“Ronnie Sparks says he never had an inkling of becoming a radio station owner.
Sometimes, GOD just plops things right into your lap and you have to act on them.
BigTime was never a thought nor had I ever dreamed of being in music of any kind because I cannot sing or play an instrument. Darn it, I can barely hum a tune although I sing terribly to every song I know.”
He grew up in the projects in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The housing development was called Woodmont and located in the Tuscaloosa suburb city called Holt.
Ronnie was one of four brothers with a single-mom who had her hands very full trying to keep them alive. “We on the other hand were oblivious to how we were being taken care of because we were all below 10 and just being kids.” says Ronnie.
Daily, they scattered out of the house to go play kick-ball in the street, basketball at the courts or softball at the ball-field. “We thought this was the way things were and never saw any differently.” says Ronnie
From a music stand-point they were being brought up with the Motown music of Barry Gordy and great artists such as The Commodores, The Shi-Lites, The Ojays, Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, The Jackson Fives, Al Green, The Pointer Sisters, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner & Ike, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and so many more.
They were learning soul and R&B that would stick with them the rest of their lives because this was their formative years. “Can you imagine four-little boys shaking their booties to The Ojays, “I Love Music”. After a few years our mom moved us out of the projects and we landed in a rent house near the campus of the University of Alabama.” say Ronnie
This was a direct change of their environment and from a music standpoint they were in the direct-path of pop and southern-rock. Hall & Oates, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Boston, 38 Special, Christopher Cross, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis, The Bee Gees, Bad Company, Wild Cherry, The Doobie Brothers, Seals & Croft, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Michael McDonald. Their environment had changed from what we learned from a music perspective and now we were learning new music.
“Later, my dad called and asked if I wanted to come out to West Texas to live. I explained that I was working part-time at a tanner tanning hides and at a dairy farm milking cows and that I need to stay and work. I had dropped out of high school at 14 and was working. He explained that my uncle would give me a job. Little did I know when I arrived in Texas that they would make me go back to high school at 17 years of age. I graduated when I was 21.” says Ronnie
“The surprise I found when I moved to Texas was cowboy boots and hats, wide-open land and country music. I soon learned of The Belamy Brothers, George Straight, TG Sheppard, Jon Conlee, The Alabama Band, Brooks & Dunn, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Dan Seals (Seals & Croft) and so many other great country artists. One thing I needed to learn quick was the two-step if I ever wanted to find a country-girl.” says Ronnie
Well, scratch the country-girl, I did learn how to two-step but more than anything I learned that if I wanted to attend college like my classmates then I would need money to do so. Thank the LORD that I didn’t know what a student loan was. I thought long and hard about how to get the money for college and finally decided I would go to the US Army and get the Montgomery GI Bill to pay for college.” says Ronnie
“Skip ahead to Jan 2017, I have a degree and Jan 20th, Inauguration Day is coming to install the newly elected President Donald Trump. I start hearing about all of these “tweets” that the President is doing on Twitter. I wanted to see what he was tweeting and what makes this so bad as stated in main-stream media. I decided what he was doing wasn’t so bad and I decided to follow him. I set up my twitter handle as BigLeague_MAGA and started to learn how to tweet.” says Ronnie
Ronnie says he began noticing music fly-bys and adverts on Twitter and wondered what these tweets were about. I started listening to the music and wondered why I had never heard of this great music I was hearing. I then began retweeting those tweets to my followers. Soon, I had forty or fifty artists tweeting me and I started tweeting their music. I then changed my Twitter name to BigTime_Music. Time began to become an issue and affect my family so I decided to keep the songs and research starting a radio station. It seemed easy to do so therefore I did a 30-day trial between March and April. By this time, I had uploaded all of the musician’s songs and the radio had started to play.
“Today, I have over 400 artists following me” says Ronnie, and I play music 24/7 back to back and commercial free on BigTime Radio. Doing this provides the artists a real-time review of their music and allows song-writers to determine if this was the way they expected the music to be played and sang. Song-writers and artists can then collaborate on changes while BigTime Radio provides a name and a song to potential fans and consumers. An artist can send a track to BigTime Radio and have if played free in rotation. I am not a judge to decide if their music is good or bad and I try as hard as possible to not provide any comments about the music being played.
Ronnie has several shows that he has syndicated on BigTime Radio which includes, The DJ Pat Stone Country Show, The Sound Lab UK Show, My Country Australia Show, American Country Nights, The Indie Star Radio Network Show, The Hot Disc Top 40 Show from Europe and on Sundays threy play the BigTime Radio Power Hour which includes a 4 hour block of gospel music created by many of their musicians that they play day to day. They are hoping for one more show to play on Wednesday which would be a Top 40 Country Countdown Show created by Robert “The Iceman” Golomboski.
“It wouldn’t be proper not to mention Greg Fritsch and Charlie Cawood who both directed me in certain directions to make the BigTime Radio music program what it is today. Charlie led me to the Hot Disc Top 40 in Europe while my “Scout” Greg has brought many talented artists and shows to the program. I couldn’t have never have determined who were the artists that I needed on our team and I would not have known which shows to bring to BigTime. Let me be very clear, without Greg and Charlie I may have made some very bad mistakes. I really cannot give those two all the credit because many artists have supported me along the way and they know who they are without mentioning.” says Ronnie
“Hopefully what I am doing will get the attention of potential “labels” to sign new artists or provide an artist the opportunity to make their dreams come true. In the end, I want what is best for the artists. I too want to be successful but I cannot be successful unless the artists I support are successful.” says Ronnie
You can follow the artists by downloading the BigTime Radio App in the Apple App Store (FREE), listen to the artists on Ronnie’s website at www.turnitupbigtime.com or get involved directly with BigTime Radio and the artists by following him on Twitter using @BigTime_Radio Twitter handle.