Christmasmy Favorite Holiday
Ron Tyson has been The Temptations' first tenor for the last 23 years. Born February 8, 1948 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was raised in Monroe, North Carolina. Ron was influenced at an early age by gospel music. While singing with his grandfather's gospel group, Southern Gospel Six, he recorded his first record at the age of 7. The grandfather of pop recording duo 'K-Ci and Jo Jo', founding members of the group JODECI, also sang lead with Southern Gospel Six. Ron's grandfather, Horace Presson had a radio show and he was also a gospel music promoter. Ron traveled around performing with his grandfather. This experience enabled him to develop an appreciation for gospel music and taught him a great deal about the music business in general. Ron later returned to Philadelphia and attended Thomas Edison, Onley, and the Granoff School of Music where he studied opera and the guitar. The guitar lessons were short lived, but the techniques he learned in his opera classes are often used in his performances now, such as breathing techniques, scales, & being able to determine a perfect pitch. With his 'smoldering dark brown eyes' and his 'strong chin', he is 'the epitome of quiet cool'. When you are fortunate enough to see him perform live or on video, notice the eyes. They dance and glimmer on the fast tunes and burn straight through your heart on the slow, sexy tracks that the Tempts are so famous for. Before joining the Temptations, Ron was lead singer of The Ethics, with Carl 'Nugie' Enlow, Andrew 'Bike' Collins, & Joe Freeman. The Ethics represented a combination of remarkable vocal blending and versatile natural talents. The group originated during 1967 in Philadelphia and was produced and managed by Thadeus Wales in conjunction with Salassi Productions, Inc. One of so many groups reaching for the 'big time' they were signed to Vent, a small local Independent company. Despite the standard problems so many small labels ran into, the music was good enough to sell very well. With songs like 'Searching', 'Farewell,' & 'Tell Me', these songs carry on that melodic vein and features Ron's ethereal falsetto to great effect. After Vent's demise, they carried on changing the group's name to Love Committee. The line up for Love Committee included Norman Frazier, Larry Richardson, Joe Freeman, & Ron Tyson. Later on, Michael Bell, who also sang with 'Sly, Slick, and Wicked', replaced Larry Richardson. They recorded for TSOP and scored disco hits in the 70's for Ariola International and Gold Mind, popular for the R&B hit 'Law And Order'. In addition to being a great singer/performer, Ron was also a hit making song writer and producer in Philadelphia. He wrote or co-wrote the majority of the songs for The Ethics & Love Committee. He worked with such artists as the O'Jays, First Choice, the Salsoul Orchestra, Gloria Gaynor, Loleatta Holloway, Double Exposure, The Trammps, and Bunny Sigler. He also worked with the Four Tops, Curtis Mayfield, The Dells, Archie Bell and the Drells, Blue Magic and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. On Loleatta Holloway's LP, 'Love Sensation', Ron co-wrote and co-produced 'I'll be standing there' & on Curtis Mayfield's LP, 'Heartbeat', Ron co-produced 'Tell me, Tell me, How ya liked to be loved' & 'Victory'. Ron, along with Norman 'The Machine' Harris, Ron Kersey, Alan Felder. Ronnie Baker and several others worked on alot of projects for 'The Harris Machine' (Norman Harris' production company). They were a very popular songwriting and production team who scored major hits with a variety of artists for several years. They co-wrote and produced The Dells' 'Betcha Never been loved (like this before), 'Teaser', 'Our Love', 'Rich Man Poor Man (peace), 'Waiting for you' & the title track 'They said it couldn't be done (but we did it). On the Ojay's LP 'Survival', Ron co-wrote 'What am I waiting for' in and on The Trammps' LP 'Disco Inferno', he co-wrote 'Starvin'' and 'Don't burn no bridges'. Ron also worked with Harris-Baker-Young, Philadelphia's disco rythm section that consisted of guitarist Norman 'The Machine' Harris, drummer Earl Young, and bass player Ron Baker. During the course of his many collaborations in Philly, Ron proved himself to be a hard worker, very determined, and a talented, sought after writer and producer. Ron also co-wrote and co-produced 'Private Property', 'How can one man be so lucky', & 'Love Connection', from The Dells' LP, 'Love Connection', along with Ed Moore, Allan Felder, and Norman Harris. Ron Tyson's first appearance with the Temptations was on the 'Motown 25' television special in 1983. His entry into the group was delayed for a couple of days because of a bad snowstorm, so easing him into the group slowly never worked out. The call asking the Temptations to perform on Motown 25 came in and Ron had to get to work. He had been working with a choreographer to learn the routines but after receiving the call to perform, he had to go with what he knew. After practicing a few moves (including the famous 'Temptations Walk') while waiting in the wings backstage, a very nervous but excited Tyson went on stage and performed. He hit all the right notes and made all the right moves and has been an integral part of the Motown Legendary Group for over twenty years. Before that, he wrote the majority of songs on The Temptations' 'HEAR to Tempt You' LP 1977, including the two singles, 'In A Lifetime' and 'Think For Yourself.' Ron co-wrote songs and sang background on both Norman Harris produced Eddie Kendricks' albums, 'He's A Friend' and 'Goin' Up In Smoke.' Tyson comes alive on stage . . .and his fine tenor voice is capable of a 'shimmering' falsetto. Before he became a member of the group, Ron was a big Temptations fan and patterned his style after the late great Eddie Kendricks, his idol. Becoming the 13th member of this legendary Motown group and taking the place of Eddie was one of the greatest things that ever happened for him. He does an excellent job handling the vocals once performed by Eddie Kendricks, but does he feel the pressure of being compared to the legendary tenor? 'No, I don't think so,' he replied'. Eddie was one in a million. He was my idol. I just try to keep the sound.' Ron is the fourth replacement for Eddie Kendricks after he left the group in 1971. Before Tyson, there was Rickey Owens, Damon Harris, and Glenn Leonard. Tyson has seen the group through some lean years, and at last his perseverance and hard work is paying off. 'Our time has finally come around,' he said. 'Great things are happening. In addition to his work as a member of The Legendary Temptations, Tyson has found the time to write and record his CD entitled, 'Christmas...My Favorite Holiday.' The CD is a feast of music that spans the history of Christmas carols from it's beginnings to the present day and a joyful delight and addition to the christmas season.. Twenty two years later, Ron Tyson is still counting his blessings and very thankful to be a part of this wonderful and legendary group. Ron's brother, David Tyson, sings tenor with the legendary group, 'The Manhattans'.