Rickey Medlocke has been performing onstage since he was 3 years old. His grandfather, well-known Delta blues musician, Shorty Medlock, brought the young Rickey along to perform with him every Saturday night on a local television show, The Toby Dowdy Show. Rickey would play a miniature banjo Shorty had taught him to play. From ages 3-8 Rickey accompanied Shorty on the air, and at live shows, and over the years his musical talents and natural abilities grew. By age 5, Rickey had taught himself how to play guitar and by age 8 he was playing drums in Shorty's band, playing local dances and auditoriums. Over the years, Rickey's love of music and performing pushed him to excel not only at the banjo and guitar and drums, but at a variety of instruments - mandolin, dobro, keyboards, and particularly the guitar. In addition to his playing abilities, Rickey has been gifted with a melodic singing voice and he also taught himself how to sing and play guitar at the same time. While in high school, Rickey got the acting bug and in addition to his musical pursuits, he also performed in all the school productions of shows like "West Side Story," "Oklahoma" and "Brigadoon". When he graduated from high school, there was a blossoming music scene in southern Florida, and Rickey couldn't resist the pull of the music. He formed a band with his childhood friends and called it Blackfoot in honor of their Native American heritage. Rickey had also grown up with the members of another Jacksonville band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and when Blackfoot's attempts to move to the north (New York and New Jersey) didn't seem to be successful, he called Skynyrd leader Ronnie Van Zant who asked him to come play drums with the soon to be legendary band. Rickey wrote and sometimes sang with Skynyrd, but sitting behind a drum kit could never satisfy the energetic, charismatic performing personality of Rickey Medlocke, and eventually he decided to re-form Blackfoot, where he sang and played lead guitar, in addition to writing or co-writing most of the songs. Blackfoot was a southern band, but they were a hard rock band and that helped them to stand out and for the next several years, Blackfoot toured the world incessantly.
Spurred on by hit singles like "Train Train", "Highway Song" and "Fly Away", Blackfoot have sold 5 million records throughout their career. In the early 1990s, Rickey finally decided to break up the band he'd started and thought about pursuing his other career goals, including acting. However, a phone call from Lynyrd Skynyrd founder, Gary Rossington inviting Rickey to rejoin the band, this time in the pivotal role of lead guitarist and as one of the primary songwriters, was something he could never turn down. Since Rickey rejoined the band in 1996, Lynyrd Skynyrd has been enjoying a major resurrection, and to date, the band has sold almost 40 million albums worldwide.
In 2000, Rickey saw the new millennium as time for some new challenges and he decided that he wanted to pursue the acting career he'd always dreamed of, and began studying and reading for parts. William Shatner cast him in his first role, the recently released "Groom Lake". Since then he has appeared on TV, in another yet-to-be released film, and in print ads and radio commercials.
In his little spare time between all his work, Rickey is currently working on a book about his music career and on a solo album.
Was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
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