Country and bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs will be in concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Sunday, July 31, at 5 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. Skaggs will perform at Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 North Lincoln Avenue. Skagg’s latest CD is Country Hits Bluegrass Style.
The Chicago Examiner spoke with Mr. Skaggs in Nashville about his 52-year career. He received his first mandolin from his father at age five. Skaggs said, “I never knew it would afford me and allow me to make a living for my family and I. My father was a welder in Ohio. He found a little mandolin in a pawn shop up there. He probably only gave five dollars for it. It was an amazing thing to wake up and see an instrument laying in my bed. I fell in love with it as soon as I put it in my hands. It was like destiny and it’s something that stayed with me for years.”
Ricky Skaggs started playing music professionally in 1971. Skaggs came from a humble yet solid Christian background. He reminisced about his days as a young man growing up in Kentucky. “I’ve been playing for a long, long time. I made money all through school going to talent shows and doing little concerts with my dad and mom. I’d make a little money here or there.”
Skaggs said, “I remember my first television appearance was with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs at the Grand Old Opry. I was seven-years-old and I remember making $52.50. That was what was on the check when I got it. That’s the most money I had ever made in my life. At seven-years-old, I thought ‘man, there’s hundreds in this business’ you know.” Mr. Skaggs chuckled.
In his career, Skaggs has won an astounding 14 Grammy™ Awards, started his own record label and been the inspiration for musicians like The Roys who recently appeared at Country Thunder Music Festival in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
Continue reading the Ricky Skaggs interview.
SOURCES: Special thanks to Mr. Ricky Skaggs for granting an interview, Martha Moore of So Much Moore Media and Nick Macri of Old Town School for contributing to this story.