Country Gold

Happy Birthday, Ricky Skaggs!

Happy Birthday, Ricky Skaggs!

On this date, July 18th, in 1954, American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer Ricky Skaggs was born in Cordell, Kentucky.

He started playing music at age 5 after he was given a mandolin by his father, Hobert. At age 6, he played mandolin and sang 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 guitarist, 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 launched his own country career in 1980, achieving 12 #1 hits, 8 CMA awards, and 8 ACM awards. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. Guitarist and producer Chet Atkins credited Skaggs with “single-handedly” saving country music. In the 1990s and 2000s, Skaggs went back to his bluegrass roots, and also experimented 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.

Happy Birthday, Ricky!

(Wikipedia)

Rita Ballou

July 18th, 2017

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