In 1985, country icon Ricky Skaggs released “Country Boy” as the second single and title track off his seventh studio album. The song became Skaggs’ another No. 1 hit single on the country chart, occupying the top spot of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for the entire week and spending a total of thirteen remarkable weeks.
“Country Boy” was written by the members of the British country rock band Heads Hands & Feet: Tony Colton, Albert Lee, and Ray Smith. Lee first debuted the rollicking, smoldering tune in 1971 and later included it on his 1979 album, Hiding. In 1982, country singer Karen Brooks released her version, calling it “Country Girl.”
But it was Ricky Skaggs, along with his vibrant new style of country-bluegrass, that brought the song to country music fans’ attention. The album Country Boy also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Other notable Ricky Skaggs songs found in the album are “Something in My Heart” and “Window Up Above.”
One Of Country Music’s All-Time Great Videos
The music video for Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Boy” made a buzz upon its release. Filmed in a wintery New York City, the video features the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe.
Monroe played the role of a disapproving Uncle Pen, who confronted Skaggs – a cotton picker turned into a big-city bank executive – for shedding his country ways. But Skaggs showed through song and dance that while he looks like a city slicker, he’s “just a country boy, country boy at heart.”
The music video was one of the first-ever nominees for the Country Music Association’s newly added Video of the Year award. However, it lost the honor to Hank Williams Jr.’s all the more star-studded “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.”
The short clip was directed by Martin Kahan, a prominent and prolific music video director whose work includes Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” and Hank Williams Jr.’s “Hog Wild.” You can watch Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Boy” below and be prepared to be filled with amazement.