(Lake Tahoe DJ)
BK. Who, were some of your influences and who do you
listen to when you’re at home?
RD. I like a wide variety of music. On what’s current,
I’m a big fan of She and Him, Norah Jones, Ingrid
Michaelson, Michael Buble, Martina McBride, Train,
Miranda Lambert, Jewel, Francesca Battistelli, Taylor
Swift, and Paul McCartney.
Thanks to my parents and sister’s collection when I was a
young. I was exposed to Elvis, Glen Campbell, Herb
Alpert, The Beach Boys, Barbara Streisand, The Beatles,
The Eagles, John Fogerty, John Denver, Neil Sedaka,
Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison,
and The Everly Brothers. I’ve always been a big fan of
Debbie Gibson. She was the inspiration for my song
Deborah Ann. We’ve met twice, she’s a sweetheart, and a
beacon of positivity! I also never missed on Saturday
night’s, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters. This
was a great variety show, many of their guests were some
of my favorites.
My Uncle Sonny Chase who lives in Bakersfield, Calif.
introduced me to country music. We are talking Merle
Haggard, Buck Owens. Aunt Millie my dad’s sister, had a
bunch of Elvis Presley and Anne Murray records, sitting
around the house. Elvis, was the first to get my attention.
Becoming a singer had not entered my mind yet.
Let’s not forget my all- time favorite female singer Olivia
Newton- John. I was so smitten by her that I wrote a
poem I Heard A Lady Sing after I saw her in concert. I
showed the poem to my best friend Tom Brault. He
played with the lyrics, and set music to it. This is how my
music career began. I would swear that I was going to
marry her someday, I was not alone! Lol. It was quite a
nice tune, for some strange reason I never performed it
live. Fast forward to Aug. 8 th 2022, I heard the sad news
that she had passed away. I couldn’t find the lyrics to the
song. I sat down at the piano, tried to remember them the
best I could. I wound up revising them, and included her
passing. It turned out very nice. It was emotional for me
to say the least. I mentioned the song to Brain “Nucci”
Cantrell a great guy and wonderful drummer. He said
“Hey, let’s record it, Olivia, has lots of fans that would like
it.” We’ll put it on our new album.
Now, Back to the Future. Early on in my musical journey
I became best of friends, with one of the finest guitar
players to ever touch a fret board, James Burton. Who has
played with most of the above mentioned. Then there’s
Carl Jackson, guitarist, banjo extraordinaire, singer/
songwriter, who is now a Grammy winning producer in
Nashville. I met him when he played for Glen Campbell.
They have both taught me a great deal about the music
business in general. Hands down, Glen Campbell is my
biggest influence for becoming an entertainer. It’s funny
that all three of these guys are so closely intertwined, and
they have become a huge part of my life!
BK. How many songs have you written?
RD. Close to seven hundred. I’ve co -written several with
James Burton, and Tom Brault. Tom is very intelligent
and practical, so he became a dentist. Lol!
BK. Can a singer make it today, without writing their own
material. Let’s say like a Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, or
RD. Great question! Norah Jones writes some of her
songs. Whitney Houston didn’t, Dolly Parton does. Then
you have people like Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert,
Brad Paisley, and Sting, they pretty much do their own
thing. Those singers you mentioned were great stylist, and
they had access to some of the best writers, producers, and
studio musicians of their time. Not everyone is that
fortunate today. Talent, is talent and it will eventually rise
to the top. It’s harder today to get played on main stream
radio. On the other hand, you have someone like Diane
Warren, who has had hits covered by all of the great
artist’s and groups of today. Burt Bacharach, had a great
thing going. He wrote for everyone and anyone, for the
longest time. He and Hal David teamed up with Dion
Warwick for a huge string of hits. Much like Jimmy Webb
and Glen Campbell did. If you have your own style, like
Lennon and McCartney, Henley and Frye of the Eagles,
Neil Diamond, Elton John, Billy Joel, or a Paul Simon.
That’s the ideal way to go. They are pretty much self-
contained artists. They sing, write, and produce
themselves. One more scenario, you have a superior
talent like Glen Campbell. One of the best studio guitarist
and singers of any generation. He backed up any one you
could think of in his day. He made his way to the top on
the strength of his musicianship alone. No fads or
gimmicks here! He became a very dear and special friend,
whom I dearly loved. He always went out of his way to
make time for me, and make me feel so special over the
years. One of my few regrets in life, we never got the golf
game in. We tried several times and it never worked out. I
did watch him play a few times at the Andy Williams
Open. I miss him dearly!
BK. How do you relax?
RD. I walk around in a daze at the local mall, and then I
go see a movie. No, just kidding. I started to take golf
seriously in 1997, and I love to fish, play tennis, watch
Dodger games, read books, and take pictures during my
travels. My great- grandparents and grandparents, were
all ranchers, so this explains my love for horses, and the
outdoor lifestyle. I’m most at home, and can be myself
when I’m in this environment. Tahoe, and its surrounding
areas have become a haven to me. I truly enjoy
performing for people. But by nature, I’m a very shy and
soft- spoken person. I would much rather observe, than be
observed. You might find this hard to believe, but I’m
somewhat of a Lone Ranger. I’ve learned to balance both
sides of my personality. I really treasure my quiet and
BK. Did you ever think of any other career outside of
RD. I originally was going to play baseball. I was an
excellent pitcher, and a very good hitter. I never saw half
of my potential. Sadly, I got burned out by the politics,
and B.S. that follow the sport, and soon my passion began
to fade from the game. I majored in drama for a while in
college. I would produce and star in my own student films
in High School. Tom was in a couple of these, as were
two dear friend’s Mark Fiddler, and the late Bill Kulp.
