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Ricky Skaggs

RICKY SKAGGS

Born to Hobert and Dorothy Skaggs in 1954 in the Kentucky Mountains, Ricky Lee began his career at the age of 5 when Bill Monroe invited him on stage to sing the Osborne Brothers' "Ruby." Two years later he sang on Flatt and Scruggs' TV show. As a fiddle and guitar master at age 15, he formed The East Kentucky Mountain Boys with fellow teenage Kentuckian, Keith Whitley, with whom he performed perfect renditions of Stanley Brothers tunes. Upon hearing them in 1970, Ralph Stanley immediately hired Skaggs and Whitley into his band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. Stanley also supported the duo in the making of their own album, Second Generation Bluegrass.

A pioneer in the New Grass movement, Ricky Skaggs later formed his own group, Boone Creek. In 1977, after several albums with Boone Creek, and as a soloist, Ricky went on to replace Rodney Crowell in Emmylou Harris' Hot Band and helped shape her breakthrough bluegrass album, Roses in the Snow. Emmylou returned the favor by singing on Ricky's 1979 solo album Sweet Temptation. These records laid the foundation for Ricky's major-label debut, 1981's Waiting for the Sun to Shine, an innovative hybrid of mainstream country and old-fashioned bluegrass. The album yielded back-to-back #1 singles and two CMA Horizon Awards.

Skaggs released a string of albums in the early to mid-80's which featured many traditional songs including his chart-topping version of Bill Monroe's "Uncle Pen." Throughout the 90's, Ricky Skaggs went on to be a leading advocate for traditional country music, hosting TV shows and live concerts in which he presented and jammed with Bluegrass-greats young and old, including Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Alison Krauss, and Del McCoury.

In the Spring of 2001, Ricky hosted a unique jam session at his Skaggs Family Records studio. On the guest list were Cajun masters Marc and Ann Savoy, harmonica blower James Cotton, and bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs. They found their common musical ground in "Working Man Blues."

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