Ron Levy -- composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist -- began his career at age 18 touring with blues legend Albert King. He soon went on to tour for seven years with the “King of the Blues” Mr. B. B. King, recording 12 albums including the classic Grammy Award-winning “Live at Cook County Jail.” Levy also appeared in the Oscar-winning film “When We Were Kings” and the subsequent HBO special, “B.B. King, Live in Africa” as well as 'The Ed Sullivan Show", Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion, Don Cornelius' Soul Train, Sanford & Son, etc, etc shows of the 70's. Nostalgia sure ain't what it used to be!
During the 1980s Ron toured and recorded with Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson and Roomful of Blues. He was also the pianist/organist, arranger and associate producer for Hammond Scott's fabled Black Top Records of New Orleans. Ron appeared on numerous critically praised blues recordings of that period, including those of his own Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom band, featuring members of Roomful of Blues, The Neville Brothers and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Several of their efforts with Earl King were nominated for Grammy awards.
Learning his studio lessons well, Levy as producer and A&R man, then co-founded Rounder's Bullseye Blues label, garnering 9 Grammy nominations, several WC Handy “Album of the Year” awards and Living Blues Magazine's 1994 “Producer of the Year” award. With Bullseye, Levy collaborated with multi-genre artists such as Charles Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Lowell Fulson, Champion Jack Dupree, Willie Mitchell, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, ReBirth Brass Band, George Porter, The Persuasions, The Wild Magnolias w/ Dr. John & Willie Tee, Larry Davis, Jimmy McCracklin, Smokin' Joe Kubek and many others.
He later co-founded the short-lived but critically acclaimed Cannonball Blues & Jazz label, producing/recording Charles Earland, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad w/ Joe Lovano, George Coleman & Gary Bartz, Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers, Reuben Wilson, Johnny Bassett, Alberta Adams and others. On these labels, Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom’s seminal explosive grooves can be heard on three highly acclaimed CDs, including ‘Zim Zam Zoom’ (**** Downbeat), ‘B-3 Blues & Grooves’ ( **** ½ All Music Guide) and ‘GreaZe is What’s Good’ (**** Jazziz).
Levy resumed his cross-country touring and performing in 2000, with Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom, recording a 'live' CD on his newly formed Levtron.com label with his high-energy organ trio in Boulder, CO. He also wrote and recorded several original songs on Karl Denson's “Dance Lesson #2” on Blue Note records, along with Chris Wood of MMW, DJ Logic, Charlie Hunter, Melvin Sparks, Zak Najor and Leon Spencer Jr. Levy's original “Like, Like Dope” reached #1 on the CMJ report. Levy also toured in Brazil with his Brazilian Wild Kingdom and produced Fernando Noronha & Black Soul's “Blues from Hell,” album which won the 2002 Brazilian Grammy award in the Blues-Rock category.
More recently, Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom Levtron.com CD “Finding My Way” was cited as the "#1 Soul-Jazz CD of 2003.” It, along with its newly released follow-up “After Midnight Grooves” [summer 2004], features all-new Levy compositions performed by long-time musical associates and friends Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks and Russ Lawton. P-Vine records of Japan has currently released “Organ Colossus, The Very Best of Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom” anthology of the last three RLWK Levtron.com albums.
Levy's focus on composing/publishing/licensing has currently earned him numerous BMI performance credits on HBO's “Sex And The City” and “The Wire,” CBS's “JAG” and “NFL Today,” ABC's “World News This Morning,” “Nothing Sacred” and “Good Morning America,” Fox's “NFL on Fox” and “NFL Sunday,” along with the films, “Cop Land,” “Keys To Tulsa,” “Six Ways To Sunday,” “Johnny Skidmarks” and “Meeting Daddy.”
A Boston native, Levy resides on Boston's North Shore and is currently wrapping up his latest RLWK recording project “VooDoo Boogaloo” [w/Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks, Russ Lawton, Jerry Portnoy and “Sax” Gordon] set for Fall-Winter 2004 release. A 12-song anthology entitled “Best of RLWK - B-3 Organic Grooves” is also due for release in September of 2004.
Stay tuned and G-d willing, much more to come!
