Have a place in your heart for country blues music? Check out www.dougrannomusic.com.

Produce combines with music interests

Chuck Robinson
Media Watch

Doug Ranno in his day job is chief operating officer and managing partner of Colorful Harvest, Salinas, Calif. His sideline is performing music.

I enjoy his “Pine Sol Blues.” Give it a listen.

Ranno’s music career got started in 1986 when he was a Raley’s produce clerk in Sacramento, Calif. On a break from stocking shelves, he says, he wrote some heart-felt lyrics on a paper bag about a Vietnam veteran who had just returned from his tour of duty. Not a veteran himself, he had volunteered at the Vietnam Vet House and Vietnam Counseling Center.

Before the day was done the lyrics were turned into a song titled “Part of Me is Still in Vietnam.” 

He recorded the music at a friend’s studio and the demo tape got passed along to a veteran’s parade organizer and then somehow to a radio station.

Ranno recalls hearing the song on the radio while on his way with some friends to a Sacramento Kings basketball game on Veteran’s Day.

Ranno and his song began a regional sensation. 

Rather than jumping into the volatile world of music, Ranno stuck with his union produce job, which led to his becoming  vice president of produce and floral for Wild Oats,  a produce buyer and merchandiser at Raley’s Supermarkets, a district sales manager and national marketing manager at Chiquita, a wholesaler for American Produce on the Los Angeles terminal market and a director of business development for Green Giant Fresh before joining Colorful Harvest in 2003.

Still, he has kept at creating music. His Web site lists six albums.

Watch your step

Not everything you find in the media is as classy. Some Internet news outlets are learning the dangers of ad placement.
On Oct. 14, just before noon, the online version of the Holland (Mich.) Sentinel posted a story about 12 cases of salmonella poisoning linked to eating raw alfalfa spouts.

The ad around which the copy wrapped was for a funeral home company.

By the next day, the crassness had been covered up by another less offensive ad.

E-mail crobinson@thepacker.com