MAKING music has always been a large part of Ron Ellis’s life – and now the Geelong senior has put his years of memories into a book, My Story, My Song and My City.
The lovely book, “written by a senior citizen for senior citizens” as Ron says, also covers the years he and his wife Hazel entertained together before her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
“The fondest music-making memories I have are of the years I spent performing with my wife Hazel,” Ron writes.
“For more than 20 years we sang our way around Geelong at a time when it felt more like a big country town than the bustling city it has become.
“Our career left us a legacy of treasured memories.”
Those memories include spending his hard-earned paper round money on Johnny O’Keefe records... Ron’s dad protested that JO’K couldn’t sing!
In the early years, Ron played with his brother Ian. Known as The Ellis Brothers, their big break came when they performed at a rally in Melbourne Town Hall. “It was a watershed experience,” he writes. “Our diary was soon filled with weekend appointments to play around Melbourne and in several Victorian regional centres, including Geelong.”
Long-time Geelong residents will no doubt remember Ron and Hazel’s song Carn’ the Cats. which became a hit with Geelong Football Club fans aged nine to 90. If you can’t remember the words, you’ll find them in the book.
The duo’s career flourished over 30 years until Hazel’s diagnosis.
As well as being an account of Ron and Hazel’s musical journey, the book is an account of the Geelong entertainment scene from the 1970s onwards.
- My Story, My Song, My City by Ron Ellis, $25 from Books Around, James Street, Geelong, or from Ron: PO Box 191, Belmont 3216; firstname.lastname@example.org; (03) 5244-0758 (leave message and phone number) plus $6 postage.