RICK ROGERS (2023 Inductee)

Born and raised in Renfrew, Rick Rogers was given his first guitar at the age of 10 and he's been performing and playing music around the Ottawa Valley and beyond for almost four decades.

This, despite the comments from his music teacher on his Grade 1 report card saying he had no rhythm. Rick never let that first bad review slow him down. By the age of 12 he’d joined forces with Renfrew’s John Steele and this banjo/guitar duo were a popular draw at local bluegrass festivals.

By age 16, Rick and friend Bill Lunney formed Lunney & Rogers and the two teenagers began to make some money playing local bars and clubs. As well, during that time he lent his talent to a very popular local wedding reception band in the Renfrew area called Home Company that was headed up by his brother Dan.

At 17, Rick joined forces with the Debenham Brothers band playing bass and singing harmony, performing in all corners of the Valley. Within a few years, Rick moved beyond the Ottawa Valley and toured across Canada as part of Maple Ridge with brother Dan Paul, Steve Piticco, Jon Park-Wheeler and Sam Henry. While on the road, Rick spent time away from the stage studying for college, where he would go on to become a paramedic. At that point, he took a break from performing when work took him to Moosonee, then to the York Region where he married his girlfriend Kathleen and started a family.

His passion for music resurfaced and Rick was kept busy working as a York Region Paramedic, full-time and playing singles on weekends around the Lake Simcoe area. It was at this time that a group of friends and his wife, unknowingly to him, signed him up for the search for a star competition being held in front of thousands of spectators in Barrie, Ontario. It was after this competition when Rick hit the stage all by himself and sang an acoustic version of Cardboard Boxes that singer/songwriter and one of the competition judges, JK Gulley, took note of this young country singer. Soon after, he asked Rick if he would come to his recording studio and lend his voice to a number of demos written by J K and being shopped around south of the border.

In 1999, Rick and his young family returned to Renfrew and within a few years he released his first solo album entitled "Slow Dance" which won numerous awards from the Ottawa Valley Music Association, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year for "Cardboard Boxes", and Songwriter of the Year. A number of singles were released across Canada and in Europe and Rick rode the wave which carried him to numerous country and bluegrass shows around the region, and his first connection to the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame when he was invited to sing his popular hit.

He has been a background singer at the Hall of Fame show for 10 years, and has performed with his brother Dan Paul Rogers (2011 HOF inductee) and daughter Bailey at the annual induction ceremonies through the years. The Rogers Family continues to be in demand for country and gospel shows in the Valley, as is Rick and other musical friends who join him in performances at many local venues.Rick’s music has made a difference in the lives of countless people in the Valley and beyond. It continues to have a profound impact on his own life, and the lives of those he holds dearest. As of 2018, Rick decided to permanently hang up his uniform, after serving over 30 years as an Ontario Paramedic and the last 20 years as a Paramedic Commander for the County of Renfrew. Now his time has become his own to pursue his music, and to enjoy the love he shares for his wife of 33 years Kathleen, his two daughters, Bailey, Taylor, and the newest addition to his wonderful family, his grandson, Gabriel.

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