
These pages were saved from "This Is My Story" for reference usage only. Please note that these pages were not originally published or written by BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. For comments or information please contact Dik de Heer at dik.de.heer@ziggo.nl

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