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Ricky Skaggs: Entertaining Audiences For More Than 50 Years

Ricky Skaggs got an early start in music.  At the age of 5, we woke up one morning to find that his parents had left a pint sized mandolin in his bed.  A year later, he played a show with Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass  and appearances with Earl Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers followed. Before the age of 10, Scruggs was fortunate enough to have performed with three of his heroes.  “When you learn music from  masters like that at such an early age, that I did, those people stay with you,” Skaggs told St. Louis Public Radio’s Jim Althoff.

Skaggs has garnered 14 Grammys in his 50 plus year career and is regarded as a bluegrass legend. But he  has achieved success in the country and gospel genres as well, and has received multiple Country Music Association Awards.  His latest recording, “Music to My Ears” combines both bluegrass and country.

Jim Althoff spoke with Ricky Skaggs on Cityscape.  They discussed Skaggs’ start in the music business, the history of bluegrass, the difference between bluegrass and country, his unique instrumentation in his country music, and his appearance at The Sheldon with his band, Kentucky Thunder.

Related Event

Friends of the Sheldon Present Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Friday, February 22, 2013
8:00 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.
(314) 533-9900
Sheldon Website

Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.