Ronnie Self was only 18 years old when he was picked to be a part of the
Philip Morris Country Music Show that toured the United States, playing
free concerts and of course, promoting the sponsor's products. Others
that were a part of that tour included Carl Smith, Goldie Hill, Red Sovine,
Gordon Terry and Biff Collie, who was the emcee for the show. Though it
was mainly a country show, Ronnie later became more known for his rockabilly
The Springfield, Missouri native auditioned with ABC-Paramount for a recording
contract and within 24 hours, the label had him signed.
His first release was "Three Hearts
Later" b/w "Pretty Bad Blues". But even before that single was released,
he was invited for a guest appearance on the famed WSM Grand Ole Opry
and got a rousing reception from the audience.
A country music publication noted in 1957 his start in music wasn't without
some pitfalls or bumps in the road. He tried songwriting at the tender
age of seven, but found rhyming and meter a bit too challenging at that time.
His musical interest stayed with him though and at the age of 15, he auditioned
for a radio show, but got told his style was "too weird".
Credits & Sources
- Folk and Country Songs Vol. II NO. 3; May 1957;
American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
- Country & Western Jamboree; January 1957;
Maher Publications; Chicago, IL