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Ronny Cox: 'He really delivers'

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Central Lakes College (CLC) audiences will get a chance to experience Ronny Cox’s folksy, down-home style of musical presentation when the actor-singer returns to the Dryden Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet Cox and hear him discuss his experience making the film “Deliverance” at 10 a.m. Sept. 15 in the Dryden Theatre.

According to CLC Cultural Arts Series producer Patrick Spradlin, he only thought he knew what he was getting when he presented Cox last September.

Spradlin said, “I had, of course, seen his movies, seen him on TV, liked his acting. I had no idea how good an entertainer he was.

“Ronny makes it a point to introduce himself to each person attending the show. He stood in the lobby and personally shook everyone’s hand as they entered the theater. Then, at intermission, he signed autographs, posed for pictures and traded stories with people until I literally had to herd him back in for the second half of the show.”

His off-screen easy going, friendly nature is at odds with the persona Cox has cultivated in his acting. With a career that spans over a 125 films and television shows, Cox is usually identified with the villains he has played in movies such as “Robocop” and “Total Recall,” or the cable TV series “Dexter.” He’s also known for his role as the ruthless politician in the hit TV series “Stargate.”

His first film, marking the first time he acted in front of a camera, was as the guitarist in the famous ‘dueling banjos’ scene in the landmark 1972 film “Deliverance.” Cox has written a book for the 40th anniversary of the film’s making, titled “Dueling Banjos: The Deliverance of Drew.”

“The truth is,” said Cox, “I’ve been writing songs and telling stories for over four decades. Only in the last 10 years has the world seen me evolve from being an ‘actor who sings’ into knowing me as a ‘singer who happens to have a pretty fair career acting.’”

Testimonials to Cox’s talent and personality are unanimous in their estimation of him.

Spradlin’s testimonial from last season’s show is: “After the show, Ronny and I and a couple of others went out and had a late-night snack. We ended up sitting and talking theater, music, movies and whatever else came to mind until they closed the place down around us. For someone of his stature, he was the most friendly sort of fellow you’d ever want to meet.”

Some of Cox’s other appearances include “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, “The Bottom Line in New York” with Leon Redbone, National Public Radio Mountain Stage with Guy Clark and Bluebird Cafe in Nashville with Jellyroll Johnson and the Chautauqua in Boulder, Colo., with Karla Bonoff.

Tickets for both the concert and the book talk are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office, 855-8255 or email at Tickets can also be purchased online at

“Anyone who saw Ronny last year will tell you that this is a terrific performer and just an amazing show,” said Spradlin. “You’ll regret it if you miss this one.”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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