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Ronald LaPread
 Ronald LaPread

Bass & vocals
Nickname: "Shaggy Dog"
Born: September 14 (Virgo)


Ronald LaPread was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Prior to joining the Commodores, he played organ in a blues group called The Corvettes. LaPread is a multi-instrumentalist and can play several brass and wind instruments, but didn't pick up the bass until he was approached by Lionel Richie and Thomas McClary in 1969. After three members (Jimmy Johnson, Michael Gilbert and Andre Callaghan) of the original line-up had left, The Commodores desperately needed a bass player. Ronald was asked if he knew one. A good one. The confident LaPread said he was the best there was and landed the job!

Among the songs Ronald wrote are "Look What You've Done To Me", "Gimme My Mule" and "Lovin' You". He co-wrote "Young Girls Are My Weakness" (with William King), "I Feel Sanctified" (with the group and Jeffrey Bowen), "You Don't Know That I Know", "Let's Get Started", "Brick House", "Too Hot Ta Trot" (with the group), "Fancy Dancer", "Zoom", "Say Yeah" (with Lionel Richie), "Sorry To Say" (with Darrell Jones from the Mean Machine) and "Play This Record Twice" (with Kevin Smith). In 1982, Ronald, together with Janice Marie Johnson and Hazel Payne of A Taste of Honey, produced "Midnight Snack", arguably the "Boogie-Oogie-Oogie" girls' funkiest track ever. Ronald also co-wrote the song (with Larry King and Taliaferro Harris) and it was included on A Taste of Honey's "Ladies of The Eighties" LP.

Ronald left The Commodores in 1986 and moved to Auckland, New Zealand because he had found a wife there.


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Maria Granditsky December 1996.
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