The BMI and ASCAP databases credit Ricky Skaggs with 30 published compositions or arrangements, including:

  • “Meetin’ House Branch”
  • “My Father’s Son”
  • “One Way Track”
  • “Son of Hobert”
  • “That’s It”

Early Influences

  • Hobert Skaggs (father)
  • Dorothy Skaggs (mother)
  • Church
  • Father’s record collection
  • Bill Monroe
  • Stanley Brothers / Pee Wee Lambert
  • Flatt and Scruggs

Came to Fame With

  • Ricky Skaggs, 1980-present

Performed With

  • Skaggs Family, 1960-1970
  • Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs and the Lonesome Mountain Boys, 1970
  • Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, 1970-1973
  • The Country Gentlemen, 1974
  • J.D. Crowe and New South, 1974-1975
  • Boone Creek, 1975-1978
  • Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band, 1979-1980
  • Ricky Skaggs, 1980-1995
  • Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, 1995-present

Led the Way

  • Following apprenticeship with legendary bluegrass pioneers, became and remains a major star in both country and bluegrass worlds.
  • Holds 15 Grammy awards, 11 Billboard #1 country hits, 4 gold and 1 platinum albums.
  • Brought a number of classic bluegrass songs to mainstream audiences, including a #1 country hit with “Uncle Pen,”1984.
  • Proficient on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar.
  • Co-wrote and published his autobiography, Kentucky Traveler, 2013.
  • Inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the IBMA Hall of Fame, 2018.

By the Way


  • Birth certificate name is spelled “Rickie,” but he has always gone by “Ricky.”
  • Helped build the stage for Ralph Stanley’s McClure, Virginia bluegrass festival, 1971.
  • Married Sharon White of the Whites, 1981.
  • Owns the Lloyd Loar Gibson F-5 mandolin once played by legendary Stanley Brothers sideman Pee Wee Lambert.
  • Collects Three Stooges and Marx Brothers videos and vintage radio and recording microphones.

From the Archives

“I didn’t come to Nashville to sell records—I hoped I did—but it’s really the joy of the music that keeps my heart interested in it. I feel that now that I’m sixty-two years old, gray-headed, and I’m looking back at my life, this is the most fruitful time I feel like I’ve ever had. I’m judging fruit as people I’ve influenced, not accolades from man.”
Quoted by Brit Greenquist in “Ricky Skaggs: The Keeper of Bluegrass,”, posted November 24, 2017
“He carried the ancient sounds from God knows where. Ralph [Stanley] found it in the music of the mountains, in the hollows, in the people and in the churches. He was my hero and I was blessed to know him, love him and make music with him as a young teenager. The Scriptures tell us ‘God uses the simple things to confound the wise.’ He certainly used Ralph Stanley to bring the music of the mountains to the masses.”
Quoted in “Ricky Skaggs Reacts to the Death of His ‘Hero’ Ralph Stanley,”, accessed August 18, 2018.