On June 13, 1985, local musician Ralph Miller walked in to Michel’s Music and walked out on a journey of a lifetime.
Ralph was 12 when he sang his first solo at a public performance. It was a school function, and he sang “Elvira.”
In high school, he was in the choral group, The Rainbow Connection, and in the male quartet he sang second tenor (though he is a baritone).
He graduated from Vicksburg High School where Kathy Wilkinson was his music teacher. He later attended Hinds Community College, majoring in public relations.
Ralph was 19 when he decided he wanted to play the guitar so, with a book on how to play, he taught himself. He recalled that it took about two years.
Ever since Miller picked up his first guitar at Michel’s Music 37 years ago, the self-taught musician has performed on stages all around the region, paying homage to those who came before him and finding a beautifully soulful outlet where he expresses himself, his heritage and tells the story of the South.
“I had no idea the impact that music would have on my life,” Miller said. “It started out as a hobby.”
The hobby quickly became a passion for the young musician. The passion fueled a life-long career leading to eight original albums.
He describes his music as easy listening or soft rock, and when he performs, he picks songs at random but tries to get the feel of what the audience wants to hear.
He performs all over the state and has recently appeared four times at the Mississippi State Fair, played at the Natchez Balloon Festival and at Classics in the Courtyard at the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation. Catch him tonight playing live at Los Parrilleros in Vicksburg.See a typo? Report it here.