Country Rewind: Watch 7-Year-Old Ricky Skaggs Slay ‘Foggy Mountain Special’ 60 Years Ago

by Jim Casey

Ricky Skaggs proved he was already a master of the mandolin as a youngster during his appearance on The Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry TV Show in 1962.

Even as a 7-year-old, all Ricky Skaggs wanted to do was pick. Of course, Ricky, 67, is now a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, with a trophy case full of Grammy Awards.

Sit back and enjoy this Country Rewind as Ricky charms the strings off guitar great Lester Flatt and banjo guru Earl Scruggs.

Ricky Just Wants to Pick

Broadcast from 1955 to 1969, The Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry TV Show dished out a decadent dose of bluegrass ditties while touting the deliciousness of sponsor Martha White Flour Company. The show followed a pretty standard recipe for success that featured virtuosos like Scruggs finger-picking his banjo, along with Martha White cooking demonstrations.

During Episode 51 in January 1962, 7-year-old Ricky Skaggs was a guest on the show. Young Ricky pulled on Lester Flatt’s coattail as he was doing a Martha White spot.

“What do you want, son?” inquired Flatt.

“I wanna pick,” replied Ricky.

“You wanna pick?” said Flatt, with a laugh. “Earl, he’s back here with his mandolin and says he wants to pick.”

“Put him on,” said Earl Scruggs.

And pick he did. Ricky crushed “Foggy Mountain Special,” a tune featured on Flatt & Scruggs’ 1957 album, Foggy Mountain Jamboree. After Ricky’s instrumental performance, he tackled “Ruby” with vocals.

Hall of Fame Bound

Of course, Ricky now has one of the most distinguished careers in the history of country music, bluegrass music, and gospel music. Chet Atkins once credited Ricky for “single-handedly” saving county music from the depths of the Urban Cowboy movement.

The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee (2018) and Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee (2018) has earned 15 Grammy Awards, four ACM Awards, and six CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year (1985).

Ricky’s catalog of No. 1 hits on the country chart includes “Heartbroke,” “Uncle Pen,” “I Don’t Care,” “Country Boy,” and many more. Of course, Ricky returned to bluegrass music in the late 1990s with a string of award-winning albums. Moreover, Ricky was a 2020 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.

Need more Ricky in your life? Yes, yes you do.