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Ronnie Hammond 3/2011

Ronnie HammondMarch 14, 2011 – Ronnie Hammond was born on November 10th 1950.

Ronnie became lead singer for the southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1972 after original vocalist Rodney Justo left. The band had a string of hits during the 1970s, including “Doraville,” “Jukin,” “Champagne Jam,” “Imaginary Lover,” “So Into You,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” and a remake of the Classics IV hit “Spooky”.

ARS did not achieve the commercial top success of Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers Band, but was solidly anchored in the second echelon of Southern Rock performers such as The Outlaws, Blackfoot and Molly Hatchett, Marshall Tucker and the Kentucky Haedhunters.

The group had (and still has) a strong following in the South and charted a consistent string of hits. The band also influenced a number of rock and country artists, notably Travis Tritt, who covered the ARS songs “Back Up Against the Wall” and “Homesick”. The group Shudder to Think covered “So Into You”.

Noted Christian Music artist and Southern rocker Mylon LeFevre appeared on “Jesus Hearted People”, from the band’s album Third Annual Pipe Dream. Before they became founding members of Atlanta Rhythm Section, members of LeFevre’s backup band included Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard and Dean Daughtry.

Hammond left ARS in the early 1980s, but even during his years off the road, he continued to write music, with songwriting partner and producer Buddy Buie, who is listed first on almost all of the band’s songwriting credits. Hammond, who was also a carpenter, built houses around Macon, including his own near Lake Tobesofkee.

He returned in 1987, and 1989 ARS released their first album in 8 years ‘Truth in a Structured Form’. He continued to record and tour wit the band until 2001 when Ronnie decided to leave ARS and join the band Voices of Classic Rock, but left the touring business altogether soon afterward to focus on family and songwriting.

Ronnie died from a heart attack at age 60 on March 14, 2011 in Forsyth, Georgia.

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