Detroit native Ronald "Ronn" Matlock's musical journey has largely resided behind the scenes as a songwriter on myriad of projects, getting his first cuts at Motown Records. "Feel Like Giving Up," co-written with Eddie Kendricks, was earmarked as ex-Temptation Paul Williams' first solo release and should have blown up, but Motown shelved it after the baritone's tragic suicide. It appeared by Kendricks' protégés the Posse on Motown's VIP subsidiary in December 1971, but no promotion made it dead on arrival. With Kendricks and Mike Stokes, the trio wrote an earlier Posse release on Janus Records, "I Got to Take You Out" (March 1971) and "Out in the Country," for Bobby Taylor's Taylor Made Soul album (July 1969), collaborating with its producer, Ricky Matthews (born Rick James), and Roderick Harrison.
He worked with Stokes on many projects, including a Keith Barrow LP and some Enchantment albums. Due to Matlock's songs "You Know You Wanna Be Loved," "Physical Attraction," and "Turn Me Up," Barrow's project stirred some interest. But Barrow's follow-up album -- done without Matlock's involvement -- backtracked everything, so he enlisted Matlock's help for a project on Don Cornelius' label, but the crooner succumbed to AIDS before anything materialized.
Shirley Caesar's 1978 contemporary gospel album From the Heart on Roadshow Records features Matlock's "Heavenly Father," co-written with Caesar and Stokes, "Salvation," and "Message to the People." His only solo album, Love City (Cotillion 1979), is considered a classic by soul aficionados, but lackluster promotion snuffed its chances for chart action.
You'll find his songs on Eddie Kendricks' Arista album Something More, and Atlantic's Love Keys. Matlock's "Ev'ry Little Bit" helped Millie Scott's career and Merry Clayton redid "Heavenly Father" for Miracles Records (1994). The talented song doctor is happily married to Bernadine; the couple have two children, Keli and Kristopher, and call Las Vegas home. ~ Andrew Hamilton