RENO, RONNIE (1947-)

The eldest son of Don Reno, Ronnie Reno was born in South Carolina and was playing mandolin in the Reno and Smiley band by the time he was nine years old. He played and sang on some of the many King records the band made in Cincinnati. After Reno and Smiley broke up in 1964, he played with Reno and Harrell for a while and then left in 1968 to play bass for the Osborne Brothers, eventually moving into vocal trio and guitar roles with that ensemble. He later joined Merle Haggard and the Strangers as front man and harmony vocalist, along with Bonnie Owens. After leaving Haggard, he produced a bluegrass show for Stan Hitchcock’s cable TV network and appeared with his two younger siblings as the Reno Brothers before initiating his own group, Reno Tradition, in the late ‘90s. In 2016 he is producing Reno’s Old Time Music Festival on RFD-TV, a mix of live music, interviews, and old film clips. He won the IBMA’s Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2013. He is also marketing DVDs of vintage bluegrass shows.

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