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
Ricky Fitzpatrick has been
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
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
“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
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
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
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.