On the Greatness of Ronnie Dunn

On the Greatness of Ronnie Dunn

Good voices are a dime a dozen. You can go to a smoky Karaoke bar and listen a good singer, hamming it up to “You Lost That Loving Feeling.” You’ll hear somebody that is in tune, knows the lyrics to a song, and has a pleasing tone.

But let’s be clear—there is a difference between a good singer and a GREAT singer.

A good singer sounds ok in a smoky bar. But a GREAT singer sounds wonderful on a recording. The difference is huge. In the live setting, a voice is amplified and blends into the accompanying instruments. But on a recording, the voice is chiseled down to its fundamental parts—it becomes the resin of the hashish. It’s the steak, alone on a plate without the accompanying vegetables and potatoes.

And it must be different. That’s the key word…DIFFERENT.

Take Ronnie Dunn, for example.

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Ronnie Dunn exhibits the difference between a good voice and a GREAT voice.

What’s notable about his voice is how unique it is. Nobody sounds quite like him. Sure, he’s hitting all the correct notes and annunciating all the words. But there is something more—his voice in UNIQUE.

America has not given full credit to Ronnie Dunn, but that’s another story (see the lamestream media’s addiction to everything anti-heritage). But musicians know better. When that great voice is singing, we know we are listening to God-given talent. There is only one Ronnie Dunn.

Let’s take a listen to one to my favorite tracks…”A Man This Lonely”:

See Related Article: On the Greatness of John Fogerty

The Difference Between a 10 pm Voice and a 7 am Voice

The Difference Between a 10 pm Voice and a 7 am Voice

Good singers fall into two camps: those with a 10 pm voice and those with a 7 am voice.

The 10 pm singer is in tune. When the band changes key, he changes with them. He might apply a bit of vibrato to the end of note for effect. And he knows the words to the song well enough. The audience continues to drink, because his voice is not disjointing or alarming. The final conclusion? He can sing.

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The 10 pm singer is good…but not good enough.

The 7 am singer is great…on a recording! On a recording, all the nuances of a person’s voice are captured. If the voice has a glitch, it’s amplified tenfold. A 7 am voice is amazing or it isn’t. It’s legendary or its boring. It gives you goosebumps or it doesn’t. It’s a winner or a loser.

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At 7 am, you will know if a singer is fantastic or not.

We have many examples on this point. Take Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Hunter had great lyrics and a decent voice…but Garcia had a wonderful voice. Take Dean Del Ray and George Strait; Del Ray has a decent voice, but Strait has a special one. These are but two examples. And from these comparisons there comes an important lesson. If you’re a great songwriter, but an average singer, it’s better to let somebody else sing your songs.

The goal is to be GREAT – not average.

See Related Article: The Reason That “Right Back Atcha Babe” Was Not a Hit Song