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Onwards and upwards and, after a few years, into the clubs. Taking the band into the world famous, but now long gone, Brant Inn in Burlington, they played alternate weekends to the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

This was 1966 and by this time 'car' names for bands were disappearing, so Ron & Company performed under various new names like "The Syndicate Five", well known in Hamilton, Ontario at the time for their dance party TV shows; "Ron Russell And The Nite Caps", playing under the bill of jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Bill Evans, and Bobby Hackett at the Town Tavern in Toronto. Under the management of "Ronnie Hawkins Enterprises", Ron's songwriting came into play and he became affiliated with Hawk Records of Canada.

After various house band gigs, the band ventured out on the road playing "the 401 circuit" and in 1978 had a local hit in Burlington with a self-written song called "The Palm Of Your Hand", a song that fit into the "graffiti" resurgence at that time which was the alternative to "disco". In 1980, Ron Russell recorded "Angel Of The Night", an original country ballad that received some airplay on local country stations.

In 1981, Ron decided it was time to bring back the name 'Corvair' into the band and to expand the repetoire to include more Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, early Elvis Presley, and Bobby Darin. More tunes of the fifties and sixties were added. One hit wonders like "This Time" by Troy Shondell and country classics like "There Stands The Glass" by Webb Pierce. This extensive song list was introduced in pubs all over Ontario from London and St. Thomas, to Port Elgin and Southampton, and east to Oshawa and Kingston.

Ron, who is an avid songwriter and SOCAN member for many years, has penned over 75 songs and currently has some of them in the hands of major publishers awaiting reply. Two of his CDs are available independently, featuring TEN original songs.

Ronnie And The Corvairs continue to be a serious group of musicians on the Ontario scene and have been for a long time. Sam Carothers, bassist with Ronnie And The Corvairs, hails from Charlotte, North Carolina and plays both double bass and bass guitar on stage. He was a member of Ronnie Hawkins' "Hawks" in his big Toronto days. Michael Turnpenny is the resident drummer for the band and, like Sam, was with Ronnie Hawkins except Mike was with him for almost 18 years. Other musicians that work with the band from time to time are Jim Legere on guitar, bass and vocals; Gavin Crothers on drums and occasionally Sonny Milne and George Baumann, both drummers. For larger venues, the Ronnie Russell Band also includes Michael Keys "on the keys", and Russ Strathdee on tenor sax.

Many a talented performer has worked his way through the band; Bill Speer, keyboardist on Anne Murray's first album; jazz legend Joe Williams has sung with the band; Eugene Smith has worked with the band as has Scott Cushnie (Professor Piano). Many stars over the years have seen the band at one venue or another - Murray McLaughlin, Stompin' Tom Connors, James Brown's Famous Flames, and some of the members of the New Riders Of The Purple Sage and not to mention John Allan Cameron and Paul James.

The Ronnie Russell Band has had many guest stars. In the past year alone the list of guests has included names such as George Olliver, Jon Finley (of the Checkmates), Paul James and Danny B.....

On any given night, you will rarely hear a song repeated, and the current roster of material is never less than 125 songs. "Ronnie And The Corvairs" is basically a trio, but is also available as a four or five piece band. For smaller venues, the band is available as a duo and Ron performs as a single for certain intimate situations such as campfire, garden, beach, or house party. Send us an e-mail for more information, and if you see the band at some venue....

Drop by and say "Hello"!.
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