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Meet Ventura Townehouse resident Ron Hargrave

Posted on: April 6, 2021

Ronald J. “Ron” Hargrave (born November 8, 1929) is a well-renowned ukulele player and actor from the 1950s era; he has become an icon to the Rockabilly fan base. He co-wrote music for Jerry Lee Lewis, had many singles, and was also identified as a billboard star musician in Japan. Ron was born in the Bronx to Vaudeville performers directly after the big Wall Street Crash of 1929. His family, trying to avert disaster, moved to Hollywood, California in 1936, where they settled, and he began his lifelong career choices for the entertainment industry.

In 1953 he was drafted into the Army Special Services. There, he entertained troops with his guitar and singing. During his military service, he met the daughter of Lou Costello; this chance meeting started him off in the film industry. After meeting Costello’s daughter, he met with Abbott and Costello and eventually was managed by Lou Costello in the film, “Dance with Me Henry”, released in 1956.

He began writing songs and was introduced to Jerry Lee Lewis where he co-wrote “High School Confidential” (Jerry Lee Lewis song) and wrote “Latch On” and other movie songs. He was also a boxer and his swagger in Costello’s movie earmarked him as one of the first on-screen rock and roll actors, in an era that had not yet adjusted to the young attitude of Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis.

At age 80 Ron Hargrave recorded a new album. The title is simply “Ron Hargrave.” It’s anchored by, of all things, the ukulele and the infectious way he plays it. Maybe we can talk Ron into playing a few tunes during our wine and cheese socials!

Ron Hargrave: Boxer and ukelele player in the army

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  • My grandmother lives at the Ventura Townehouse and I feel confident that she is in good hands. They get her to her appointments and provide any aftercare that she may need. Everyone there is friendly and like family. I feel like I’m at home when I go there to visit her and eat with her in the dining room.

    Stacy B.
  • Recently, I visited my Mom from Chicago. Each day I offered to take us out and about in Ventura. We found ourselves having such an enjoyable time at the Townehouse we didn’t leave. The dining room was so lovey to enjoy with her friends. Patios welcoming and the activities kept us busy. We laughed and had fun all day! Thank you everyone for making me feel at home and making my visit special. It’s always hard to leave my mom. But not as hard when I know she is so happy! Until my next visit!

    Janie H.
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