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Ricky Van Shelton calling it quits

Monday, May 8, 2006 – After 20 years of touring, Ricky Van Shelton is calling it a day.

Shelton said he was ending touring and performing after 16 albums and 12 number 1 singles.

In a letter dated May 3, he wrote, "I need to share with you a very difficult decision that I have reached this week. I have asked to be released from the performance obligations that have been made for the rest of this year."

I understand and appreciate the deep devotion that many of you have shown to me during the past 19 years of my musical career. I have not made this decision lightly, and I deeply regret any inconvenience that this may cause to those of you who have already made plans to attend some of these performances.

There are several reasons for this decision, some of them very personal. But I want to assure each of you that Bettye and I are in good health and still love music and everything it stands for. Music will always be a part of my life."

But we have decided that at this time, we need to be close to our families. As many of you know, most of our family is in Virginia. We've been away from what we have always called home for the past 20 years. During that time, we have lost my father and Bettye's mother. We weren't there for them, and we have always regretted not spending more time with them. We believe that we need to be in Virginia at this time. We want to be more involved with our immediate families and be available to them and their needs. I trust that most of you will understand."

We will continue to utilize our web site ( to keep you updated on ongoing projects. Maybe now I can finish that CD of original songs that you have been so patient about. And perhaps, there will be other musical projects that I can pursue without being away from home for long periods of time. My options are open and I will keep you informed thru the web site.

We have made a lot of dear friends over the past years. We will always be grateful for the support, encouragement and prayers that you have shared with us. I hope that we can also count on your good wishes for us as we begin this new phase of our life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

CD reviews for Ricky Van Shelton

Blue Christmas
Ricky Van Shelton's snow-strewn album stands out this year as the best holiday release. Why? Well, first there's the Virginian's vocals. As usual, one of country's most under-appreciated vocalists turns in another killer country performance. Christmas or not. Like the oft-covered title track. Shelton's comfortable way with Elvis' most well-known Yuletide tune nearly eclipses the King's. Elsewhere, familiar chestnuts like "Silver Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" roll like newly fallen snow from »»»
Fried Green Tomatoes
The star of Ricky Van Shelton - with 10 Number 1's to his credit - isn't what it once was having left the big labels for the smaller indies. What remains is the strong voice of Van Shelton and a high quality album. The voice comes through on the ballads, like "I Was Losing You" where you have the sense of loss is easily conveyed as something real. The pedal-steel infused "Foolish Pride" where he shows his command amidst good backing vocals from Liana Manis. The Virginian alternates between »»»
Making Plans
From 1987 to 1992, Ricky Van Shelton went on a great run. Ten number-one singles, six more in the top five. Five platinum albums. CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1990. Then it suddenly dried up - his best-charting single of the past five years only reached number 20. Instead of retiring to Branson, however, Van Shelton believed strongly enough in his creativity and music to start his own record label, and the results are phenomenal. He's always had one of the richest, most distinctive voices in »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy – Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country. That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
Concert Review: Not only is Turner traditional, he's popular – Every time Josh Turner reached for some of those wonderful subterranean low notes, which he often pulled out during his enjoyable night show, it was like a superhero applying a superpower. He didn't need this extra advantage to please his audience; he has so many quality songs stockpiled in his catalogue already doing the job.... »»»
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