How oona do? (Gullah Geechee for “How are you?”)

I’m a Singer/Songwriter/Writer/Performer. My creative and performance energies for more than 30 years have filled many with cultural appreciation and celebration and also encouragement and joy!

For my original songs, writings, performances, and presentations, I’ve been recognized as a cultural preservationist. If you in any way have found meaning, understanding, \or Aha!-moments about Gullah Geechee culture or heritage through any of my efforts,
I am deeply honored!

 I’m about making a difference.
Sharing truth.
Using that “big voice” that I’ve had
since I was a young boy leading spirituals and gospel songs
in my St. Helena Island, SC, community.
Making listeners feel the lyrics and not just hear them.
Writing and performing songs with stories that are keen and piercing
and sometimes jes plain jokey (or rather, fun).

I am a recipient of the 1996 South Carolina Order of the Palmetto,
the State’s highest honor;
the 1997 State of South Carolina Folk Heritage Award,
given for lifetime achievement and excellence in folk art that has enriched the lives of the people in their community and state;
1998 Daytime Emmy Award nominee and presenter;
the 2007 South Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and an inductee in the 2013 Penn Center 1862 Circle.

In addition to singing and songwriting, I enjoy speed walking and baking “Mr. Ron’s Gullahlicious Pound Cakes” (Share a slice…if you can!).

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Ronald Daise Releases New CD Celebrating Gullah Geechee Culture | Grand Strand Arts | Myrtle Beach, SC

  2. Chérif Diallo

    Mr Daise, as a second generation Guinean living in Germany and trying to establish my position in the African diaspora, I want to congratulate you for your amazing work in preserving and expanding the Gullah Geechee culture. I came across your TED talk and felt very inspired. You have really sparked an interest in me in understanding the Gullah Geechee culture and studying its tremendous impact on general American culture and for that I want to thank you! I wish you all the success in the world in your work!

  3. George deGolian


    My name is George deGolian. I am a writer and filmmaker currently living in Alabama but originally from Atlanta. I was nominated for an Academy Award many years ago for a short film I produced titled Gullah Tales, and I have written a screenplay titled Dayclean. The screenplay is about a man who was born in the Gullah Geechee culture but fled at an early age, only to return many years later and discover himself. I worked closely with Cornelia Walker Bailey while working on the project. I would very much like to see if I could persuade you to read it, as I think you will find it compelling. I can be contacted by email at gpdegolian@gmail.com or on my mobile at 404-210-5558. I hope to have the opportunity to talk with you soon. Best –


  4. Matthew Stenzel

    Hi Mr. Ron! I have watched Gullah Gullah Island since I was a little kid. Each episode really taught me a lot of lessons especially the episode where James learned how to care for others after Binyah Binyah Polliwog knocked over the block clubhouse and broke the broomstick. Also I think it is cool your birthday was celebrated for the first episode. Luckily one of the episodes taped on an old vhs tape was that episode itself. Was that episode filmed on your actual birthday or did everybody pretend it was your birthday? I am confused.

    Anyway I am blessed to talk to you and I hope to hear from you in the future. God Bless! 🙂

  5. rondaise

    Greetings, Matthew! I’m glad to know that “Gullah Gullah Island” has left you filled with fun memories and wonderful lessons. My birthday celebration on the first episode was for a date, age, and event created by the writers and creative team. Blessing 2 u!

  6. Brandon

    Gullah Gullah Island left a huge impression on me in my childhood. You were like the Mr. Rogers of Nickelodeon. I know you probably hear it all the time but I just wanted to let you know how much your work meant to me.

  7. Shayla

    Hello Mr. Ron I hope you are well! I use to watch you and Natalie all the time on the show. The thing is, I never knew your last name was Daise. Mine is Days. My family, as you may have guessed, came from SC and migrated inland. I would love to know if we were related. Then I could learn more about who I am. My great-grandfather had, I believe 9 siblings. Since there are a few variations of the last name, it’s hard to find info which is why I’m curious. Day, Days, Deas and quite possibly Daise. I would love to know more.

  8. Pingback: Whatever Happened to the Cast of Gullah Gullah Island?

  9. Rev. Michael Sullivan

    Hello Ron Daise, Cultural Teacher of Gullah lifestyle. My wife and I are new to the state of South Carolina. I promised her when we moved here that I would take her on a nice drive to the coast to see the ocean and the famous Gullah Islands of South Carolina. My father was born in South Carolina, we believe we may have a wonderful Gullah connection.
    All that being said as a semi – retired Pastor here in Greenville I owe it my Wife to keep my promises to her! Love to connect with you.

    Rev Michael Sullivan,


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