Daddy B. Nice's #87 ranked Southern Soul Artist

Portrait of Roni by Daddy B. Nice

"Fool On My Hands"


Composed by Terry Kimble & Rhonda McCullum

"I want to talk to the ladies for a moment," begins Roni at the outset of "Fool On My Hands."

"To all those that's had a fool in their lives--and maybe still do. "

A deep, juicy keyboard doodles in the background.

"I messed around
And put it on the wrong man.
Now, girlfriend,
I got a fool on my hands."

And so begins one of the deepest and most soulful Southern Soul songs by a younger-generation artist to have been recorded in the last decade.

Listen to Roni singing "Fool On My Hands" on YouTube while you read on.

"Fool On My Hands" is one of those rare songs that delivers both musically and lyrically. Roni's husky-voiced heroine navigates a marvelous, undulating melody by Terry Kimble, aka T. K. Soul.

Roni's tone is not only authentic. Her style brings something new to the table--a formidable intelligence, sophistication and sense of self-worth that is distinctly contemporary and not always at the forefront of southern rhythm and blues. And these qualities of character lurk behind even the most chitlin' circuit-oriented lines, a tribute to the artist's skill and immersion in same.

The sound is classic contemporary Southern Soul. Roni knows it all from years of singing background with all the key figures. There is never any doubt (as is often the case with sexy young divas with new CD's these days) that you are listening to Southern Soul music.

(Roni even calls herself "The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul," which in this case is accurate.)

Roni's vocals aren't based on any over-sized technical talents. Her instrument isn't extraordinary. A singer and songwriter (she co-wrote "Fool On My Hands"), her strength is in her convincing delivery--her ability to completely inhabit a song.

She has a unique video on YouTube that illustrates this singular determination.

Listen to Roni singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" on YouTube.

Roni presents herself self-produced, in black and white, facing the camera--with a straightforward charm as striking as any actress--and to the instrumental track of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" sings the vocal track acapella or karaoke style.

Roni's video won't make you forget or forego the James version, but it amply illuminates the kind of mental toughness that in a more light-hearted fashion infuses every syllable of "Fool On My Hands."

"I know somebody
Could have told me.
'Cause I'm sure
Somebody knew.

You probably
Stood around laughing,
Saying, 'Honey child,
I knew he was a fool.'"

In an April 10, 2011 column entitled:


. . .I picked Roni for the tenth and last spot with the following commentary:

10. "Fool On My Hands"-----Roni (Opening verse)

"He pops up unannounced at my house,
And he be snooping around at my job.
When I'm not at home he goes through my stuff.
I would have kept it to myself if I knew it'd cause such a fuss."


"I messed up and put it on the wrong man.
I'm going crazy, I got a fool on my hands.
I messed up and put it on the wrong man.
I'm going crazy, I got a fool on my hands."

Although she later did one popular single with Sir Charles Jones (on her second CD), Roni is predominantly known for "Fool On My Hands," published many years ago. Need proof? Google "Roni," and you'll get all sorts of people. Then google "Roni 'Fool On My Hands'." You'll find the Roni beloved by the core Southern Soul audience.

Listen to Roni's "Fool On My Hands on YouTube.


I consider the one-hit-wonders list a prestigious one, but from an artist's perspective--especially one who is actively working and producing new work--the "one-hit" label can strike a bit too harshly. In Roni's case, she has never been, technically speaking, a one-hit artist.

In addition to her single with Sir Charles, Roni has written and performed in many good songs, the next-worthiest surely being the overlooked "He's My Man," one of the finest love ballads by any Southern Soul diva in the new century.

It's one of those mid-tempo romantic pieces men love to listen to--about a good man being appreciated by a good woman. Roni fills the song with lay-it-on-the-line love commitment, empathy, emotional and physical tenderness. She portrays a woman who is still able to love a man--a woman who has maintained enough innocence in a cynical world to say:

"My man--
He treats me real nice.
He's every breath I take
And the only sparkle in my eye."

Finally, in an even more recent development that should put any "one-hit-wonder" talk to rest for good, there's a new single in the works at the time of this writing (7/30/11). Like a hen on a warm egg, Roni is sitting on a brand new tune called "Can You Light My Fire." You can hear this fascinating, low-key club jam currently on Roni's Official Website.

Although it doesn't seem to be the perfect singing key for Roni, "Can You Light My Fire" brags a better groove than "Come Back Kind Of Love." Don't know if Roni intends to release it as a single yet, but watch for it to make an appearance on Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles for August 2011 as a nudge of encouragement.

