Ricky Skaggs’ Mother, Dorothy, Dies in Kentucky

Dorothy May Skaggs, Ricky Skaggs ’ mother and one of his major musical influences, died Friday (April 6) at her home in Blaine, Ky. She was 73.

Mrs. Skaggs and her husband, Hobert, who died in 1996, recognized and cultivated Ricky’s talents early. Performing as the Skaggs Family at churches and schools in eastern Kentucky, they seized every opportunity to spotlight their young son’s picking and singing talents.

When Ricky was 7, the family moved to Nashville, hoping to get him membership in the Grand Ole Opry. While they failed in that effort, they did secure him a guest spot on the Flatt & Scruggs syndicated TV show. The family returned to Kentucky two years later. (Skaggs became an Opry member in 1982, when he was 27.)

Dorothy Skaggs’ second enduring contribution to bluegrass music was writing the song "All I Ever Loved Was You." It has been recorded by a legion of bluegrass acts, among them Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Keith Whitley& Ricky Skaggs on Second Generation Bluegrass and Shenandoah on Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album.

Skaggs remembered his mother Saturday night on the Grand Ole Opry with a performance of "Mother’s Not Dead, She’s Only Sleeping."

Three other children, Garold, Gary and Linda Skaggs, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren survive Mrs. Skaggs. Her funeral will be held Tuesday (April 10) at First Baptist Church in Louisa, Ky. Burial will be in the Skaggs Cemetery in Cordell, Ky.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.