"Words are the pen of the heart, but melody is the pen
of the soul,"
Rav Schneur Zalman
- 2001 - Records first 'live' album while on USA tour. Karl Denson's 'Dance Lesson #2' on Blue Note hits #1 on CMJ with 2 RL penned tunes. 3 week Brasilian tour. Special trio dates with Fuzz & Eric Kalb of DBB in the Fall. Bar Mitzvah of son AJ Levy November 17th!
- 2001 - SOLD OUT superstar jam featuring Ron Levy n Fender Rhodes, Melvin Sparks on Guitar, Clyde Stubblefield on Drums and Leon Spencer on Organ. Subterranean, Chicago, IL.
- 2000 - First RL Brasilian trip, produces Fernando Noronha & Black Soul and wins the 'Acorianos Award' for best Brasilian blues album.
- 2000 - Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom on tour performing over 200+ dates per year across the USA.
- 2000 - SOLD OUT Halloween Bash with Carlos Washington on trumpet. Elbo Room, Chicago, IL.
- 2000 - STANDING ROOM ONLY at all Goodlife Downtown appearances. Boston, MA.
- 1999 – Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom on tour...first time ever!
- 1999 – 4 new releases due out, as of September 1998 (various labels) Alberta Adams, Big Dave & the Ultrasonics, Hash Texas Blues Revue and Charles Earland
- 1998 – Elected to Board of Directors of The Blues Foundation, Memphis, TN (Record Label & Publishing relations and representation)
- 1998 – Runner-up for “Keyboards of the Year” Living Blues Critics & Popular Poll
- 1998 – Release of GreaZe is What’s Good on Cannonball Records. "****" -Jazziz
- 1997 – 1998 [23 albums released with RL material, various labels]
- 1997 – Co-founder, producer and A&R representative for Cannonball Records [18 releases]
- 1996 – Bullseye Blue’s Lowell Fulson, Charles Brown & Roomful of Blues nominated in Grammy Traditional Blues category
- 1996 – Release of Zim Zam Zoom on Bullseye Blues & Jazz. "****" -Downbeat
- 1995 – Records GreaZe is What’s Good w/ Freddie Hubbard, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad Steve Turre and others
- 1994 – gets with Richard Rosenblatt of Tone-Cool Records doing production, arranging, A&R, keyboards & etc.
- 1993 – Release of B-3 Blues & Grooves on Bullseye Blues and Jazz. "****1/2" -All Music Guide
- 1990-1997 – Co-founder, producer and A&R representative for Rounder Record's Bullseye Blues & Jazz label. 93+ releases, full catalog distributed by Mercury Records .
- 1988 - November 18th, son A.J. Levy is born
- 1987 – 1997 – Production, session musician, arranger, A&R, etc. Rounder Records
- 1987 – Creates Levtron Productions & Levtronic Music BMI
- 1987 – Releases Safari To New Orleans on Black Top
- 1985 – 1st Wild Kingdom album on Black Top w/ Fabulous T-Birds & Roomful cats
- 1984-87 – Signs with New Orleans' Black Top Records, releases 2 solo albums and contributes to 18 sessions. (Keys, arranging, A&R, associate producer)
- 1983-87 – Pianist / Organist with Roomful of Blues
- 1980 – Rounder & Varrick session work (Scott Billington, Producer) w/ J.B. Hutto, Luther Johnson, Sleepy LaBeef, Holmes Brothers, Duke Robillard, Irma Thomas & others
- 1980 – 1983 – Organist & road manager with Luther “Guitar Jr.“ Johnson & the Magic Rockers
- 1976-1980- Pianist for Rhythm Rockers (Johnny Nicholas, Ronnie Earl, Sarah Brown, Kaz Kazanoff, & Big Walter Horton) @ The Speakeasy, Cambridge, MA “house band”
- 1969-76 – Pianist for B.B.King aka “Sonny Freeman and the Un-usuals” [13 albums]
- 1968-69 – Organist for Albert King
- 1966-69 – backed up Chuck Berry, Freddie King, Bo Diddley, Big Mama Thorton, Big Joe Turner, Otis Spann, John Lee Hooker and others
- 1966 – 1st time hearing Aretha Franklin’s I Never Loved A Man- Big O dies, same day
- 1965 – saw: Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King, Bobby Bland, Buddy & Jr, Otis Spann, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, George Benson & Lonnie Smith,Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes, Don Patterson, Jimmy McGriff (w/ Melvin Sparks & Charles Earland (on sax!), The Chambers Brothers, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, James Brown, James Cotton & Long Gone Miles, John Lee Hooker and others
- 1964 – saw Ray Charles 1st concert on my own started piano next day
- 1964 – Bar Mitzvah
- 1959 – started clarinet, alto & Baritone sax in High-School (never could play)
- 1951 – May 29th, born in Cambridge, MA
- 9 Grammy nominations: Charles Brown (3), Earl King (2), Lowell Fulson (1), Roomful of Blues (2), The Persuasions (1)
- Best Pianist runner-up 1998 Living Blues Critics & Popular poll [w/ Pinetop Perkins, Charles Brown, Detroit Jr. & Eddie Floyd] Unbelievable!
