As a kid, Rick Jackson was a Beatles and Led Zeppelin fan, although his dad liked the music of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and other classic Country artists, and that’s what he brought into Rick’s life. They both loved music, and they spent a lot of time haggling over control of the radio dial. But, it was his dad’s radio after all, so generally, dad’s music won out.
Fast forward to Rick Jackson’s early years in radio…. Rick decided he was going to be a radio star, and as luck would have it, his first job in 1974 and was at a country station, KBRN in Brighton, Colorado. The first song Rick played on the air was “Linda on my Mind” by Conway Twitty. Rick says not only will he never forget it, but he recalls thinking, “What kind of crazy name is that – Conway Twitty”? But, it was a radio job and he was thrilled to be on the air. Rick’s next job was at a station in Denver, KERE, and there he felt he’d hit the big time. As it turned out, KERE was also a Country station, and although Rick felt that maybe he’d been typecast, he also realized he was living his radio dream.
Rick’s job at KERE was hosting the overnight truckin’ show, and it was there that he met “Brother” Jim Love, the mid-day host. Love was a cool Texas hippie who supported all sorts of music, including Country, and he shared everything he knew about the annals of Country music with a young Rick Jackson including music from the likes of Roy Acuff, Bob Wills and Patsy Cline. Also, being from Texas, Love was all fired up about what was happening in Austin with artists like Doug Sahm and Asleep at the Wheel. Rick really liked Bother Jim Love — his stories were colorful and vivid and he told them with respect and admiration, and all of that had a huge impact on the way Rick began to listen to the music.
Then Rick heard Emmylou Harris – game over. Her album, “Pieces of Sky,” turned his head around with her angelic voice, incredible songs and stellar production value. Rick was mesmerized. It was 1976 and Rick fell in love with Emmylou and Country music that year, and never looked back.
Rick Jackson went on to host the morning show at KYGO/Denver for more than a decade, and some years after working at that legendary country station he created his own nationally syndicated, Classic Country show. Now known as RICK JACKSON’S COUNTRY CLASSICS, the weekly program showcases Rick’s knowledge of Country music over the years and he presents it with all of the passion, context and good taste that he picked up long ago in his radio career.
According to Rick, “I guess my dad was right all along… I just needed to grow up and find the truth. Now, it’s a sweet memory thinking of holding the board in-place for him while he sawed away in perfect rhythm to “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Those old songs came rushing back to me when I finally allowed them to find their way into my heart. It’s a family thing now and there’s no separating my wife and kids, grandkids, mom, dad and sister from the Country tunes that have provided the soundtrack to our lives. I love country music and it has loved me back – just like my dad.” The circle is unbroken.