Ronald Eugene (Gene) Ralph, aka Eldorado Gene, is a Songwriter/Balladeer. His works, along with many other LOC registered works, include Beauty in the Feast, Star, Soulsong, Give Something Back, Zadalla's Odyssey, Trinity River, and Rivers of Gold. In 1965, he sang with Eddy Albert in a recording of Rock Island Line. "Music has been an intrinsic part of my being since I can recall anything. in diapers almost, i remember reaching up to grandma Ralph's piano and hammering out a primitive tune. When I was thirteen, my dad's old Kay guitar gathering dust in our Mt. Vernon home summoned me. my first memories involve the creation of infectious melodies I couldn't get out of my head. It's been my lifetime musical philosophy that once you initiate a potentially good song, you have to finish it. I have written and compiled a catalog of approximately 70 songs and many more 'in progress' musical concepts which may yet live to see the light of day.
Active member of the Influence Music Hall musician's guild located in Hillsboro, Oregon. You can usually find me at our Friday night open mics recording, running sound, MCing, performing, or just kicking back enjoying free live music in the community artspace created by our musician's co-op.
Never quit trying, Life's a Book
Some of my first memories are of tickling the ivories on Grandma Ralph's piano in the small town of Eldorado, Illinois where I was born. Later lessons on other keyboard instruments convinced me to try my luck with the guitar instead. I learned some classical music singing latin masses in the church choir. A slight chronological leap landed me in high school acapella choir. While in high school, a couple of buddies and I formed a folk music trio called THE NOMADS. In 1965, I realized my claim to fame. that was getting to sing with KENNY RODGERS & THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS at the Springfield, Illinois state fair. After high school, I joined the U.S.N. While in boot camp, They inexplicably let me sing in the Blue Jacket Choir. i had written a few songs by now, but mostly, was just stockpiling unfinished musical concepts. it wasn't until much later that my perspective towards songwriting changed. now, i've come to understand how the songs we create can be like a living will, testimonials to the life we have lived or wished we had lived. whether expressing affection for other people or offering up our lifeview, if your muse and your favorite way of communcating is through music, then one should embrace it. "song is the breath of the spirit which consecrates the act of life" anonymous author. Oftimes, a person's musical and literary contributions become their legacy. If you're lucky enough to have written a song others sing after you're gone, you did something pretty special.
I've written many a song sitting around a crackling campfire waiting for daybreak when I could resume my search for wild gold. Eddie Albert, who I once had the distinct honor to record 'Rock Island Line" with, was a hobby prospector himself. Mining became my vocation for 18 years. Mornings, evenings, midnight...it didn't matter. Whenever the muse visited, I might churn out a song. It seemed only fair to my creations that I try to introduce the world to the songs worth finishing. "never quit trying", i say, and keep making beauty if you have it in you. For two decades, my audience was the stars, the moon, the forest, the rippling waters, and The Great Spirit. Nature loves art. With the final strums of your guitar echoing through the forest, it's easy to find assurance in nature. These recordings are mostly raw, but i hope they manage to convey the essence of my humble compositions.