Ron Hall Interviews

Bishop Ron Hall played a significant role in the formative years of several Detroit, Michigan steel guitarists and contributed to establishing the presence of the steel guitar at the House of God, Keith Dominion annual General Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee.  His parents migrated from Douglas, Georgia to Detroit in the late 1930s, where his father found employment at Ford Motor Company.   They were members of the Church of the Living God, Jewell Dominion, but in 1953, left to join the House of God, Keith Dominion when Ron was ten years old. The Hall family lived four doors down from Felton Williams, who became young Ron’s musical mentor he fondly remembers as “Uncle Felton.”   Bishop Lorenzo Harrison impressed teenage Ron with the clear, singing tone his Fender steel guitar.  Unable to persuade his father to buy him a Fender, using a few hand tools, Ron fashioned his own eight-string lap-steel that he played in church for almost a decade.  In 1995, he lost both his legs in a terrible automobile accident, a life-changing event that ultimately served to strengthen his faith in God.  Bishop Hall left the House of God to serve as pastor of an independent Pentecostal church in Ecorse, Michigan, the Mount Carmel Full Gospel Assembly.

– Robert Stone

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Interviewee: Ron Hall
Interviewer: Robert Stone
Date: 9/1/2003
Language: English

For the archive overview:
The Robert Stone Sacred Steel Archive

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.

Ron Hall Interview Transcripts:

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.