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RondoSTLBlues: Welcome to STLBlues, and thanks for doing our online interview. Let's start with where you were born.

Rondo: I was born in Brockton.Mass

STLBlues: Are you from St. Louis?

Rondo: Since 1950..adopted and raised in a north county town called Robertson.Mo (no longer there,bought out by the airport)

STLBlues: What is your preferred musical instrument?

Rondo: Nothing I like more than any-other as far as listening, as long as its played well..to play, I dabble in harmonica,percussion. My love is vocals.

STLBlues: Who are some of your musical influences?

Rondo: All the older guys. Ray Charles,Muddy Waters,The Wolf, Jimmy Reed...etc. Early Gospel Singers..Sam Cooke..J. Taylor.5 Blind Boys..we would run out of space. Locally..Oliver Sain..Bankhead..There used to be a place out on the corner of Bridgton .Mo called Bolton Oak Groves, one could hear Wolf..Albert..BB..Muddy.and so on..all pre 1964.

STLBlues: Was there music around the house as you were growing up?

Rondo: That is a story all by itself. My Grandmother on my Fathers side was a mezzo-soprano with the Jubilee singers..an opera group who obtained international recognition. Traveling worldwide,they were major contributors in the building and founding of our first african-american college..Fisk University, from which my grandfather graduated. He later became the founder of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pensocola,Fla. My Father, whom I never met, was the leader of a trio, THE JONES BROTHERS, for a career spanning 50 yrs..Singing out of Mass, they were worldwide travelers and recording artists. Did not learn this until approx 5 yrs ago. Always had a thing for performing.. long as I can remember!

STLBlues: Who do you like to listen to?

Rondo: My 2 all time 'masters'? Ray Charles..Muddy Waters... locally I like Bennie Smith..and Oliver Sain.. Johnny Johnson (of course)!

STLBlues: Have you done any recordings?

Rondo: My 1st one was a 33rpm on a 45rpm frame called "Crying In My Heart" recorded 1966 at Oliver Sain's Studio. By ElRondo and The Jades, it is non-existing..(thank god !) Second was "The Soulard Blues Band" 1981 (out of print). Third was "Rondo's Blues Deluxe" LIVE at BB HILL 1987. 4th was "Shackpappys" in 1989. 5th was "Crosseyed Cat" recorded in Holland 1991 still available from Tower Records on the 'Timeless' label.

STLBlues: What is your favorite musical moment?

Rondo: Joe Cocker doing "High With Some Help from my Friends" in the documentry WOODSTOCK. The first to show me how to project ones self from the inside outward.

STLBlues: What is your favorite gig?

Rondo: Anywhere that we sound good.

STLBlues: Describe your musical path

Rondo: A long strange trip?

STLBlues: What are some of your musical goals?

Rondo: Record more! Leave some good stuff.

STLBlues: What do you think of the state of St. Louis Blues?

Rondo: Fairly stagnant..but slowly warming..we are all starting to slip away.

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