Nashville is a city where industry and creativity meet.  A place where fortunes are made and dreams go back home.  To survive in this city takes a special breed of human with a titanium soul… light on your feet, flexible  and talented.  The city used to be the cradle of Country Music but has morphed into a diverse recording and publishing center that serves all facets and levels of the music industry.  The very fabric of the scene's success is rooted in an elite group of musicians and singers who provide the on-call services for every recording studio in the region.  One of the mainstays of this special community is singer VICKIE CARRICO.

Vickie Carrico
Vickie has been a vital part of both the road and and studio scene since 1979. Her style is a spectrum of vocal colors from light ethereal to bombastic kick-ass rock and soul -  a voiced trained to accommodate any singer on any track in any studio in any city.  Known for her big smile and big hair, this petite powerhouse can keep up with the loudest crooner in the choir.

I had known about Vickie for years, having watched her on various country programs on The Nashville Network in the 80s.  A few years ago, a friend of mine who operates a studio on Music Row asked me to create a music video for one of the local songwriters.  Vickie was one of the background singers on the session and her connection with my friends started an association that has been entertaining and educational -- Randy De Ford.

Vickie's High School Picture
Randy DeFord: You hail from Louisville, KY.  Was there a vibrant music scene that inspired you?

Vickie Carrico:
Oh yeah!!!! Tons of great bands AND I got a great musical background in Catholic school from the nuns, believe it or not. You had to sing the right notes or get a ruler across your knuckles!!!!! LOL!

You seem to run the gamut as far as styles are concerned. Which artists influenced  you the most over the years?

This is a tough one…..I remember vividly when Dad bought our first record player and he brought home 3 albums, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis,and Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. They all blew me away. Then of course, I loved Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, The Beatles, The Animals, Yes, Pink Floyd, oh hell, the list goes on and on!!!!!!

Any road stories you’d like to share?

Probably shouldn’t, HA! When I was on the road with Dottie West, we traveled about 200 days a year!!!!!! A LOT happened….oh but here’s a good one from before that time. I was still working with a group out of Louisville called Brother.
We lived on the road doing Ramada Inns and Holiday Inns. We’d play 2 weeks at each place, 5 sets a night, 6 nights a week.
Vickie with Dottie West
We were on a circuit and would just go place to place. We had an old station wagon and an equipment truck. Anyway, this was in the early to mid 70’s, but I was already a feminist and proud of it. We go into this tiny town in Alabama, not far from Montgomery to get some lunch on the road. We find this bar, but it had a sign that said no women allowed. I made the guys take a picture. I ran and stood by the sign while the bartender was yelling at me, “Get the hell out of here! We don’t allow women OR foreigners!” I yelled as I ran out of the door, “I’m from Kentucky, you backward ass hole, and some day, YOU’LL be the minority!!!!! Needless to say, the guys had the car running and we booked it out of there.

I’ve got crazier stories, but I don’t want to get anyone in trouble….ha, ha! Oh wait, here’s one that won’t incriminate anyone……I was working with a new singer named Randy Gurley who got a chance to tour as the opening act for The Oak Ridge Boys, and she hired me to sing backup not too long after I moved to Nashville. Anyway, the last day of the tour, I was going to meet up for a couple of dates with Johnny Rodriguez. In order to do that, I had to catch a red eye out of someplace in California, and meet Johnny and the gang at Six Flags in St. Louis.
The only problem
With Blues great, Tracy Nelson (60s icon)
and singers Pebble Daniel & Marcia Routh
was, my plane would get in super early and they weren’t getting in till the afternoon. So Johnny, who has friends everywhere, managed to get a couple of friends to pick me up at the airport. Well, of course this was long before 9/11 and they met me right at the gate with a big Bloody Mary. It was like 8 in the morning and I hadn’t been to bed! Then they suggest we go to the park and on the way have more drinks! Well, we go and I talk them into riding the roller coaster, not once, but about 3 times…..the 3rd time, I got sick as dog and haven’t been on a roller coaster since then!

Wulfe Brothers from Louisville,KY
Nashville is the gold standard of songwriting and recording in the US.  Does the city ebb and flow as most cultures, or have you seen a steady turnout of product over the years?

I have to say that though the music business has changed quite a bit through the years, and even with economic decline of the last few years, Nashville has been pretty consistent about new music going out. However, I do have to say that the digital downloading has taken a toll on the industry. On the other hand, there’s a lot of great indie music coming out, and you can hear incredible music in this town, 7 days a week!

You are also a songwriter.  Are you most creative with input from other writers or do  you tend to take  the lone road?

Vickie with Brenda Lee and Sheila Lawrence
Sometimes a melody will start nudging me and I’ll have to follow it. Sometimes it’s a lyric and melody to a chorus.
But I love co-writing with people and have had great times working on songs that others have started. Some days, we can write one or two entire songs, and then there’s the songs that seem to take awhile. Either way, for me, songwriting is always an adventure.

You were involved with television for many years on The Nashville Network. What was that experience like?

