Grandpa's Singing Career

After college, Grandpa started singing for WHO Radio in Des Moines under the name Juan Ricardo (probably because he looked spanish). It was during this time that Grandpa became well acquainted with Ronald Reagan, who was the sports announcer for the radio station at the time. Reagan loved to ride horses. Grandpa’s brother Russell managed a riding academy in Des Moines that Reagan belonged to and whenever he’d go out to ride he would ask Grandpa if he was available to ride with him. After a couple of years, Reagan landed a movie contract and left for California.

One day Grandpa was negotiating his future singing contract with the WHO manager when Reagan walked in “to brag about his Hollywood contract.” Grandpa asked Reagan, “Ron, what do you think about this contract?” Reagan looked over and said, “Loren, if you sign this contract, they will own you the rest of your life.” He never signed the contract.

Instead, Grandpa took the future president’s advice and headed to California to see if he could break into the music business. For money he started working at Lockheed Manufacture, building fighter planes for WWII. While in California, he did circulate in the music industry but became overwhelmed at the level of competition he was facing; something he probably wasn’t used to in Iowa. Eventually, he got noticed by a well known executive in the music business. He thought Grandpa had a lot of potential but unfortunately moved to Texas. He tried to convince Grandpa to move with him in order to manage his career but by that time Grandpa had his mind made up. “My sweetheart in Iowa has been waiting for me and she is coming to California and we’re getting married!”

Grandpa Loren in the newspaper once he started blowing up!

A newspaper article about Grandpa when he first hit started blowing up!


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