During the dawn of the 80’s, a lot of the songs in the country music hailed the genre as the “Adult Contemporary” sound of the 1980’s. Artists like Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, Mickey Gilley, Anne Murray are some who dominated the charts. They were also the ones who had given the music a glossy pop sheen. Unfortunately, some also went so far as to make the demise of traditional country possible.
The Trailblazer of Neotraditional Country Music
Among the country artist of the 80’s, there was Ricky Skaggs. He was one of the country artists who is not counted in the contemporary genre. Skaggs was the trailblazer of the “Neotraditional” movement that became extremely popular several years down the road in the 1980’s. Even though his success started early in the decade.
Ricky Skaggs is a native of Cordell, Kentucky. He grew up to the sound of pure mountain harmonies. He made his record titled, “A Tribute To The Stanley Brothers” at the age of sixteen. Skaggs was also a contributor to Ralph Stanley’s Band. “The Clinch Mountain Boys” during that time. Thereafter, he landed jobs in other bluegrass bands. Then in 1977, he ended up in Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band. Ricky Skaggs received critical acclaim for his contributions to Emmylou’s 1980 bluegrass album “Roses In The Snow.” Together with his credits and his unfinished album “Don’t Cheat In Our Hometown,” he secured a deal from Epic Records.
The Epic Epic Records
Epic Records signed Ricky Skaggs in a hesitant manner. His Traditional bent would no doubt limit Epic’s ability to market the first album successfully. With that said, one label executive in Epic even placed a bet that Skaggs wouldn’t sell 50,000 units within a year of release.
However, the wheels of fortune were on Ricky Skaggs’ side. To everyone’s surprise, his first Epic single “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin” went to No. 16 on Billboards’ country chart. Then his follow up, “You May See Me Walkin” reached No. 9/ For his 3rd single, “CryingMy Heart Out Over You,” peaked at No. 21.
“I always loved that song and had done it a few times in some bluegrass bands. I thought it came out good when we did it in the studio, but even I never really realized that people would love it that much.” Ricky Skaggs said.
“Crying My Heart Out Over You” reached the peak of Billboard’s Country Singles chart on April 24, 1982, providing Skaggs with the first of his eleven No. 1 hits.