Ron Oates' name is a familiar one to anyone who has ever perused a CD insert or read the back of an album cover. His list of friends and artists with whom he's recorded, reads like a page from "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
A 45+ year veteran of the Nashville music industry, his contributions as a session keyboard player, arranger, producer, and writer, are often referred to as "impeccable" by his peers. He has worked with such greats as Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Anita Pointer, Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys, Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell, Lynn Anderson, Vern Gosdin, The Judds, Keith Whitley, Marty Robbins, Bobby Goldsboro, Dottie West, Billy Joe Royal, Linda Davis, Sawyer Brown, Earl Thomas Conley, Marty Raybon, and the list goes on. His credits as a producer include such diverse artists as Engelbert Humperdink, Vern Gosdin, Cristy Lane, Holland Marie Stroud, Doug Supernaw, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Dobie Gray, Anna Owens, Linda Davis and many others. When the new Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum opened May 17, 2001, Ron was honored to be the first recording pianist/arranger to be included in the museum's permanent tribute to studio musicians. One of his famous keyboards as well as some of his hit rhythm arrangements were placed on display there. On July 24, 2002 he was honored once again by recognition in the Congressional Record by US Congressman Bob Clement of Tennessee, and US Congressman David Phelps of Illinois. Ron Oates is... "...one of the major creative forces behind an amazing list of hit records, and millions of record sales".
Ron was born in Washington DC. Following college and a five-year commitment with the United States Navy Band, Ron and his son, Dell, made the move to Nashville in late October, 1969. In early November, 1969, Ron played on his first recording project (which was also his first hit record) with multi-hit singer/songwriter, Bobby Goldsboro. The hit song was "Watching Scotty Grow". From that point on, his music career has spanned from records, to jingles, to motion picture sound tracks, all the while wearing many different hats: Multi-keyboardist, arranger, songwriter, composer and producer.
His talents brought America's famous jingles to life, such as McDonalds, Burger King, RC Cola, 7-UP, Kraft, Miller Beer, Coors, United Airlines, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Ford, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and we cannot forget one of the most memorable jingle series of all time, the famous Burger King "Where's The Beef" commercials.
His film soundtrack credits include "Best Little Whorehouse In Texas", "Nine To Five", the Muppets movie, "Follow That Bird", (which won a Grammy in 1985 for best children's album), "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane", and orchestrating and conducting the main themes from "The Exterminator" and "The Buddy System" (this one entitled, "Here's That Sunny Day", performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips). Most recently , Ron, Linda Davis and Micki Fuhrman co-wrote the main theme song for a new, made-for-TV film entitled "Choices - I Won't Let Go". Ron arranged and produced the song for the soundtrack, and there are several other musical inserts in the film composed by Ron.
Today, a great deal of Ron's time and energy is directed into what he considers his mission... artist development. At any given time, his company, Jes Fine Productions, is involved with helping to design and build the careers of several very talented and focused young artists. Even though record labels have all but ended any interest or funding for artist development, but young artists still desperately need someone to help them find their way through the maze.
Ron has one daughter, Melanie, who lives in Pennsylvania with Ron's three grandsons, Brant, Hayden and Lane.
Ron Oates is indeed one of the most talented and gifted all-around musicians of our time. He truly knows how to bring a song to life, and has been a major part of the formula of success for many careers over the past 45+ years. He is, indeed, one of "...the boys who make the noise on 16th Avenue".