Scott Kaye talks w/ Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlock

(EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using a digital filter) performs onstage during day 1 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 25, 2014 in Indio, California.

I had a chat this week with Rickey Medlock from Lynyrd Sknyrd.

During his first stint with Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1971-1972 he played drums and sang lead on a few songs that would initially be released on 1978’s “First and Last”. Medlocke would rejoin Blackfoot in 1972 and later returned to Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996 as a guitarist with whom he continues to tour and record today.  Being of Native American ancestry, specifically Lakota Sioux and Cherokee, Medlocke was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Medlocke recorded shortly with the 1970s era Lynyrd Skynyrd band as a session musician, occasionally playing drums or singing lead on a few songs for them in 1971: “One More Time”, “Preacher’s Daughter”, “Lend a Helpin’ Hand”, “Wino”, “White Dove”, “Comin’ Home”, “The Seasons”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Pray”, and “You Run Around”. On occasion, Medlocke played alongside the band’s original drummer Bob Burns but came to desire the energy of a guitarist at the front of the stage. This resulted in his 1972 decision to reform Blackfoot. The band began touring and producing hit songs that included “Train, Train“, which was written by his grandfather, and “Highway Song”, written by Rickey Medlocke and Blackfoot drummer Jakson Spires, along with songs written by others. He disbanded the group in the early 1990s.

For a while in the 1990s, Medlocke thought about pursuing other careers until he received a phone call in 1996 from Gary Rossington inviting him to rejoin Lynyrd Skynyrd as a lead guitarist and primary songwriter. Rossington asked Medlocke if he remembered how to play “Free Bird“, “Tuesday’s Gone“, and “Workin’ For MCA“, among others. Medlocke rejoined Skynyrd and has been a member since.

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