Living Jackson Magazine; The Jackson County Sound Part II

An excerpt from the Living Jackson magazine article, The Jackson County Sound, Part II of II.

Story by Jaclyn Weldon White

 

Now we come to the

second and final installment—

or shall we say the

final verse—of the Jackson

County Sound series in

Living Jackson.

 

 

Ricky Fitzpatrick has been

performing professionally

for about 20 years. The

musician, who lives with his family in

Apple Valley, started out playing the

guitar and singing popular songs of the

day in Athens bars and clubs.

 

“All the songs people love to drink

to,” he said with a smile.

 

He always considered his style to be

folk, but just about everyone seemed to

think of him as a country singer.

“It’s because I talk with such a

at Southern drawl,” he said.

 

But Fitzpatrick wasn’t satisfied just

covering other people’s songs. More

and more he crafted his own compositions,

many of which were about life,

people and places in and around Jackson

and Madison counties.

 

When he began performing it, his

own work was well received, not only

locally, but around the country. He

even performed at New York’s Apollo

Theater. Soon afterwards, Fitzpatrick

decided that he’d only perform his

own music. The decision was met with

mixed reactions. It wasn’t popular in

the bar scene, but he soon found new

audiences in coffee houses, libraries

and bookstores.

 

In 2009 Fitzpatrick decided to re

cord a gospel CD, taking a collection of

gospel songs and hymns and recording

them in his own folk-influenced style.

 

It wasn’t a big stretch for a man who’d

actually studied for the ministry in his

youth, but he freely admits the move

was originally based on business. He

knew that the Christian market was a

prosperous one. However, the acceptance

of his new work was overwhelming

and what started as a business

decision rapidly became a life-changing

passion.

 

“A few months ago,” he said, “I

announced I’ll only be doing Christian

material from here out.”

 

Fitzpatrick is one of the founders of

The Healing Power of Music, a group of

over 300 musicians—including James

Taylor, Amy Grant and the Imagination

Movers—who take the gift of live

musical performances to hospitals and

nursing homes.

 

He has a new CD in the works and

appearances scheduled in bookstores,

libraries and at area Relays for Life this

spring. In the fall, he’ll be appearing at

Art in the Park where he’ll donate his

song “Hurricane Shoals” to the Tumbling

Waters Society.

 

###

 

The Jackson County Sound concludes

with this installment. In the

words of an old-time song, however,

“ … the melody lingers on,” and there

will be more music in this magazine.

Let the editor know if there are other

Jackson County musicians who should

be featured.

 

 

Jaclyn Weldon White is the author of

a number of fiction, nonfiction and

children’s books who resides in Hoschton

with her husband Carl.

(The remainder of this article, photos and credits can all be enjoyed for FREE by picking up a copy of Living Jackson magazine at one of any number of local businesses.

For more information on Living Jackson magazine and/or the availability of this issue (April 2010), you can call their offices at 706-367-7761.

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