Music Legends Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Achieve 33-year Dream with New Duet Album
This year, Ricky and Sharon celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. Through the years, Ricky and Sharon always wanted to record an album. In fact, they won CMA’s Duet of the Year in 1987 for “Love Can’t Ever Get Better Than This.” They were on rival record labels and neither company wanted to share their artists. “We were disappointed,” says Ricky. At the time they had only been married 6 years. “We feel like releasing Hearts Like Ours is perfect timing,” he says. “Had we done a record back then, it would have been about sales and marketing. As much as we want to make a profit on selling our records, we would rather be prophets and speak to couples struggling in their marriages. We pray that God would use this duet record and speak life to people, giving them a reason to hang on.” Sharon says, “I am so happy that Ricky and I have finally done a duet CD, which we have wanted to do for years, and I think our hearts are in the right place to do this now.”
Ricky is a 14-time Grammy winner with 12 #1 singles; 11 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, 8 ACM Awards and 8 CMA Awards including Entertainer of the Year. He started playing the mandolin at the age of 5 and when he was 6, bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe was performing and called little Ricky up on stage. Bill placed his own mandolin around Ricky’s neck, which proved to be a defining moment in little Ricky’s life. By the time he was 7, Ricky made his Grand Ole Opry debut and earned his first paycheck for a musical performance when he performed with bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs on their popular syndicated TV show.
When he was 13, Ricky gave his life to the Lord at a revival meeting. Though he had heard the Gospel throughout his life, this time it was different. Ricky knew he made a commitment but not long after, a seed of doubt was planted. Satan used that seed for years and Ricky felt he never really grew in his faith. He says it took him a long time to realize that Christ did not change nor did He forget Ricky’s prayer of commitment to Him. For Ricky, his Christianity was more religious than it was about a relationship with Jesus until later in life.
Ricky’s contract with his record label ended in 1997. He decided to start his own record label so he could make the music he wanted to. Not only was Ricky returning to his bluegrass musical roots, he was returning to his commitment to God. He rededicated his life to the Lord and was fully committed. His wife, Sharon White, of the famed country group The Whites, and her mother helped Ricky on this journey. He formed a new group Kentucky Thunder. They released 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics and also opened the label to other artists. His career has spanned over 50 years, includes more than 30 albums and thousands of live performances.
Sharon’s dad, Buck White, started his musical career after World War II in Texas. In the 1960s, he took a break to raise his family but soon he and his wife Pat formed a band, Down Home Folks. Sharon and her sister Cheryl joined their parents. Their big break came in 1971 when the family moved to Nashville to pursue a serious music career. Pat retired from the band and Down Home Folks made a steady ascent in the world of bluegrass. In the 1980s they renamed the band to The Whites and gained national prominence with their Top 20 hits making it on Billboard’s country charts. Since then, The Whites have entertained millions of listerners at thousands of appearances with their unique sound. In 2001, the band blasted onto the mainstream with the smash hit movie, O' Brother Where Art Thou? They appeared in the film and were selected to participate in the soundtrack. In 2008. The Whites were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ricky and Sharon will sing “When I’m Good and Gone.”