Ricky Skaggs‘ 1985 win for CMA Entertainer of the Year represented a midpoint in a career that has spanned the traditional to the commercial and back again, from the 1970s to the present day.
Today the Last.fm Trends team is looking at how that 1985 win has shaped a career that’s as long as it is varied, and which tracks listeners are flocking to, as part of our rundown of CMA winners through the years.
In charts for both the last six months and the last week, “Uncle Pen” is by far Skaggs’ most popular track, with 13,128 scrobbles from 5,841 listeners overall. Reaching Number One in the US Country charts in 1984, its success no doubt propelled him towards the CMA accolade and it’s still popular among Last.fm listeners. Similarly, over the span of 11 tracks in the comparative charts, eight were released pre-1985.
The exceptions to the rule appear on his 1997 album Bluegrass Rules! – suggesting that listeners are drawn to his modern take on traditionalism, more than the experimental path he’s carved out of late. Recent collaborations with The Raconteurs and Bruce Hornsby have brought him to a new audience, but it seems fans love Skaggs for his classic tracks the most.
Whilst Skaggs boasts a relatively small 33,511 listeners overall, his niche audience know what they like: Bluegrass is his top tag, and more Country latest album Mosaic has yet to make a strong appearance in his charts.
Check out more about the CMA Entertainers of the Year throughout October at Last.fm Trends.