The Night Peter Alden would sing with Ronnie McDowell ~ Written by Krista Joy
I think it’s safe to say that 2015 was probably one of the hardest years of Pete’s life, so far. Probably right behind 2013, which was the year he lost his son Gabriel to a rare brain disease. 2015 was a challenging time for both of us. So, when I heard that one of Pete’s all time musical heroes, Ronnie McDowell, was coming to Florida for a concert… I immediately bought tickets without a second thought. I had not seen Pete this excited about anything in a long time.
Best known for his visual and vocal resemblance to Elvis Presley, Ronnie McDowell enjoyed a series of Top Ten hits on the country charts during the first half of the ’80s. He hit big in 1977 with “The King Is Gone,” a tribute to Elvis Presley written immediately after the singer’s death; released on the Scorpion label, the song climbed into the Top 20 of both the pop and country charts.He scored a number one hit in 1981 with “Older Women,” which kicked off a string of 11 consecutive Top Ten hits on Epic; of those, “Wandering Eyes,” “Watchin’ Girls Go By,” “You Made a Wanted Man of Me,” and “In a New York Minute” all made the Top Five, and 1983’s “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation” went to number one. He served as the singing voice of Elvis for a few more TV productions, and also sang some national commercial jingles. Ronnie McDowell released more than twenty studio albums, and has been signed to Curb Records since 1986.
It seemed to take forever, but finally, it was November 11th 2015, the night of the concert. We took the long drive, and when we got close, the roads turned to brick and we were bouncing down very dark streets and turning sharp corners until finally – we found a parking place. As we walked inside, I remember thinking that this was a pretty tiny theater for such a big star.
I am sure the show was phenomenal, but to be honest, I watched Pete’s face for most of the night. His smile was worth the wait. I enjoyed an unforgettable intimate concert and a fantastic night of music – with mostly my ears only. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Pete.
Pete almost never films anything! But it was a big enough deal, that he actually took his phone out for some video and even posted it on facebook later!
When the show was over, we started to walk towards the car.
Then, all of a sudden it hit me…
“WHY are we walking away from Pete’s hero??? He’s RIGHT inside that building! He’s got to come out SOME time!”
It took a lot of convincing…but I begged and pleaded with Pete to walk back into the lobby with me. I thought if we just hung around long enough…maybe Pete would get to meet Ronnie and I could get a photo of them together. It would be such a bright spot in this otherwise challenging year. Finally, Pete agreed to go back in. I remember thinking the lighting in the lobby was a weird blue. I was concerned it would ruin the look of my picture, even if Ronnie DID come out in our direction!
It was not easy to appear “busy” – and not like stalkers – as we stalled and waited around..hoping so much that we could catch Ronnie on his way out. We chatted with other guests and performers from the evening. Slowly the theater emptied out and we were definitely one of the last ones remaining. I thought maybe all was lost. Then, all of a sudden….it seemed like angels started singing inside my head. There was Ronnie…coming through the double doors into the weirdly blue-lit lobby. I nervously went over to him and asked if I could make the introductions. Ronnie was very sweet and obliged me.
Once my nervous and awkward introduction was out of the way…of course Pete was his charming self..and he and Ronnie began chatting like they were old friends. After a bit, Ronnie asked Pete what he does for a living, which next lead him to ask Pete if he would sing an Elvis song for him.
Pete said, “Sure – but first – can we sing one of yours?”
I don’t think Ronnie was expecting that. He seemed pleasantly surprised! Of course I grabbed my phone and was like..
“WAAIIT I HAVE TO FILM THIS!!”
Wow, I am so glad I did! The result – was this video below!
The song, “Tryin’ To Find That Girl,” is from Ronnie’s Album: I’m Still Missing You, which was released in 1991.
Fast forward to May 3, 2019 – when it all came full circle for me. We had a public show in Daytona, and I heard Pete mention Ronnie from the stage. Before I realized what was going on – Pete started singing this song. The very same one that he sang with Ronnie all those years ago. I am not sure if Pete was unable to find a track to this song before – or if he just wasn’t happy with the ones he found.
But I knew he had this specially made. Once again, I grabbed my phone as quickly as I could, to take this video for facebook live. Sometime while Pete was talking, a big panel came up on my phone – asking me if I wanted to tag my friends! It took me a good few minutes to get that panel out of the way – so that I could actually SEE what I was filming! My apologies for the shaky video. But at least you can HEAR how great it sounded.
Awesome job, Peter Alden. Way to go!
You hear him mention Ronnie McDowell at the end of the song, and that he “got a chance to sing this with him – a long time ago.” Pete was in such a fog that whole year, he probably does not even remember how or why it all happened.
But I will always know!
It amazes me sometimes, how hard I have to fight to make the miracles! But just about every time, Pete eventually gives in to my crazy ideas.
The best par is…he is almost always happy that he did.
OH .. and the blue- lit lobby picture from 2015? It came out pretty good too.
About the Author: In addition to being Peter Alden’s booking manager, head of social media and fan club liaison, Krista Joy is also an MC, narrator, global on-line radio talk show host, and singer. She is an entrepreneur and a connector of business relationships who specializes in building multi-media platforms. Follow her social media accounts found HERE.