(Biographical text re-written from Wikipedia)
Ronald James Padavona was born on July 10, 1942 and grew up in Cortland, New York. He listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza. His first and only formal musical training began at age 5 learning to play the trumpet. During high school, he played in the school band and was one of the youngest members selected to play in the school's official Dance Band.
It was also during high school that Dio formed his first rock-n-roll group, the Vegas Kings,which became Ronnie and the Rumblers, and then Ronnie and the Red Caps. Along the way, he took up playing bass once he assumed singing duties for the group. Dio claimed never to have taken any vocal training as he attributed his singing ability to the use of correct breathing techniques learned while playing trumpet. This was also the time he changed his stage name to Dio as a reference to mafia member Johnny Dio.
The earliest recordings of Dio go back to 1960 when he was a member of Ronnie and the Redcaps. They released two singles – the first had a different vocalist and an instrumental; the second featured Ronnie on lead vocals for both tracks. The “A” side, "An Angel Is Missing", was played during the show, along with a cover of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” from 1962. "The Way of Love” from 1965 is a piece of vinyl I own and treasure, especially as it has a great story attached to it.
The quizzical journalist in me had to find out where this record came from, so I contacted someone I knew at his management company. Apparently he knew nothing about it either and asked for a tape. A week or so later he called back said, “Yes, it’s him,” laughing. Seems the rest of staff had no idea of his past and he actually played it to the entire office over the intercom. I owned a piece of history that no one knew about.
Holy Grail in hand, I brought it backstage with me to his show later that year at Nassau Coliseum, and when saw me with the single he pointed and roared, “You…!”. We all laughed and he confirmed it was from “a very long time ago.” When I asked him to sign it, he took me into a private room, signed it and said (half-jokingly), “If you play this to anyone, I will hunt you down and kill you.” Needless to say, I never did and kept it locked away knowing he was a lot older than everyone thought. I have no idea of its worth within the collecting realm, but to me it's priceless.
Unfortunately a glitch at Village Connection Radio did not record the last 20 minutes of the show. I had a lot more music including some of Ronnie’s last recordings. As this show was a labor of love (for Ronnie), I plan to re-record it in the near future. In the meantime, most of the show is available.
Listen to this show or past shows at www.metalfilingsradio.com. Just click off the live feed and pick a show from the archive.
PLAYLISTDio - Killing The Dragon
Dio - We Rock
Dio - Fever Dreams
Ronnie & The Red Caps - An Angel Is Missing
Ronnie Dio And The Prophets - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Ronnie Dio And The Prophets - The Way of Love
Elf - I'm Coming Back For You
Rainbow - The Temple Of The King
Rainbow - Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
Rainbow - Gates Of Babylon
Black Sabbath - Children Of The Sea
Black Sabbath - I
Dio - Rainbow In The Dark
Dio - Rock 'N' Roll Children
Ronnie James Dio - Welcome To My Nightmare
Dio - All The Fools Sailed Away
Ronnie James Dio- Love Is all (from the Butterfly Ball)
Dio - God Hates Heavy Metal
Dio - The Prisoner Of Paradise
Check out her show Metal Filings on Village Connection Radio every Wednesday, 6-8pm EST, or on demand at the Metal Filings Archive.