A Ron and Sandie show is more than two people singing and dancing.
Ron Camron, 78, of Schaumburg said when he and Sandie Triplett, 67, of St. Charles, perform together, they seek to educate as well as entertain.
"We try to make it something unique so they walk away saying, 'Wow, I really enjoyed that show,'" Camron said.
But this isn't a dreary lecture full of facts.
A Ron and Sandie show engages the audience by providing insight into the stories behind the songs and dances with opportunities to sing-along ("And clap along, if they feel like it," Camron said), courtesy of the duo's careful research, the creation of themed shows, some comedy and PowerPoint.
They haven't decided on a theme for the June 30th show at The Timbers of Shorewood. But Camron said he is leaning toward a "Sing and Swing."
As an example of their themes, Camron said one library asked if they could modify their Rat Pack show to commemorate Dean Martin's birthday.
"I researched Dean Martin and the songs he sang and realized after we finished we had another separate show we could do just on Dean Martin," Camron said.
Other Ron and Sandie themes include Songs of Australia (because Camron is from Australia).Camron's even received follow-up emails requesting lyrics to those songs. And he is happy to oblige.
"We do try to educate people and they like it," Camron said. "We like that people are interested in what we had to say."
They do a Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee tribute show and a The Love Boat show, this last because Camron is friends with the Jerri Saunders ("She's 95 and still going strong," Camron said) and because Camron once worked on cruise ships.
The songs Camron and Triplett select coordinate with the theme.
"For the Love Boat show, the songs have to do with the ocean and ships: 'Slow Boat to China,' 'Beyond the Sea' and 'Red Sails in the Sunset,'" Camron said.
According to a news release from the Timbers, Camron, born and raised in Australia, began his musical career in 1959 as a member of a rock ’n’ roll band. After winning a trip around the world in a national singing contest in 1965, he began performing in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"I hung up my dancing shoes in 2009 and said, 'I'm retired now. I'm going to sit back, drink beer, watch television and eat potato chips,'" Camron said. "Then a friend introduced me to Sandie at Drury Lane during an expo."
Triplett needed a dance partner for an upcoming show, just one show, Camron said.
"I thought, 'Sure, what's the harm?'" Camron said.
Ron and Sandie performed 140 shows together in 2011 and "it's been over 200 shows a year since then," Camron said.
But the real genius behind the Ron and Sandie show appears to be Ron and Sandie. Camron said Triplett knows exactly which buttons of his to push, and the audience loves it.
He likens their act to George Burns and Gracie Allen and said he doesn't mind "being put down in front of an audience."
"Sandie is a fun person to worth," Camron said. "She feeds off the fact that I'm Australian and tells the audience I 'talk funny.'"
To him, that is half the fun. The other half is his and Triplett's chemistry onstage.
"It is a magical thing between us," Camron said.
Goal: "To mix facts about the songs with the songs themselves."
Effort: "You have to make phone calls every single day to nursing homes and senior groups and to libraries and to park districts... I want to know how many people are gong to be there if their in their 50s, 60s or 70s."
Words of wisdom: "You've got to have something the audience wants, even if it's a nursing home where many of your audience members are asleep. You've got to be able to entertain. You just can't go into this without planning. And you've got to love what you do...the bottom line, you want to walk away from there knowing you did your best job."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Vocalist duo Ron and Sandie
WHEN: 2 p.m. June 30
WHERE: Timbers of Shorewood ballroom, 1100 N. River Road, Shorewood
ETC: Featuring the best of song and dance from Big Band and country music, as well as music of the 1950s and 1960s.