About Ron Miller
“The greatest thing
he taught us
is to rise each time we fall,
the man is called…
and he lives inside us all”Ron Miller
It’s hard to compose a bio about one of the most prolific and significant songwriters of our time without echoing his own words – words that poetically and profoundly encompass the very essence of who he was… Ron Miller, the songwriter, the man.
Ron was born in 1932 in Chicago as Ronald Norman Gould. The oldest and only son of Sue and Harry Gould, he had two younger sisters. Harry died when the children were very young. Their mother later married Joe Miller.
Ron proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps for several years. He was stationed all over the world and fought in the Korean War. He found himself back in Chicago in the early 1960’s where he married his childhood sweetheart, the love of his life, Aurora.
Struggling to make ends meet by selling washing machines and taking odd jobs, Ron continued writing songs as he had throughout his whole life ever since the very first song he wrote at 5 years old.
While performing some of his songs at a piano bar in Chicago, Ron noticed someone tipping $5 for every song. That someone was Berry Gordy. Berry was very impressed with Ron and awed by his songs. He told Ron of a company he started called Motown Records and of all the new artists he was signing who could sing his songs. Berry invited Ron to join Motown Records as its first and only white (and Jewish) songwriter and record producer. Ron couldn’t believe that someone actually wanted to pay him for doing what he loved so much, writing songs. The next morning, Ron packed up the family and everything he owned – Destination: Detroit. He never turned back. With his love for musical theatre combined with the new and young sounds of the artists he worked with, Ron made history with his Motown family, helping to create an American institution and a new sound called the “Motown Sound” – a voice for a new generation which has endured the ages.
Ron’s songs have sold in the hundreds of millions, being recorded by over 400 major label artists. His early hits propelled the careers of artists like Stevie Wonder with songs that include, “For Once In My Life,” “A Place In The Sun,” “Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday,” “Heaven Help Us All” and “Someday at Christmas”. His classic hit, “Touch Me In The Morning,” launched Diana Ross’ solo career in the early 1970’s.
Ron was a down-to-earth guy, loved and respected by his family, friends, colleagues and fans. People remember his unique and distinct low voice and contagious excitement and passion for life, his new songs and his beloved Chicago Cubs.
If you knew Ron personally, you know he did not write this bio. He couldn’t, it wouldn’t be possible. It’s probably the only thing he couldn’t write. Ron could never applaud himself in this way. You would have been more likely to find him putting his big bear paws around you (and your friend), whether you were the president of a record company or a waitress at the local coffee shop, singing you the words to his new song. The one he had just written… in his head. He may have already cut the demo for it, rummaging through his briefcase looking for the CD. With his bushy eyebrows and bigger than life personality, when Ron walked into a room, he took it over. Not because he ever tried, but because his spirit was so full of life, love and heart, people couldn’t help but be drawn to it, enveloped by it, inspired by it, by him… his passion, his love, his intellect, his spirit, his talent, his compassion.