• Ricky Van Shelton was an artist who brought faith to those country fans who might have thought that Nashville had lost the plot after the advent of the early 1980s’ Urban Cowboy movement. In the course of ten years, and two dozen chart successes, he was one of country music’s biggest stars.
• Born in Danville, Virginia, on January 12th 1952 he secured the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award (recognition of a new artist) in 1988 and quickly moved to the top of the ladder the following year by securing the Male Artist of the Year accolade.
• Although Ricky Van Shelton was keen to make country music a full time career, it wasn’t until he accompanied his girlfriend (later his wife) Bettye Witt to take up a job in Nashville in 1984 that his ambitions became reality. Building a reputation by working the town’s nightspots and handing out home-made demo recordings to anyone who would listen, he crossed paths with The Tennessean columnist Jerry Thompson who arranged an audition with Columbia Records. He subsequently signed to Columbia Records in 1985.
• This collection comprises four original albums on 2 CDs that represent the diversity of the singer’s recordings, with the first two being his final country albums to be released by Columbia.
• “A Bridge I Didn’t Burn” (1993) rose to #17 in the album charts and featured two singles – ‘Where Was I’ and ‘A Couple Of Good Years Left’. Two singles are also featured on “Love and Honor” (1994) – ‘Wherever She Is’ and ‘Lola’s Love’.
• On the set’s second disc, two albums move away from mainstream country. Ricky Van Shelton “Sings Christmas” (1989) presented his rendition of seasonal songs (almost an obligatory themed album for all country music performers) which reached #32 in the charts. Three years later “Don’t Overlook Salvation” recalled the gospel music of his childhood days and secured a placing in Billboard’s Christian album charts. It was recorded in the wake of a personal religious conversion.
• Ricky Van Shelton announced his retirement from touring in 2006 to spend more time with his family as well as continuing to write a series of best-selling children’s books. Created some ten years earlier and published through his own company (RVS Books) he displayed further artistic talent by complementing the stories with drawings.