Ronnie Rucker PROFILE
Born in Albany, N.Y., was raised singing in church and school choirs. During his childhood his father operated a record shop where Ronnie was exposed to jazz, blues, soul, and popular music. Influenced by popular music, he began playing drums at the age of 10. Throughout junior high and high school, played brass and woodwind instruments in school bands, joined a soul band in the late 60’s and began his professional music career. Traveled to Japan in 1977 and continued his music career.
In 1986 his original song “Friendship” won the Preferred Song Prize at the 31st Yamaha Song Contest, “POPCON.” From 1991 through 1993 Ron appeared on and wrote songs for the English Corner of the popular FUJI Televison children’s program, “Hello! Ponkkiki.” He has appeared on more than a few television commercials and hosted radio programs, among them “Ronnie’s American Oldies” on FM NACK 5.
In 1992 he opened the Vocal Fitness Center and founded Rucker Gospel Ministries. In 1994 Rucker Gospel Ministries produced the first gospel music workshops ever held in Japan. Ronnie has founded numerous choirs throughout the country. He serves as the Chapter Representative for the Japan Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
He also works as a singer-songwriter and performs chapel concerts in churches throughout Japan. He has published a gospel piano method book “Basic Gospel Piano” as well as a collection of gospelized hymns, “Gospel Piano Vol. 1.”
Bright Lights Choir PROFILE
Bright Lights Gospel Choir has been together as a group for 20 years under the direction of the Father of Gospel Music in Japan, Ronnie Rucker. Currently the group consists of 20 dedicated members. B.L.C. rehearses three times a month at Chofu Minami Christ Church (Pastor Shigeo Maeda) in Chofu City located in Western Tokyo.
Over the twenty year history of the choir there are over 200 singers who have been a part of the group, many of them who have gone on to lead their own choirs and vocal groups both in Japan and overseas. Over the past two decades Bright Lights Choir has appeared on television and radio in Japan and performed numerous concerts in churches as well as secular venues throughout Japan and America.
Bright Lights Choir performed at the Gospel Music Workshop of America National Conventions in Orlando, FL. and Detriot, MI.
In 2000 B.L.C. released it's first CD, “The Spirit Of The Gospel”
In 2006, the second project, “Arise & Shine!” was released.
The purpose of this Countdown Challenge is to raise funds for our third release, “Send Me, I’ll Go!” We’ll record original works composed by our director Ronnie Rucker, as well as from other songwriters including some Negro Spirituals and traditional gospel.
Our production team includes Neeraj Khachanji, famous engineer/producer of J-Pop artists and top flight Tokyo musicians Keith Haines, Zaindre Yarborough, Gregg Lee, and Kenny Mosely. Also guest musician from the United States, world famous New York City organist, Professor Butch Heyward.
Guest vocalists will include Ray Sidney, John Lucas, Schanita Musique and others.