RONALD M. YORK: SONGS FROM AN IMPERFECT LIFE
For some people, what happens behind closed doors can remain a secret for a lifetime, but author and musician J. Ronald M. York is breaking his silence, opening up for the first time about the personal hardships he smiled through and the “other life” he led for years. Listen to his Big Blend Radio conversation where he discusses his memoir “Songs From an Imperfect Life”. Ron’s musical compositions on this episode include: “Belle Meade Proper” and “I Thank The Lord for the Memories”.
“Songs from an Imperfect Life” is the followup to York’s stunning debut memoir, “Kept in the Dark,” which chronicled the discovery of a grim family secret that was kept from him until just a few years ago when he accidentally stumbled across a box of letters between his mother and father. The secret? His father, a Boy Scout troop leader, had been locked up for sexual abuse of a child. York grew up knowing nothing about his father’s crime, and this discovery dramatically changed his life forever.
Peppered with York’s own poetry, song lyrics and family photos, “Songs from an Imperfect Life” takes readers on a journey through his fractured childhood in Nashville, where at 7 years old he was molested for the first time by a member of his church. Writing with pure honesty and powerful self reflection, York seamlessly weaves in stories about his encounters as a teenager with older men in dark movie theaters, his suicide attempt and a deluge of intense experiences that came along with growing up gay in the South in the ‘60s.
“With the release of my first book, ‘Kept in the Dark,’ I found myself overwhelmed by friends and strangers wanting to share with me their own personal stories of abuse – many talking about it for the first time,” York says. “I realized then that by coming forward with my parents’ story as well as my own, people were finding the courage to speak up and wanted to be heard. I truly believe there is a reason, a purpose for what happened to me. The bad decisions and risky behavior that followed has led me to a place where I feel I might can be of help to others – even if it’s only to listen without judgment.”
Ronald M. York, author of “Songs from an Imperfect Life” and “Kept in the Dark,” graduated from Belmont University with studies in voice and piano. He spent the next two decades in the field of interior design before opening his first art gallery in Nashville, Tenn. When not in the gallery, York can be found in his studio painting, at his piano composing, or assisting numerous nonprofit agencies with fundraising. He currently resides in Nashville with his cat, Miss Trixie Delight. www.JRonaldMYork.com