"Action speaks louder than words, and I'm a man with great experience." -- Otis Redding.
Nicknamed "Pigpen" for his funky approach to life and sanitation, Ronald Charles McKernan was born into a family that was generally conventional, except for the fact that his (Caucasian) father was an R & B disc jockey. And that sound put Pig's life on the rails of the blues from the time he was 12. Which naturally made him the perfect candidate to front the Grateful Dead.
Starting a rock band was actually Ron McKernan's idea. Along with Jerry Garcia and second guitarist Bob Weir, McKernan was a participant in the predecessor groups leading to the formation of the Grateful Dead, beginning with the Zodiacs and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann was added and the band evolved into the Warlocks. Around 1965, McKernan urged the rest of the Warlocks to switch to electric instruments. Bassist Phil Lesh joined soon after, and they became the Grateful Dead. The group were keen to involve McKernan in the band, as he was the group's original leader and was considered the best singer and frontman.
Credit: Dead.net & Wikipedia.com
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