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The Last Waltz- Ronnie Hammond's Retirement Party
What a Large Time it was!

 On December 6, 2002, in Macon, Georgia, Ronnie Hammond of the Atlanta Rhythm Section gave his final performance.  Ronnie lent his silky-smooth voice to such great ARS tunes as Doraville; So Into You; Champagne Jam; Back Up Against the Wall; Spooky and many, many, more.  Ronnie felt it was time to give it up as "My kind of music isn't popular anymore," this truly remarkable vocalist stated.  If the people in attendance were  asked that question, they might disagree with Ronnie.

Ronnie choose the Whisky River venue in his hometown of Macon for his final show.  A racous crowd of 1000+ were treated to a show that Ronnie said "Came from my heart, and it has been a long time since I could say that."  Most in attendance would agree as Ronnie and his back up band of current Atlanta Rhythm Section members Steve Stone, Justin Senker, Dean Daughtry, and drummer Jim Keeling (who contributed a spirited drum solo)- joined by talented guitar player Mike Causey of Stillwater, and the sensational lead guitar playing of Wendall Cox (who sounded like he was with ARS from the beginning), belted out memorable hit after memorable hit.
 
Begining with "Back Up Against the Wall" (which Ronnie said was the "first song he ever sang with ARS") and ending with an encore of "Georgia Rhythm" Ronnie was flawless with his vocals and performance. Ronnie took the stage for one last song, and acoustic version of "My Song."   Many members of his family, including his #1 fan (his mother), his wife Tracey, and son Jesse were in attendance for what may be his final performance, ever.  "You never want to say never, just ask Michael Jordan, but this will probably be the last one."  All of his fans can only hope that like Jordan, we will see our hero again!

SET LIST
Back Up Against The Wall
Homesick
Doraville
Conversation
Spooky
So Into You
Lois Malone
Not the Only One
Jukin'
Large Time
Champagne Jam
Imaginary Lover
Outside Woman Blues
Georgia Rhythm
My Song

The great Ronnie Hammond-
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Takes the stage for the final time.

 

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 Fans came from all over the United States and Austria to witness this final show.  Many members of  an Internet group called the "Champagne Jammer's" (which Ronnie communicates with on almost a daily basis), decended on Macon for the final show.  50 people from cities such as San Diego, CA; St. Louis, MO; Muscle Shoals, AL; Sacramento, CA; Houston, TX, Chicago, IL; and Colinsville OK flew in for the show.  Noone traveled further than "Southern George," who flew 17 hours from Vienna, Austria to witness the Last Waltz.

Oceanside CA to Macon GA - My Trip to the Last Waltz - By Champagne Jammer Marc Wetherington

Click here to join Ronnie Hammond & the Champagne Jammers Chat group. It's a cool group, trust me!