The City of Pontiac is honoring Ronnie McNeir, a member of the Legendary Motown Group The Four Tops, for his musical legacy and contributions to the community by renaming the street that he grew up on with his namesake. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, E. Wilson Street located near Woodward Avenue in Pontiac, Michigan will officially become Ronnie McNeir Street.
A self-taught gifted pianist, songwriter, producer and versatile tenor, McNeir jumped onto the scene at the early age of 17 and signed with De-to Records and recorded “Sitting in My Classroom,” which has since gained cult status for true soul connoisseurs. McNeir describes his sound as R&B and jazz combined, and his hit single “Summertime” (1972) reflected just that. This multitalented musician over his 30-year career in music has amassed a musical resume that reads like a who’s who of soul music. Throughout his career, McNeir has either worked with or written songs for numerous musical legends, including Bobby Womack, David Ruffin, Smokey Robinson, Teena Marie, Angela Winbush, The Whispers, Carrier Lucas (Hello Stranger), Rance Allen (Grammy Nomination) and Eddie Kendricks. He served as the musical director for The Four Tops for several years, and in 1999, he joined the group to become a singer, stepping in for the late great Levi Stubbs. His musical style has graced many record labels from RCA, Prodigal, Motown, Capitol, Expansion and Motor City.
On McNeir’s latest CD called, “Living My Life,” he wrote a single called, “Pontiac,” of which his fans created a hustle, a familiar dance craze, just for his song. His single, “Tell Me You’re Not Fooling Me,” captures the hearts of ballroom dancers, while “Letter From a Fool,” blends the romantic tales of love. McNeir is truly grateful for this recognition and never dreamed that learning to play the piano at such a young age would take him this far. His musical legacy is an inspiration to many youth in Pontiac.
The event is free to the public.
When: Saturday, May 27; Program begins at 3:00 p.m. ETWhere: Corner of Woodward Avenue and E. Wilson Street located across from the new M1 Concourse
Race Track in Pontiac
Who: Program speakers include —
· Ronnie McNeir of The Four Tops
· Abdul “Duke” Fakir, founding and original member of The Four Tops
· The Honorable Mayor of the City of Pontiac (MI) Deidre Waterman
· Former Mayor of the City of Pontiac Walter Moore
· Pontiac (MI) City Council President Patrice Waterman
· Long-time friends: Herb Houston and Jerry Stephens
· Entertainment: Brief Performance by The Four Tops; a hustle performance by Pontiac seniors, and a poem written by Kenny Core