NAME: Ron Kenoly
DATE OF BIRTH: December 6, 1944
ORIGIN: Coffeyville, Kansas, U.S.
GENRES: Contemporary worship music, gospel
YEARS ACTIVE: 1968–present
OCCUPATION: Worship leader, singer, songwriter
Ron Kenoly (born December 6, 1944) is an American Christian worship leader, singer, and songwriter. His musical style is one of jubilant praise and individual excellence on musical instruments. Although Kenoly himself only plays on one of his recordings, he leads comfortably with his voice and is always backed up by musicians and a large choir.
He holds several degrees, including a music degree from Alameda College, a Master of Divinity from Faith Bible College, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Sacred music from Friends International Christian University. His critical success came in 1992 when Lift Him Up became the fastest selling worship album to that point. Welcome Home produced by Tom Brooks was also critically acclaimed, becoming Billboard’s Top contemporary worship music album, and winning a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for “Praise and Worship Album” in 1997. He was signed to Integrity Music but is no longer recording for them. Kenoly has also written a few books, one of them written with his pastor, Dick Bernal.
After graduating from High School in his birthplace, Coffeyville, Kansas, Kenoly ventured out to Hollywood, California. When plans to make it in the big city fell through, he joined the Air Force in 1965. It was in the military that he met and married Tavita, his wife of 42 years. It was also there that the humble beginnings of his music career were launched. Kenoly joined the Mellow Fellows, a top 40 cover band that toured military bases. In 1968, he left the Air Force and the Mellows Fellows behind and shipped out to the City of Angels to go after his passion: music.
He sang demos of Jimmy Webb songs, like the 70’s hit “Up, Up and Away”, for the Audio Arts label. The label also released Kenoly‘s ﬁrst single, “The Glory of Your Love (Mine Eyes Have Seen)”. Success in the R&B arena came after he signed with A&M Records. Under that label, he cranked out songs like, “Soul Vaccination”.
Ron Kenoly and Candy were the ﬁrst acts signed to Semper‘s Inner City label. Their “Lovely Weekend” single was a massive success selling close to 200, 000 copies. A&M Records boosted his success with R&B. The label executives changed his name to Ron Keith. He made R&B hits such as ‘I Betcha I’ll Get Ya’, ‘Soul Vaccination’, and (in 1975) ‘Can’t Live Without You’.
Some years later, he decided to drop R&B music and devote himself to a Christian life. He tried for four years to get a gospel record deal. In 1983, he released a custom-made album, ‘You Ought to Listen to This’. It was a project known around Kenoly‘s community (not internationally released).
- 1983: You Ought to Listen to This
- 1991: Jesus Is Alive
- 1992: Lift Him Up with Ron Kenoly
- 1994: God Is Able
- 1995: Sing Out with One Voice
- 1996: Welcome Home
- 1997: High Places: The Best of Ron Kenoly
- 1998: Majesty 1999: We Offer Praises
- 2001: Dwell in the House
- 2002: The Perfect Gift Discography
- 2005: Fill the Earth
- 2005: Lift Him Up Collection
- 2008: Powerful Hymns My Mother Sang
- 2009: Solo Para Ti
- 2010: Christmas with Ron Kenoly
- 2013: Set Apart Is Your Name Yahuwah Vol.1
- 2014: Set Apart Is Your Name Yahuwah Vol.2 featuring David Hunter
- 2010 – The Bill Collector