This historically important article published in the
6-16-2005, p. B1, was previously available at:
but sadly it was deleted by the paper.
Inspiration comes to all of us from a number of sources.
It may be from a parent, brother or sister, a professional athlete or someone in the political arena.
Oshkosh resident Ron Fisher found his niche in music more than 50 years ago. Fisher's folksy, down-to-earth singing has been sparked by the late country singer Box Car Willie.
"I've always liked Box Car Willie and I still do. I like his singing and his personality", Fisher said. "I used to live by the railroad tracks, but that really doesn't have anything to do with it."
While Box Car Willie is an icon as a country singer, Fisher has also done well as a local entertainer. He recently celebrated 25 years as Railroad Ron. He comes prepared with a smile, a soothing voice and his trademark railroad cap. Over the years, Fisher has been a solo-entertainer as Railroad Ron where he plays everything on his orchestrated keyboard from the "Beer Barrel Polka" to "Waltz Across Texas" and the "Wabash Cannon Ball".
Marshfield resident Russ Flaminio was among a crowd of people who attended a celebration at Fisher's home to honor him for his 25 years as Railroad Ron. Flaminio said he shared a stage two years ago with Railroad Ron at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield.
"He plays all the old favorite songs we adults like to listen to and always has them bobbing their heads and tapping their toes", Flaminio said. "He also has a good song selection."
Oshkosh resident Rhonda Munoz listened intently to Railroad Ron, who performed at the celebration. She said he is sincere and loving, which he portrays through his music.
"He's just a good entertainer," Munoz said.
Fisher said he's been part of numerous bands over the years and is adept at playing the guitar, keyboard, bass and accordion. He started with the Rock-A-Billy's believed to be one of the first country bands in Oshkosh. Fisher, who turns 69 on Sunday, has also played with the Tune Twisters, Ranch Hands and the Stardusters.
Fisher said he started as Railroad Ron in a gig at Stella's Bar in Appleton. His musical talents mushroomed over the years and he's played at wedding receptions, retirement homes, church picnics and boat cruises. Hes scheduled to play from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church picnic in Oshkosh.
His musical talents have reached outside Oshkosh. Fisher once played in a show with the late country legend Johnny Cash at The Mint in Las Vegas and has a photo to prove it. Fisher said he first met Cash in the late 1950s when the entertainer played at the Eagles Club in Oshkosh before he became a household name in the music industry.
"I talked to Cash quite a few times just to get to know him," Fisher said. "He was a nice guy."
Fisher, who years ago managed a pizza business, said he has no plans to retire as Railroad Ron.
"I keep doing this because I love it and I love being with people," he said.
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