- Producer of the Year 1994 Living Blues Magazine
- NAAIRD 1st Place: Larry Davis, Otis Clay (2), Anne Peebles
- W.C. Handy (winners): Album of the Year Lowell Fulson, Charles Brown, Champion Jack Dupree & Larry Davis
- W.C. Handy (nominated): James Harman, Smokey Wilson, Johnny Bassett & 33 others
- 150+ songs recorded & published with Levtron Music, BMI included in movies and network & cable television “Copland”, “ABC World News Tonight” , “ABC Wild World of Sports”,“60 Minutes”, “NBA on NBC”, “ABC Christmas Special”, “Big Easy” series on USA,“NFL on FOX”, “CBS NFL Report”, “Sex in the City” and others.
Some of the albums Ron has contrbuted to: BB King (1971) Live at Cook County Jail Piano BB King (1972) Guess Who Piano BB King (1975) Lucille Talks Back Piano Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (1985) Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom Organ, Piano, Vocals Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (1988) Safari to New Orleans Organ, Piano, Vocals Ronnie Earl (1988) Soul Searchin Organ, Piano Rebirth Brass Band (1989) Feel Like Funkin It Up Producer George Porter Jr (1990) Runnin Partner Producer, Organ Charles Brown (1990) All My Life Producer, Organ Rebirth Brass Band (1991) Rebirth: Kickin It Live Producer Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (1992) B-3 Blues and Grooves Producer, Piano, Organ Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (1996) Zim Zam Zoom Organ, Producer Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers (1997) Groovin' High Producer Charles Earland (1998) Jazz Organ Summit Producer, Editing Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (1998) GreaZe Is What's Good Producer, Organ, El. Piano Charles Earland (1999) Live Producer Karl Denson's Tiny Universe (2001) Dance Lesson #2 Organ, Electric Piano Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom (2001) Live at the Mtn. Sun Organ, Electric Piano
Skills through experience
- pianist [acoustic, Fender & Wurlitzer electrics]
- Hammond B-3 organist
- Song writer [lyrics / music]
- Arranger [rhythm & horns, songs]
- Band leader / accompanist
- Road Manager & bookings
- Associate producer
- Executive producer
- Art department (concepts & management) director
- Web-site designs & concepts
- Artist / label relations, promotion and career building consultation
- Contract negotiations [artist / label, P&D, licensing, songwriters, publishing, distribution]
- Artist discovery and development [musically & professionally]
- Song repertoire for artists
- Radio & Media relations
- Marketing direction & promotions
- Hard worker & problem solver
Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bernard Allison, Tutu Jones, Shawn Pittman, Johnnie Bassett, Little Jimmy King, Michelle Willson, Sax Gordon, Byther Smith, Blues Across America series, Tommy Castro, Susan Tedeschi, Monster Mike Welch, Smokey Wilson, Pat Boyack, ReBirth Brass band, Jr. Boy Jones, Preston Shannon, Henry Qualls, Big Al Dupree, Big John Dickerson and others.
Charles Brown, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Barbara Lynn, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Larry Davis, Champion Jack Dupree, James ‘Thunderbird’ Davis, Nappy Brown, Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, Charles Earland, Idris Muhammad, Melvin Sparks, Reuben Wilson, Memphis Horns, Eddie Hinton, Booker T. Laury, ‘Whistlin’ Alex Moore, Bo Dollis & Mardi Gras Indian gangs, Johnnie ‘Hammond ’ Smith, Lonnie Smith, Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers, Willie Mitchell, and others
Email us @ Ron Levy / Levtron Productions
1337 Mass. Ave. #152
Arlington MA 02476
Fax - 339-707-6071