Fame is a fickle thing. Achieving fame is even more fickle. Soul, maybe more than any other music genre, is littered with artists who were serious contenders in the fame game. Contenders who could’ve made it had it not been for poor choices, bad business decisions, rip offs, crooked managers, avaricious studio bosses and unfortunate incidents . One such artist is Philadelphian RON AIKENS.

Ron began his music career in a group called United Image who won a contract with Stax/Volt. However just as their ‘Love’s Creeping Up On Me’ single was taking off Ron was arrested for reasons he still doesn’t fully understand  nor wish to talk about. Ron spent  much of the 70s behind bars  – mainly at the Graterford penitentiary in Pennsylvania. In the jail he joined  another vocal group, ‘Power Of Attorney’ who actually won a contract with Polydor and in 1974 they released an album with the apt title ‘From the Inside’! The prison authorities  even let the band go on brief tours – fully escorted of course.

On release Ron wanted more of the same but as we’ve said bad business dealings ultimately left him hapless and hopeless. Dejected, Ron took up a job as janitor at the Philadelphia City Hall and moved on with his life.

Some ten years ago, though, he began performing again… as a busker! He belted out old soul songs on street corners  and at the end of the day always had a few dollars in his bucket. Then fickle fate stepped in again. Max Ochester, owner of a local record store, Brewerytown Beats, sought out Ron. He had the Power Of Attorney album and someone told him that one of the group was busking in Philly! With Ron’s permission, Max’s label released two remastered 1972 Power Of Attorney recordings (‘Changing Man’ b/w ‘I’m Just Your Clown’…songs that were actually cut before Ron joined the group).

Max also believed in Ron’s talent and took him into the studio  where he worked with a band called The Hip Tones. The result was a 2023 eponymous album that proved that 74 year old Ron still had a magnificent old school soul voice. After something like 40 years, the album  got Ron’s name out there again and pleased with the results, Ron and Brewerytown are promoting two  new tracks . They are the sombre, moody, soulful ‘Tears On My Chin’ and the crisper, beatier ‘People’. Both show that Ron is indeed a contender! Both songs touch upon Ron’s troubled past head-on and express in song how he’s been feeling all these years. Ron  is taking one more swing at a dream that goes back nearly three-quarters of a century. “I’m here. I’m breathing,” he says, “I ain’t gone yet. If I’m gonna breathe, I need to sing!”

Learn more @