Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ronnie Hammond of Atlanta Rhythm Section Has Died

Ronnie Hammond, lead singer with the Atlanta Rhythm Section beginning in 1972, died Monday (March 14) from a heart attack in a Forsyth, Georgia hospital. He was 60. Ronnie had originally joined Studio One in Doraville, Georgia (where ARS was the house band) as an assistant recording engineer. Discovering he had a great singing voice, he was recruited after the departure of original singer Rodney Justo. Joining for the group's second album, he sang on such hits as "So In To You" (#7-1977), "Imaginary Lover" (#7-1978), "Do It Or Die" (#19-1979) and "Spooky (##17-1979). Ronnie left in 1982 for an unsuccessful solo career but returned in 1988, co-writing most of the tunes on their "Truth In A Structured Form" album. The group was on hiatus during the early '90s but returned in 1995. However in 1998, Ronnie was shot in a confrontation with Macon, Georgia police. He survived, but left ARS in 2001 to join the Voices of Classic Rock tour. Shortly thereafter he retired.