(They were all Westerns)
I’ve worked on some movies, and TV shows in the past. I
was in “The Playground”, which came out in 2017. It was
directed and written by Edreace Permal. A great guy, and
talent! If you look really close you can see me in Clint
Eastwood’s Pink Cadillac. I also worked on Dog’s
(David McCallum) Rub Down and Prohet of Evil, these
were made as TV movies. I have a close up at the
beginning of Shadow Hunter starring Scoot Glen, and
Benjamin Bratt. It went straight to TV. I was a guest on
Spot Light in San Diego with the late Mike Pollock. I have
been featured on several TV shows in Arizona. One
Arizona Illustrated was shot at Old Tucson movie studios.
I’ve produced and directed several of my music videos and
my Portrait of An Artist, DVD. Fortunately for me, I feel
very comfortable in front of a camera.
I have three original screen plays Dreams of Gold, The
Long Road Home, and Ride Robin Ride, plus a Christmas
Special, Merry Christmas From Tahoe. I have a distribution
agreement for all four projects with Lee Thornburg, of
LoneStar Pictures out of Dallas, Texas. He has become a
trusted friend and ally the past 16 years. He’s one of the
most positive, and honest people I know. I will be in all
three of these, and do the soundtrack as well. James and
Carl are also on board.
Some of my friends like Buck Brannaman “The Horse
Whisperer” are involved in these projects. One of my best
friends Joe Parsons from Marana, AZ, wanted me to
rodeo with him. He is still one of the best calf ropers in the
business today. The entire family rodeos. His brothers,
Clay, Cutter, his kids Joseph, Emily, and Erin. These
people are awesome, and they were the inspiration for
The Long Adventure Home. I think this sums up what
kind of role they play in my life.
This is the path I have chosen in life. It has been my
deepest desire to someday have a horse ranch of my own.
I’ve had some minor success early on, but the road has
been long and hard for the most part. Hopes can be
brutal, when things don’t turn out the way we would like
them to. I’m sure that the discipline, and perseverance, I
developed while I was involved in athletics. My will to
succeed is a grace from God!
BK. Who picks your material for you, the record label, a
I have my own production company Tahoe City
Productions, which includes High Sierra Records,
Tahoe City Music Publishing, and Tahoe City Films, I
produce myself. A wonderful and talented young man by
the name of Jon Hasz, has been coproducing with me
since 2010. We just finished a Christmas CD My
Memories of Christmas. We are remastering it, and
have added a couple of new songs to it. An EP, A Song
For All Seasons was released.
I’ll Be There When You Need Me, is the single that will
go out to radio first. We had some awesome players, and
singers, on both of these. I’ve recorded around forty -five
songs for both projects. The new CD/Album that’s being
finished at the moment will be titled The Song I Sing
Tonight. I’m very proud of these sessions, and the
wonderful people that have shared their talents with me.
I’m currently in the zone, and I’m so grateful for this. I’ve
finally learned to enjoy the journey, and just have fun! No
easy feat here.
Bk. Where were you when you heard a song of yours for
the first time on the radio?
Right here in Lake Tahoe. It was the winter of ‘93, I was
in the car in Tahoe City, you were on the air, when I
heard My Christmas Wish For You. I thought I was going
to dance in the snow, I was so happy!
BK. What’s your favorite type of venue to perform in,
concerts, film, television, theatre?
RD. I’ve experienced them all at one time or another.
I would give the nod to a live concert with a huge band
behind me. This enables me to play any style of music I
BK. What instruments do you play?
RD. Guitar is my main instrument. I do know my way
around the piano, and banjo some. I do play some of the
percussion on my recordings. I do this to safe money! Lol!
BK. Finally do you sing in other languages?
I’m fluent in Spanish. I know a little French, Italian, and
some Native American dialect. I sing a little in Spanish,
I’m working on translating some of my songs to Spanish. I
did a duet of Feliz Navidad with Danielle Tucker, an
awesome singer on the new Xmas CD.
BK. Any final words for the general public?
I want to thank all those that have supported me on my
journey. It’s a gift that God has given me. The road has
not been an easy one, and many times I was so exhausted
and disappointed, that I wanted to just quit and walk
I know my mom Chris, is guiding me from heaven.
Along with my grandpa Gilbert Barrios, who taught me to
how ride a horse and bought me my first guitar. The late
Tony O’ Gorman, who took care of me, and my horses.
He gave me my first rope, and Juan Montano who taught
me how to use it.
I’ve met some lovely people along the way. I would like
to acknowledge them, like my late mgr. Bob McClure
who opened the first door for me. The late Richard
Farnsworth, Burt Kennedy, Jack Thompson, Glen
Campbell, Bobby Hoy, Bob Matchinski, and Henry
Darrow, and Don Collier, and retired actor Robert Fuller,
for believing in Dreams of Gold. The late Hal Spencer of
Manna Music, for his guidance and friendship. Bill Kulp,
you were there from the beginning for me, miss you “
Butch”. The late Brian Farnon, and my dear friend
Parmer Fuller, both have taught me so much about
orchestras, arranging, and life in general! Alex de los
Reyes, and Xavier Hernandez, for capturing so much of
this on camera. James Burton, my big brother and
mentor, you’ve always been my inspiration to play the
guitar. Carl Jackson, one of the finest people I know, and
a tremendous talent. Phil Everly, for that impromptu class
on songwriting. Finally, Olivia Newton-John, thank you
for the inspiration that began all of this for me. Someday
in heaven, I’ll play you your song. Please ride my horse
Dixie, and take care of her for me. You have all become
part of my journey. This alone has been a dream come
true! So I say to all of you out there, never give up on life,
and keep your dreams close to your heart. I wish everyone
good health, happiness, and all of God’s blessings.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
RD. Thank you my dear friend, it’s been my pleasure!