Gardner, Ron

Band members                         Related acts

- Doug Booth -- drums, percussion

- Ron Gardner (RIP 1992) -- vocals, keyboards, sax

- David Immer -- keyboards, vibes, percussion, backing


- David Shogren (RIP 2001) -- bass, backing vocals

- Dennis Weaver -- lead guitar





- Anthem

- The Bootmen

- The Breakers

- Chip & Dave (David Immer)

- The Doobie Brothers (David Shogren)

- Elijah

- Jumbo Groove

- Sneaky Sam's Lamb

- The Solitudes

- Sweet Rolle

- The Wailers





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Tiitle:  Ron Gardner

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA-419

Year: 1974

Country/State: Jetmore, Kansas

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: cut lower corner; minor ring wear

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4972

Price: $15.00



The late Ron Gardner's probably best known for his work with The Wailers.  While not one of the original members, as the band's singer/keyboard/sax player Gardner had one of the longest tenures with the group, extending from 1962 (he became a full time member in 1963), through the band's 1969 collapse.


Gardner's first post-Wailers move was to form the short-lived Sweet Rolle with ex-Chip & Dave drummer David Immer and former Wailers Dave Roland and Dennis Weaver.  Sweet Rolle survived long enough to record a 1970 single for the small Lionel label (Squares and Triangles'' b/w 'Little Sister' (Lionel catalog number LN-3204).   


With Sweet Rolle falling apart Gardner, Immer and Weaver decided to continue their collaboration as the clever Ron Gardner Group.  Expanding the line up to include drummer Doug Booth and former Doobie Brothers bassist David Shogren, the group caught the attention of MCA Records.


Produced by Ron Moore, 1974's "Ron Gardner" was one of those sleeper albums that I seem to stumble across once every six months.  Admittedly the first couple of times I played the LP it didn't make much of an impression on me.  Perhaps due the fact the album started with a rather lame country-ish number ('Scramble'), I simply didn't pay much attention to the rest of the set.  Blame it on poor track sequencing by MCA management since nothing else on the album had a country tinge.  Featuring all original selections (a couple co-written by former Wailers Weaver), the rest of the album showcased Gardner's likeable voice and underscored his gift for penning highly commercial material.  Musically the album offered up a nifty mix of conventional pop ('Sails' and 'Topanga Morning') and tougher AOR numbers like 'Heaven' and the should've been a hit 'Caught Up'.  Mind you, this wasn't highly original and a couple of the songs were simply bland and forgettable ('Sails' and 'Waterhole' - the latter saved somewhat by what may have been the year's most cheesy synthesizer), but Gardner and company played with considerable enthusiasm.  Best of the lot was the killer rocker 'Pale Moon' which MCA tapped as a single:


- 1974's 'Pale Moon' b/w ???'' (MCA catalog number MCA-40285)


"Ron Gardner" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Scramble   (Ron Gardner) - 2:47

2.) Heaven   (Ron Gardner - Dennis Weaver) - 3:19  

3.) Sails   (Ron Gardner) - 3:00

4.) Pale Moon   (Ron Gardner) - 3:40

5.) Topanga Morning   (Ron Gardner) - 3:00

(side 2)
1.) Southern Comfort   (Ron Gardner) - 4:23

2.) Waterhole   (Ron Gardner) - 3:51

3.) Caught Up   (Ron Gardner - Dennis Weaver) - 3:52

4.) Dancing   (Ron Gardner) - 2:38

5.) Timeless Eternal   (Ron Gardner - Dennis Weaver) - 2:33


Sadly, Gardner died in an unexplained 1992 fire.


1974 trade ad for "Ron Gardner"




 Group, Sneaky Sam's Lamb, Anthem, Jumbo Groove, Elijah