Ricky Skaggs‘ fans and friends jammed a spacious corner of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Nashville on Monday (Aug. 12) to celebrate the publication of the singer’s autobiography, Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music.
The event, which culminated with a book signing, was the focus of an hour-long live broadcast on WSM-AM. DJ and music historian Eddie Stubbs hosted. Now 59, Skaggs has been an Opry member since 1982.
Fellow Opry star Jeannie Seely read congratulatory notes from singers Bill Anderson, Jan Howard and Larry Gatlin. Melissa Foster and her mother, Anne, of the Foster Family bluegrass group, serenaded the crowd with “Blue Kentucky Girl,” a nod to Skaggs’ home state. Also in the crowd was Larry Cordle, who penned Skaggs’ 1983 hit, “Highway 40 Blues.”
Skaggs wrote his memoir with Eddie Dean, who co-authored Ralph Stanley‘s 2009 autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times. Skaggs got his professional start playing in Stanley’s band.