Ronnie Dove

Ronnie Dove was born in Herndon, VA, but the pubs of Baltimore were his performance training ground. After a stint in the Coast Guard, he formed Ronnie Dove & the Belltones, and the group gigged throughout Baltimore and the East Coast for the next four years. In 1959, the band cut the single "Lover Boy" as its debut release; their only other recorded output was a rendition of Buddy Knox's "Party Doll" for Decca in 1963. Dove left the Belltones soon after, and landed in Nashville. There he singed a contract with the Diamond label and released his first solo single, "Sweeter Than Sugar." But it was 1964's "Say You" that really established Dove. The cut broke into the Top 20 and began a series of major pop hits. In 1965 alone, Dove scored five hits, with all but one cracking the Top 20 or higher. He repeated this feat in 1965, but by a 1967 Ed Sullivan Show appearance, Dove's star was beginning to fall. He took a break, but returned in 1971 with a new deal on Decca. This time around, Dove scored two minor hits on the country charts with "Kiss the Hurt Away" (1972) and "Lilacs in Winter" (1973). He then signed to Melodyland Records in 1975, and had two more hits. With the advent of oldies radio in the 1980s, Dove's star rose again, and the vocalist toured consistently. He even re-signed with Diamond in 1987 and had one final entry on the charts with "Rise and Shine." Dove continued to perform in the Baltimore area and nationwide throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Numerous collections of his past hits were released, and Dove offered a collection of Christmas tunes through his detailed website.
Johnny Loftus, Rovi