Who is Rickey Medlocke?
Rickey Medlocke is an American musician who is known to the music lovers as the guitarist of the southern rock band ‘Blackfoot’ as well as one of the members of American rock band ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’. He joined ‘Blackfoot’ back in 1969 and was associated with the band for two years as a front-man cum guitarist. He then joined ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ for a year. Rickey returned to his first band ‘Blackfoot’ in 1972 and spent the next 25 years building his legacy with them. Born to a young single mother, Medlocke was raised by his maternal grandfather Shorty Medlocke, the popular Delta blues musician and banjo player. Growing up under the watchful eyes of the mature musician, young Rickey received ample support to develop his inherent passion for music. As a little boy he began teaching himself to play the guitar and soon started learning to play the other musical instruments as well. As an eight-year-old he began performing with his grandfather’s band and within a few years established himself as a talented musician in his own right.
Rickey Medlocke was first taught to play a miniature banjo by his grandfather Shorty Medlocke, the very famous Delta blues musician and banjo player. He started to perform on stage at the young age of three. Rickey taught himself to play the guitar at the age of five and began playing the drum in his grandfather’s band from the age of eight.
He embarked on his professional journey with the band ‘Blackfoot’ before joining ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ as a session musician and contributed to some of the iconic songs of the band including ‘Wino’, ‘White Dove’, ‘Comin' Home’, ‘The Seasons’, ‘Preacher's Daughter’, ‘Lend a Helpin' Hand’, ‘Ain't Too Proud to Pray’, and ‘You Run Around’ and ‘One More Time’.
In 1972, he rejoined Blackfoot and started touring with them. The band recorded songs like ‘Train, Train’ and ‘Highway Song’; the former was written by his grandfather Shorty while the latter was written by Rickey himself in collaboration the band’s drummer Jakson Spires. He continued to be part of the band till the late 1990s and then left to rejoin ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’.
Rickey took up a fresh role upon his return to the band and became the lead guitarist and the songwriter after he was convinced by fellow band member Gary Rossington. He spent the ensuing years performing with the band in various tours and also often stepped away from the band to collaborate with various artistes. He has worked with musicians like Blackberry Smoke and Shooter Jennings since he rejoined ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’, and has also appeared in various shows as a guest. He attended the grand finale of the reality show ‘American Idol,’ performing with the finalist Bo Bice in 2005.
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Rickey Medlocke was born in Jacksonville, Florida on February 17, 1950. He was raised by his maternal grandparents and was introduced to music by his grandfather, Shorty Medlocke, a well-known musician. He was taught to play the banjo by his grandfather.
Later he would teach himself to play the guitar and perform on stage with his grandfather’s band. He learned singing by himself and eventually mastered the art of playing various musical instruments including guitar, drums, mandolin, dobro, and keyboards. Taking forward his passion for music, he formed his first band named ‘Fresh Garbage’ which was shortly renamed to ‘Hammer’.
Coming to his personal life, Medlocke is a very private person and not much about his dating and family life is known to the media.