By Betsy Cribb
Local bluegrass legend Ronald “Rooster” Ruley died Wednesday after a brief hospitalization.
Ruley’s longtime friend Will Lee played with him in Ruley’s band “Rooster’s Ruckus” and credits Ruley as his teacher. Lee met Ruley when he was only 14 years old.
“To meet him at that age, when I was just starting to play the banjo, he was really a big influence on me,” Lee said.
Lee said that Ruley’s character is as memorable as his banjo playing.
“He was one of those people who just really didn’t give a hoot about what anyone thought about him or what was going on in his life,” Lee said.
Lee said that Ruley, 60, won’t be forgotten.
“Just listening to him play the banjo, it stays in my head,” Lee said. “It’s something that I’ll always have.”