As a teenage guitarist in California, Ron Cornelius cut his musical teeth while backing a list of artists that reads like a “Who’s Who” from the 1950s and 1960s. Chubby Checker, Martha and the Vandellas, Smoky Robinson & and the Miracles, Jan & Dean, and Bobby Rydell were among those that young Cornelius shared a stage with, in addition to many other major artists, such as Glen Campbell, Sonny & Cher, Jackie Wilson, The Sherrells, Gene Chandler, and Mary Wells, as they toured his home state. At age 16, Ron had a major record deal with his own group “The Untouchables” on Dot Records, a major label at the time.

After years as a backing guitarist, Cornelius formed the group West, which would bring his first national recognition. West appeared in numerous national showcases across the country which resulted in bids from 8 major record labels. In 1967, they signed with Epic Records and appeared in Las Vegas at the CBS Convention. Two albums were cut in Nashville for the label. A single, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” (a Bob Dylan composition), climbed to #17 on the national charts. The group went on to record a third and final LP for Paramount Records before dissolving. Altogether, Ron Cornelius has had 5 major record deals as an artist, others included A&M Records and Polydor Records.

In 1969, Ron found himself with Johnny Cash in San Quentin as part of the production team for Cash's album "Live at San Quentin". Soon after, Ron returned to backing other acts as a lead guitarist, but this time on a remarkable chain of hit albums with some of the biggest names in country and popular music, such as Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Hoyt Axton, Loudon Wainwright III, and many others. Most notably, Cornelius supplied lead guitar work on seven multi-platinum albums for the legendary Bob Dylan.

Also during this time, Ron helped assemble a band for world renown singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, serving as band leader for 6 major world tours, 4 albums, and 1 movie (for which Cornelius won rave reviews for his guitar stylings). The albums were among Cohen’s best; “Songs From a Room”, “Leonard Cohen Live”, “Songs of Love and Hate”, and his “Greatest Hits” album (all certified platinum).

The movie, “Bird On A Wire”, produced during his tenure with Cohen, was filmed during a tour that started on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and ended four months later in Israel. While there, Cornelius composed a song, “Jeruselem”, which was recorded by leading Israeli artist Esther Ofarim, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. “Jerusalem” was also featured on her live album in concert with the Tel Aviv Philharmonic. Every song on that album was a traditional 2,000 year old Hebrew song except one … “Jerusalem”.

Ron also provided his guitar expertise on several motion picture soundtracks. Among them were the films “I Walk the Line” starring Gregory Peck and “Tuesday Wells” (Ron also composed 2 songs featured in this movie), “Concrete Cowboy” starring Jerry Reed, “Little Fauss and Big Halsy” starring Robert Redford and Michael J. Pollard, and “The Big Lebowsky” starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.

Ron’s next move was to Nashville where, in 1980, he pursued a career as a producer, songwriter, and publisher in addition to his work as a major guitarist. Joining forces with another industry legend, Pete Drake, he served as Professional Manager and Producer of Drake Music Group’s Nashville publishing administration service, and later rose to take charge of and produce for The A.T.V. Music Corporation’s Nashville office. At that time, A.T.V. was the 4th largest publisher in the world administering the works of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as well as a 6,000 song catalog of country music greats!

In 1986, Cornelius founded The Cornelius Companies, an independent Nashville based Production and Publishing entity. Cornelius has represented and administered catalogs for Cabin Fever Entertainment, Inc., Charlie Daniels/Miss Hazel Music, and The Lowery Music Group out of Atlanta, Georgia. Songs from the Cornelius catalog have been recorded by artists such as Faith Hill, Confederate Railroad, David Allen Coe, Alabama, and many more!

1995 saw the creation of a record label and production company called Gateway Entertainment, Inc., a division of The Cornelius Companies. Initially directed at the increasingly popular Positive Country radio format, 1995 saw Cornelius with his own Gateway label rack up an impressive collection of his songs, Eleven top 10s, Eight top 5s, Six #2s, and Two #1 singles, all produced by Ron Cornelius. Gateway Entertainment was honored with the Top Label Award by Cashbox Magazine in the 1995 year end rank and figures. In 1996, 1997, and 1998, with the competition being Warner-Alliance Records, Reunion Records, Word Records, Homeland Records, and The Brentwood Group, Gateway Entertainment acquired more #1 and top 5 singles than any other label in the Positive Country radio format. Gateway Entertainment received nationwide radio, “Positive Country Label of the Year”, and production credits for 1996 through 1998.

Recent years have witnessed major label recording contracts for acts that Ron has signed, developed, and produced, such as Miko Marks' recent releases. Miko is the first African-American female country artist to win bonafide achievement awards in the history of country music (New Music Weekly's Female Country Vocalist of the Year for 2006).

The Cornelius Companies and Gateway Entertainment, Inc. continue their success because of Ron’s knowledge and vast experience in the industry, as well as a lot of hard work and integrity.