Ronald LaPread was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Prior to joining the Commodores, he
played organ in a blues group called The Corvettes. LaPread is a multi-instrumentalist and
can play several brass and wind instruments, but didn't pick up the bass until he was
approached by Lionel Richie and Thomas McClary in 1969. After three members (Jimmy
Johnson, Michael Gilbert and Andre Callaghan) of the original line-up had left, The
Commodores desperately needed a bass player. Ronald was asked if he knew one. A good one.
The confident LaPread said he was the best there was and landed the job!
Among the songs Ronald
wrote are "Look What You've Done To Me", "Gimme My Mule" and
"Lovin' You". He co-wrote "Young Girls Are My Weakness" (with William
King), "I Feel Sanctified" (with the group and Jeffrey Bowen), "You Don't
Know That I Know", "Let's Get Started", "Brick House", "Too
Hot Ta Trot" (with the group), "Fancy Dancer", "Zoom", "Say
Yeah" (with Lionel Richie), "Sorry To Say" (with Darrell Jones from the
Mean Machine) and "Play This Record Twice" (with Kevin Smith). In 1982, Ronald,
together with Janice Marie Johnson and Hazel Payne of A Taste of Honey, produced
"Midnight Snack", arguably the "Boogie-Oogie-Oogie" girls' funkiest
track ever. Ronald also co-wrote the song (with Larry King and Taliaferro Harris) and it
was included on A Taste of Honey's "Ladies of The Eighties" LP.
Ronald left The Commodores
in 1986 and moved to Auckland, New Zealand because he had found a wife there.