November 16, 2005 – Milton Lee “Roger” Ridley Jr. also known as “Buh-Buh”, “Ajax” and “Big Man” was born April 30th 1948 and called home from labor to reward on November 16, 2005. Roger was a street performer with a voice that could have made millions, but he decided early on that he was in the “JOY” business when it came to sharing his music and thus, just 6 months before his untimely passing, he became the beaming landmark inspiration for Playing For Change, which has turned into a global force for music education and peace.
This video explains why Roger Ridley is a Legend in my book:
“It has been almost 10 years since Roger’s passing and I still go back to listen to him on the “Stand by me” video from 2007. I guess Roger has sung this one with Ben E King by now and I hate to have missed it.”
In his own words here is his Biography.
Hello, my name is Roger Ridley and I was in the “JOY” business. I was born in Lumpkin, Georgia, a small town near Atlanta. My career started in elementary school when I sang in a school program to get out of English class. I moved to New York City in 1964 and launched my professional career with Maley & The Isles as the lead singer, the first of many times as a singer.
At the age of 26 I married and became a father of three, two girls and one boy. They too are musically talented and sing with much feeling and authority. While I was playing in many clubs around New York City and throughout the tri-state area, the Ridley genius also ran deeply in the house.
I come from a musical family, “all my life I have been surrounded by music: my mother, my sisters and brothers are all singers and my father played the guitar, a little.
My goals were to share my music and songs with the world. “I pray these goals have been accomplished.”
I thank God and appreciate the fact that I have the ability to draw crowds wherever I perform whether it be on the city streets, in the subways, concerts, street fairs or the night clubs.
On March 29, 1997 I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where I performed in a show about street musicians called “Madhattan” produced by Kenneth Feld. After one years of the show running it closed and a close friend of mine introduced me to the 3rd street Promenade in Santa Monica California and all of a sudden I was back to performing in front of millions of people, a diversified audience with one thing in common, good music.
On November 16, 2005 my Lord and Savior called me home and I had to go. I have made my mark and am very satisfied in knowing that my family is keeping my music alive.