Seemingly under the radar, Lou Ragland established for himself quite a career over a half century of music making. The Cleveland native was already a multi-instrumentalist by the time he became a teenager.
Ragland formed a local following and recorded the song “Never Let Me Go” in 1963 with his band Lou Ragland and the Bandmasters. This led to a contract with Bell Records and the single “I Travel Alone.” Over the next several years, Ragland formed a series of groups such as Hot Chocolate (not the charting group), Volcanic Eruption and The Monclairs (not to be confused with Phil Perry’s Montclairs).
Ragland finally issued a full album in the mid-70s called “Understand Each Other,” and his notoriety increased, particularly in Europe. His close friend Edwin Starr opened more doors for Ragland, and he had both US and European tours in the 1980s, before joining a latter day version of the legendary vocal group The Ink Spots.
Ragland has been living and working in Las Vegas, where he has performed soul music shows regularly well into the last decade.