Monday, November 19, 2007

Ricky Skaggs

There is nothing in the world so much like
prayer as music is.
~William P. Merrill

Ricky Skaggs
From Wikipedia

Ricky Lee Skaggs (born July 18, 1954, in Lawrence County, Kentucky) is a country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He plays fiddle, guitar, banjo, and, primarily, mandolin.


Early career

Ricky Skaggs started playing music after he was given a mandolin by his father. At age 5, he played mandolin on stage with Bill Monroe. At age 7, he appeared on television's Martha White country music variety show, playing with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He also wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opry at that time, but was told he was too young.

In his mid-teens, Skaggs met a fellow teen prodigy, fiddler Keith Whitley, and the two started playing together with Whitley's banjoist brother Dwight on radio shows. By 1970, they had earned a spot opening for Ralph Stanley and Skaggs and Keith Whitley were thereafter invited to join Stanley's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys

Skaggs later joined J. D. Crowe's New South. For a few years, Skaggs was a member of Emmylou Harris's Hot Band. He wrote the arrangements for Harris's 1980 bluegrass-roots album, Roses in the Snow. In addition to arranging for Harris, Skaggs sang harmony and played mandolin and fiddle.

Move to Nashville

Skaggs moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1980 and was signed to Epic Records, where he produced his debut album, Waitin' For The Sun to Shine. The album produced four successful singles, including two number one hits with "Cryin' My Heart Out Over You" and "I Don't Care" in 1982, songs that sparked the birth of the neotraditional country movement.

Skaggs' lifelong dream of joining the Grand Ole Opry finally became reality in 1982. He racked up 12 number one hits and six top 10 singles during the 1980s. Skaggs picked up dozens of industry awards in the ensuing years, including four Grammy Awards and eight awards from the Country Music Association including Entertainer of the Year in 1985.

He married Sharon White of the family group The Whites in 1982. Together they have two children, a daughter Molly Kate and a son Lucas. Ricky also has a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Mandy, from his first marriage.

Neotraditionalism and experimentation

Into the 1990s and 2000s, Skaggs has embraced his bluegrass roots, as well as experiment with new sounds. With his band, Kentucky Thunder, he is a perennial winner of Grammy Awards and International Bluegrass Music Association for best bluegrass album.

"I always want to try to promote the old music, as well as trying to grow, and be a pioneer too," Skaggs once said.

In 2000, he shared the stage with the now defunct jam band, Phish. On March 20, 2007, Skaggs released an album with rock musician Bruce Hornsby.

In 2007, Skaggs is slated to release an album he recorded with The Whites on his Skaggs Family Records label.

“Halfway Home Café”

“A Simple Life”

"Somebody's Praying"

Bill Monroe joins Ricky for the classic “Uncle Pen”

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