--Daddy B. Nice

About Roni

Roni (Rhonda McCullum) was raised in Mendenhall, Mississippi, where she sang in church choirs and won a talent contest in neary Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Her career in Southern Soul began as a background singer for Nathaniel Kimble, which led to background vocal stints with Sir Charles Jones, Jeff Floyd and Bobby Rush.

Roni's solo debut CD, Call Me, appeared on Allison Records, a Nashville label, in 2006. The album contained "Fool On My Hands," Roni's most well-known and popular single.

Come Back Kind Of Love, with a title tune written and co-performed by Southern Soul star Sir Charles Jones, was released in 2008 (Allison).

Song's Transcendent Moment

"You think
You know a man
Because you spend
A little quality time.

But, girl,
I'm here to tell you,
I sure didn't know mine."



July 30, 2011:

Listen to Roni singing "Come Back Kind Of Love" (with Sir Charles Jones) on YouTube.

Listen to more songs by Roni on Roni's Official Website.

Listen to Roni singing "Can You Light My Fire" on YouTube.

If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Peggy Scott-Adams' "I'm Getting What I Want," you'll love Roni's "Fool On My Hands."


Over the last year I've been dropping hints to the younger musicians.

"Be watching because there's going to be something coming on the site that'll be a real blessing for the younger people."

And I've also been telling a lot of deserving new artists to bide their time, that their day to be featured in a Daddy B. Nice Artist Guide was coming, and long overdue.

Now, at last, the day has come.

The great Southern Soul stars are mostly gone. There's a new generation clamoring to be heard.

Rather than waiting years to go online as I did with the original Top 100, this chart will be a work-in-progress.

Each month five new and never-before-featured artists will be showcased, starting at #100 and counting down to #1.

I estimate 50-75 new Artist Guides will be created by the time I finish. The other 25-50 Guides will feature artists from the old chart who are holding their own or scaling the peaks in the 21st Century.

Absent will be the masters who have wandered off to Soul Heaven. And missing will be the older artists who for one reason or another have slowed down, become inactive or left the scene.

The older generation's contributions to Southern Soul music, however, will not be forgotten.

That is why it was so important to your Daddy B. Nice to maintain the integrity of the original Top 100 and not continue updating it indefinitely.

(Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul covered the period from 1990-2010. Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Southern Soul will cover the period from 2000-2020.)

When I constructed the first chart, I wanted to preserve a piece of musical history. I heard a cultural phenomenon I was afraid might be lost forever unless I wrote about it.

There will be no more changes to the original chart. Those performers' place in Southern Soul music will stand.

But I see a new scene today, a scene just as starved for publicity and definition, a scene missing only a mirror to reflect back its reality.

The prospect of a grueling schedule of five new artist pages a month will be daunting, and I hope readers will bear with me as I gradually fill out what may seem at first inadequate Artist Guides.

Information from readers will always be welcome. That's how I learn. That's how I add to the data.

I'm excited to get started. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I've already done the bulk of the drawings.

In a funny way, the most rewarding thing has been getting back to doing the drawings, and imagining what recording artists are going to feel like when they see their mugs in a black and white cartoon. Hopefully----high! An artist hasn't really "made it" until he or she's been caricatured by Daddy B. Nice.

In the beginning months, the suspense will be in what new stars make the chart. In the final months, the suspense will be in who amongst the big dogs and the new stars is in the top twenty, the top ten, and finally. . . the top spot.

I'm not tellin'.

Not yet.

--Daddy B. Nice

Go to Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul

Honorary "B" Side

"He's My Man"

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Fool On My Hands by  Roni
Fool On My Hands

CD: Call Me
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Call Me

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy He's My Man by  Roni
He's My Man

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Can You Light My Fire by  Roni
Can You Light My Fire

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Get Away (For The Weekend) by  Roni
Get Away (For The Weekend)

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Mr. Right by  Roni
Mr. Right

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Call Me by  Roni
Call Me

CD: Call Me
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Call Me

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Come Back Kind Of Love (w/ Sir Charles Jones) by  Roni
Come Back Kind Of Love (w/ Sir Charles Jones)

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'd Rather Go Blind by  Roni
I'd Rather Go Blind

3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy In the Middle of the Night by  Roni
In the Middle of the Night

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Leaving by  Roni
I'm Leaving

CD: Come Back Kind Of Love
Label: Allison

Sample or Buy
Come Back Kind Of Love

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