Ronald K. Rucker is an alumnus of the class of 1968. He is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for his achievements in music, performing arts and gospel ministry.
Ron’s love of music started at an early age at home, church, and then in school. He started high school in Phoenix, AZ, transferring in his freshman year to VR. While in school he was in many activities: Jr. Varsity Cross-Country, Beta Phi Chi, Key Club, College Club, Chorus and Band. He excelled in playing multiple instruments in the band and also sang in the Boys’ Glee Club. Each of these musical groups received the highest rating when they performed in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) competitions. He was also in the area all-state band, all-state and all-county choruses. After HS, Ron studied music theory, composition and Japanese language at SUNYA, then Los Angeles City College, after relocating to California. While still in the area, Ron joined a soul band in the late 60’s and began his professional music career playing locally. Later, he toured throughout North America, finally landing in CA where he worked as a performer, music copyist and a session arranger. In 1977 he travelled to Japan, married and had a family while continuing his music career. In 1986 his original song “Friendship” won the Preferred Song Prize at the Yamaha Song Contest “POPCON”. From 1991-3 Ron appeared on, and wrote songs for, the English Corner of the popular Fuji Television children’s program, “Hello! Ponkkiki”. He has appeared on numerous TV commercials and hosted radio programs in Japan, among them, “Ronnie’s American Oldies”. In 1992 he opened the Vocal Fitness Center and founded Rucker Gospel Ministries, since then producing gospel music workshops and founding numerous choirs throughout Japan. Known as the “Father of Gospel Music” in Japan, Ron also serves as the Chapter Representative for the Japan Gospel Music Workshop of American. Ron has his own “dot.com”, working out of his home studio as a singer-songwriter, performs chapel concerts and gives gospel history lectures at universities throughout Japan. He has published a gospel piano method book and a collection of gospel style hymns and has been quoted in The New York Times for his knowledge on the gospel genre in Japanese culture. Ron has also recorded and released 6 CDs. Ron visits the USA from time to time, coming to his hometown to visit friends and family. He lives outside of Tokyo with his wife Yoko. He has 4 children and 1 grandchild. Ron was nominated by his high school friend, Lynne Beiermeister ’69.
Ron's thank you response was sent from Japan as a singing video you won't want to miss.