Concord resident Dolph Ramseur, Founder of Ramseur Records , cannot find a C-note on a piano nor does he know any guitar chords. He says “it all sounds good to me!”
Having begun as a music fanatic, he’s taken that and somehow made a career out of it. He’s hoping someone in the crowd can learn from it because he’s living the dream he says.
“I am a true believer in the American Dream. You can do things you didn’t know you could do. I became immune to the word no because for every 100 “no”s there’s always that one “yes.””
Dolph manages bands such as the The Avett Brothers, the everybodyfields, Bombadil, Darling, Martin Stephenson, New Jersey Transient, Oh What a Nightmare, Sammy Walker, Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers,Paleface, and Frontier Ruckus.
His humble beginnings lead him down this path, he started a record label as a way to “get a mixtape out to the world.” His father fed him a “healthy dose of Johnny Cash. He wasn’t country, he wasn’t rock and roll. Johnny Cash was American music, he’s cool no matter what.”
“I grew up on a dirt road in a mill town. […] We had four channels on the TV. My dad was very blue collar and he gave me a very open mind. I don’t like the main stream as much as I like things out in left field and I thank my dad for that.” He continues,”My goal in life in the 70s was not to work in the cotton mill.”
He attributes some of his success to a teacher in his early years who told him “if you don’t work hard and you don’t study, this is what your life will be like in the cotton mills” after teaching him about the Industrial Revolution.
A few years later at Davidson College, he had tennis coaches take him under his wing. He talks about his first job at the age of 16 at Davidson Tennis Camp, his vivid recollection apparent. “When you’re 16 and you take a group of 8 business men out to teach a clinic, you learn the gift of gab. […]I had a C-average in high school but I could play a mean game of tennis.”
He taught tennis and was a professional tennis player for a number of years. The ‘gift of gab’ that he learned while in this profession has been crucial to his record label ownership role. It lead him to later manage wildly popular American group The Avett Brothers.
“Somehow we have been able to make a mark on this business called the music business. It’s not only the music business, it’s the people business. I oversee an art. I don’t have a contract, it’s all handshake. With the Avett Brothers, we’ve been able to have some great success.” He states. “You just treat people the way you want to be treated, the Richard Petty way. Kiss babies, one by one meet fans, and now two Saturdays ago we played to a group of 75,000 people.”
“To see how going against the grain, to do it the old school way, it’s really something. Sometimes there’s power in the small. If you just give all of these small communities a chance, there’s something in that.”
He closes reminding everyone that he can’t find a C-note on a piano, the crowd applauds loudly.