Ricky Skaggs Is NRA Country

posted on June 9, 2024
Ricky Skaggs
Russ Carson/Carson Photoworks

A life full of music: That’s the story of Ricky Skaggs. His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass. The diverse and masterful tones made by the gifted Skaggs come from a life dedicated to playing music that is both fed by the soul and felt by the heart. In the late 1970s, Skaggs turned his attention to country music. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. As his popularity soared, he garnered eight awards from the Country Music Association (CMA). In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Arts for his contributions to the American music industry. This 15-time Grammy Award winner continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music. He is proud of our country and his heritage. Ricky wants to be remembered as a man who loved God, his family, his neighbors and his country as a true patriot. He asks us all to do the same. NRA Country’s Lisa Supernaugh interviewed Ricky. If you would like to learn more about him, his music and his tour dates, please visit him on all social-media platforms or his website at rickyskaggs.com.

LS: Your first time on stage was when you were how old? Tell us how it came about?
RS: Six. My dad bought me a mandolin and showed me a few chords. He worked away from home, so I was playing it, and he was impressed. Bill Monroe was coming to town for a show. … Well, the neighbors were there, and they kept yelling, “Let little Ricky Skaggs play!” Monroe took off this big mandolin of his and placed it around my neck … . So, my dad moved us to Nashville, hoping to get me on the Grand Ole Opry. I did get to meet Earl Scruggs backstage, and he got me an audition for a TV show.

LS: You received the distinguished National Medal of Arts award for your contribution to the preservation of country music. How did it feel to be chosen by President Donald J. Trump and awarded this incredible distinction?
RS: I was honored to be chosen and presented that award by President Trump. It was amazing to receive such a distinguished award for doing what I love to do: play music—music that I love.

LS: I have read you have a love of flintlocks. A particular one was given to you by a friend, Mort Mullins. Can you tell us about it?
RS: Mort found a gun barrel in the ashes of a fire of an old store that burned down in Flat Gap, Ky. It was a county over from where I was raised. Mort told me this was owned by a Skaggs man, and he gave it to me. I sent it off to Mike Eishenhower, in Boone, N.C., who did most of the flintlocks in “The Last of the Mohicans.” He cleaned it all up and sent it back to me. It’s my favorite, of course.

LS: You come from a long line of military folks as far back as the Revolutionary War, as well as the French and Indian War. Tell me a bit about it.
RS: Well, from the barrel that Mort found, we were related to a Skaggs who owned it. I come from great stock. My great-grandma Carrie Osbourne Skaggs’ lineage was traced back and put me in the Sons of the American Revolution. It is quite an honor. My family history is so very special to me.

LS: What does freedom mean to you?
RS: The ability to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on our own land, in our hard work, and in our education.

NRA Country is a lifestyle and a bond between the country music community and hard-working Americans everywhere. It’s powered by pride, freedom, love of country, respect for the military and the responsibilities of protecting the great American life. For more information visit nracountry.com, follow us on Facebook facebook.com/nracountryTwitter @NRACountry, and NRA_Country on Instagram.


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