Ricky Skaggs in April 1988.
|Birth name||Ricky Lee Skaggs|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, session musician, bandleader, producer, arranger|
|Instruments||singer, mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle|
|Labels||Sugar Hill, Epic, Rounder, DCC, Atlantic, Camden, Rebel, Hollywood, Legacy, Skaggs Family|
|Associated acts||Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, J. D. Crowe and New South, Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, The Whites, Kentucky Thunder, Bruce Hornsby|
For the punk rock musician, see Ricky Scaggs.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Discography
- 3 Awards
- 4 References
- 5 External links
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 experimenting 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.
- Second Generation Bluegrass (with Keith Whitley) 1971
- That's It 1975
- Sweet Temptation 1979
- Skaggs & Rice (with Tony Rice) 1980
- Waitin' For The Sun To Shine 1981
- Highway & Heartaches 1982
- Family & Friends 1982
- Don't Cheat In Our Hometown 1983
- Country Boy 1984
- Favorite Country Songs 1985
- Live In London 1985
- Love's Gonna Get Ya! 1986
- Comin' Home To Stay 1988
- Kentucky Thunder 1989
- My Father's Son 1991
- Ricky Skaggs Portrait 1992
- Super Hits 1993
- Solid Ground 1995±
- Life Is A Journey 1997
- Bluegrass Rules (with Kentucky Thunder) 1997
- Ancient Tones (with Kentucky Thunder) 1999
- Soldier of The Cross (with Kentucky Thunder) 1999
- History of the Future (with Kentucky Thunder) 2001
- Bluegrass Rules! 2001
- Weapon of Prayer (with Kentucky Thunder) 2001
- Live at the Charleston Music Hall (with Kentucky Thunder) 2003
- The Three Pickers (with Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs) 2003
- Brand New Strings (with Kentucky Thunder) 2004
- Hunting Dog Blues (with Ole Smucker) 2005
- Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby 2007
- Salt of the Earth 2007
- 1983 Best Country Instrumental Performance: New South (J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, Todd Phillips, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs) for Fireball
- 1984 Best Country Instrumental Performance: Ricky Skaggs for Wheel Hoss
- 1986 Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist): Ricky Skaggs for Riaisin' The Dickins
- 1991 Best Country Vocal Collaboration: Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner & Vince Gill for Restless
- 1998 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules!
- 1998 Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt & Dwight Yoakam for Same Old Train
- 1999 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Ancient Tones
- 2000 Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Soldier Of The Cross
- 2003 Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for A Simple Life
- 2004 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Brand New Strings
- 2006 Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for Instrumentals
CMA (Country Music Association) Awards
- 1982 Male Vocalist of the Year: Ricky Skaggs
- 1982 Horizon Award: Ricky Skaggs
- 1983 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
- 1984 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
- 1985 Entertainer of the Year: Ricky Skaggs
- 1985 Instrumental Group of the Year: Ricky Skaggs Band
- 1987 Vocal Duo of the Year: Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White
IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards
- 1998 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 1998 Album Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for Bluegrass Rules!
- 1999 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2000 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2000 Instrumental Album Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza
- 2000 Recorded Event Of The Year: David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs & Buck White for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza
- 2002 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2003 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2004 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2005 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- 2006 Instrumental Group Of The Year: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Other Awards and Accomplishments
- R&R Best New Artist
- Billboard magazine's Artist of the Year
- Musician Magazine- Voted One of the Top 100 Guitarists of the Century
- Artist of the Decade- Listeners' Poll Award BBC Radio 2
- CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music rank #37 in 2003.
- 1997 Interview with Ricky Skaggs
- Himes, Geoffrey. (1998). "Ricky Skaggs". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 486-7.
- Ricky Skaggs, age 7, plays with Flatt & Scruggs on the Martha White Show
- Ricky Skaggs articles, interviews and CD reviews at Country Standard Time
- Ricky Skaggs Biography