Ronnie Reno announces retirement after 2019

Longtime bluegrass and country music icon, Ronnie Reno, has announced that he will retire from the business after this year is over.

Over a six decade career that started when he was 7 years old, Ronnie stood alongside some of the biggest stars our music has produced, starting with his father, the incomparable Don Reno with Red Smiley, and then as a young man with Merle Haggard & The Strangers. In 1978, while touring with Haggard, Conway Twitty recorded a song Ronnie had written, Boogie Grass Band, which went to #2 on the country chart and #1 in Canada.

In between working with his dad and joining up with the Hag, Reno also spent time with The Osborne Brothers.

He has toured and recorded as both a bluegrass and a country artist under his own name, and has had a long and successful career as a songwriter and producer in Nashville. Ronnie switched to the television business when cable was on its rise in the early ’90s, and his program Reno’s Old Time Music Festival aired for many years. Its successor, Reno’s Old Time Music, still airs on the RFD Network.

Ronnie says that he wants to enjoy the rest of his life at a slower pace.

“It’s been a great run! I’ve been truly blessed to get to travel around the world and make a living playing the music I love! I wouldn’t change one minute of it…but the road just doesn’t call me like it used to.  

At this point in my life, my wife, Debby, and I are blessed to be active and healthy. So, we just want to take time to enjoy life, love on our grandchildren and do the things we’ve never had a chance to do. It’s a bittersweet moment for this ole’ road dog. I’m excited about the next chapter of my life, but I would be pleased if Reno’s Old Time Music plays forever.”

Even after retirement, don’t be surprised to see Ronnie out at some of the major events like IBMA and SPBGMA. After 60 years, it’s tough to completely say goodbye.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.