MUSIC NEWS- Macon, GA native Ronnie Hammond, former lead singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, passed away today, Monday at a local Georgia hospital. Hammond, 60, died of a heart attack around 11am, said his brother, Jimmy Hammond. Hammond had a history of respiratory problems, including diabetes and lung problems
ARS, one of the champions of bluesy southern rock had several national hits during the 1970s, including “Doraville,” “Jukin,” “Champagne Jam,” “Imaginary Lover,” “So Into You,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” and a remake of the Classics IV hit “Spooky.” Hammond left the band in the early 1980s to pursue other interests. During his years off the road, Hammond continued to write music, with songwriting partner, producer (and ARS manager) Buddy Buie. Hammond also built houses around the Macon, GA area including his own near Lake Tobesofkee. He rejoined the group in 1989 for TRUTH IN A STRUCTURED FORM album and again in the mid '90s. The group was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
"I know he'd want to be remembered for some of his accomplishments in music," Hammond's older brother, Jimmy Hammond, told the Macon Telegraph nedwspaper. "Ronnie is one of the most gentle, kindest, humble people you could ever run across," Jimmy Hammond told the paper. "That's just the way he was."
Ronnie is survived by his wife, Tracy, and a son, Jesse, brothers Jimmy Hammond of Franklin, TN, and Jerry Martin of Macon; sisters Fay Baker of Valdosta and Angie Myers of Watts, OK, and two grandchildren. Our condolences to his family and close friends.
His funeral will be held on Friday (3/18/11), 1pm at Maynard Baptist Church in Forsyth, GA. The family will greet friends at 11am. The Monroe County Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements. No word yet on any memorial concert.
More on the band @ atlantarhythmsection.com