I Always Liked Ricky Skaggs - Until Today

  By Daniel Eslinger
When I first heard Ricky Skaggs was going to be playing this year's White River Valley Electric Cooperative in Branson, MO I was super excited.  

It was the 75th Annual meeting and was held at the perfect venue, the Branson Events Center which used


to be called the Tri-Lakes Center.  It is next to the building that used to be called the Kirby Van Burch Theatre - Kirby and Bambi are on tour again.  

Anyway, the meeting opened with the pledge of allegiance to the American Flag and a prayer that was closed in Jesus' name.  I am so proud of our American heritage.  It was great to see so many others who feel the same way all in the same place - and it wasn't even in a church service.

This was followed by other meeting formalities and then Ricky Skaggs and his large group of musicians/singers took the stage.  Ricky made a couple of jokes about it being early (in the morning) to perform and then began to put on one terrific show.

He and the guys played a few songs and then he began to talk.  As I listened to him tell stories of his childhood, his family and his faith in God and love of Jesus, I began to slightly change my opinion of Ricky Skaggs.

One story he told was about the first time he met the Father Of Bluegrass, Mr. Bill Monroe.  Mr. Monroe was playing a school gymnasium where a 6 year old Ricky was already known to be an up and coming mandolin player.  As Mr. Monroe played people began to yell out things like, "Let little Ricky Skaggs sing one" and "Let Ricky play."  

Then perhaps bowing to the pressure or just because he was a good guy, Mr. Monroe let the young boy play on stage with him.  He even put his full-sized mandolin on young Ricky.  


The two developed a lasting friendship told about in Skaggs' book, Kentucky Traveler My Life In Music.

Ricky Skaggs and his group closed out their portion of the day with 2 of his biggest hits Highway 40 Blues and Uncle Pen.  The crowd cheered and we stood to our feet.

About this time, you might be asking yourself why I changed my mind about liking Ricky Skaggs.  The reason is simple.  After watching and listening to him in person, I believe by his public testimony that he is a follower of Jesus Christ.  

So I no longer like Ricky Skaggs.  I love him as a brother and proclaimer of the glorious name Jesus Christ.  Thanks for one fun morning Ricky!  

To learn more, visit the official Ricky Skaggs website here
       


10 comments:

Janie Freize said...

Ricky is my second cousin and he does follow Jesus and was raised in a wonderful Christian home..:)

Ted Popp said...

That is exactly why I like Ricky Skaggs aside from his music, and he is not afraid or ashamed to tell y'all so!

Ted Popp said...

That is exactly why I like Ricky Skaggs, aside from his music. I is not afraid to stand up and speak what he believes in. Regardless of what others think.

Anonymous said...

You had me going there,but that turned out so much better! I saw Ricky in Mansfield PA years ago-a class act for sure...

Anonymous said...

The coop meeting did not start with the Pledge of Allegiance it was actually opened by State Represenative of the 138th district of Missouri, Don Phillips sharing his musical talents & Christian witness. How many politicians have you seen do that? Thank you Don Phillips.

Anonymous said...

So you only loved him once you found out he was a Christian? I suggest you read that bible you claim to love and see what is wrong with your stance lol. Amazing you would even write this. wow

Eslinger Ultramedia said...

Of course you are correct about loving people that are not Christians. That is what Jesus taught us. Thank you for reminding everyone.

Also, Don Phillips did an AWESOME job. It was fun to see him in that way. I missed several other details as I was writing mainly about my appreciation of Mr. Skaggs. Thank you for reading folks - it was a fun day!

Anonymous said...

You should hear him preach...powerful.

I have followed Ricky Skaggs music since he and I were teenagers and would play at Bluegrass festivals. Amazing musician who can play many instruments.

Anonymous said...

I've know Ricky for years and His testimony hasn't change, whether he is playing in a church or a bar. He shares his testimony. I have set in bars and watched as the crowds went deathly silent as he began to talk of his love for Jesus Christ. If this is the first time you have heard him talk of Jesus and his testimony you haven't been listening to him.

Tim Thompson said...

I love him too, but he needs to cut his hair! LOL