I had a blast!!!!!! I also learned how to read and
write number charts, which has been invaluable since we typically had to sing on about 18 songs a day on some of the shows and we would tape about 10 shows in a week!!!! Also, it was great for me, because when I first came to Nashville, a few “big wigs” said I should go back to where I came from because I sounded too bluesy!!!! On those shows, we did nothing but country music which I love as well, and I got to prove that I could sing that as well. My Mom and Dad were so excited that they could watch me on TV doing their favorite music! On a side note, I got to be one of the voices on the Flying Cows of CMT and in the same week, got to sing on a ZZ Top song. I called my Mom to tell her and she yelled at my Dad, “Vickie’s one of those flying cows”…..she didn’t care a bit about the ZZ Top session that I was all geeked about!

As a well known background vocalist, what cities have you visited to record?

Vickie at the AFTRA Christmas party
with singer / songwriters Steve Pippin, Cindy Shelton and Dana McVicker
Hmmmm, well, I’ve been part of live recordings all over, but one of my favorite recordings was up at Bearsville Records in Woodstock, NY where I got to be the voice of Dixie on a Hampton and the Hampsters CD. So much fun. I’ve also recorded in Canada, Atlanta and Miami, but most of my work is out of Nashville.

You also perform  with other singers and songwriters.  What other groups and activities are you a part of?

I have been so lucky to work with a ton of incredible singers and players. Besides Kentucky Thunder and my own thing, I sang for a long time with a funk band called Chameleon, and a group called Volcano of Soul with Marc Alan Barnett, Jimbeau Hinson, and our mutual dear friends, Dana McVicker and Jay Vernali. I also have done guest spots with an incredible band here called The Long Players.
This is a group of über talented singers and players who are also session folks, artists and songwriters who will take an album and cover the entire thing. I’ve gotten to do an Aretha Franklin, LADY SOUL and Carole King’s TAPESTRY with them. They get several singers to do the material and it’s always packed and ALWAYS  mind blowing!!!!!! I also get to be a part of lots of benefits and that always entails loads of great peeps.

Having fun with Etta Britt in the studio
I’ve also been a reader for NTL, which is the Nashville Talking Library. That is a reading service for the blind. They have them in many cities. We almost lost our budget for ours this past year. The powers that be think that computers are enough for the blind or they can got to their local libraries and get books on tape. My argument was that many of the older folks couldn’t get to the library nor do they have computers.
Thankfully, we’ve been funded for another year.

have to tell you that I started reading there 20 years ago, because I was whining one day to a friend of mine during a slow work period that I was worthless because my session work was slow. He said, girl, you have a great voice, so quit your pity party and use it for some folks who need more volunteers! I got over myself and called the number he gave me. I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ve also done some vocal coaching through the years. I don’t advertise it, because I’m not ‘technically trained” nor did I get a music degree. But sometimes, I’ll work with singers if they ask. I just started vocal coaching via Skype this past year. I wasn’t sure it would work, but it does!

I know you’ve recorded with some major artists  over the years.  Can you give us a cross-section of the talent you’ve been able to work with?

Jonell Mosser (Wynonna, Hope Floats) Etta Britt (B.J. Thomas, Dave & Sugar)
Sheila Lawrence (Brenda Lee)

Well, like I said earlier, I have gotten to work with so many
amazing people, many of which no one has ever heard of. Stardom is not only talent and hard work, but there’s a lot of luck involved as well. I’ve been on the road with the awesome Brenda Lee for the past 10 years and will continue as long as she’ll have me! I’ve also gotten to work with Dottie West, Johnny Rodriguez, Crystal Gayle, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, ZZ Top, Lynda Carter, Sam Moore, and many others. I have learned tons from each and every one of them and had the chance to travel the world!

You have two albums available, a solo venture and one with Kentucky Thunder.   I’m sure you were involved with the songwriting on both albums.   Do you lean towards ballads  or do you prefer higher energy concoctions?  

I love both! I love to rock out hard, and I love to get down on emotional ballads. Kind of like life. It’s such a rollercoaster, and though I haven’t ridden one in a park since St. Louis,  I’ve enjoyed the hell out of my ride on this planet. AND, I’m not done!!!!! Thank you so much Randy… made this a lot of fun!!

Vickie Carrico album - NEVER BEEN HURT
Vickie in the Girl Group
with Etta Britt, Jonell Mosser, Sheila Lawrence


Vickie Carrico



Vickie Carrico's album NEVER BEEN HURT on Amazon

BOUT DAMN TIME by Kentucky Thunder on Amazon


A vast discography of 40 albums Vickie appears on


Vickie Carrico live performance with Motown singers

Vickie Carrico singing the lead on "Hello Darkness" by Mary Ann Brandon

Vickie with husband Bob Reeves
Live radio show with Kentucky Thunder

Backing up Tracy Nelson (with Jonell Mosser)

My video of LESS IS MORE, written & performed by MARC-ALAN BARNETTE. Vickie with Dana McVicker On B vocals and the late Motown Funk Brother Bob Babbitt on bass (played on many huge Motown songs In the 60s)

Vickie backing up (with Kentucky Thunder) as well as solo performance with the Long Players

Vickie Carrico...singing with Mary Wilson of the Supremes.


Vickie Carrico on Facebook

Vickie Carrico on MySpace