Fans mourn death of Memphis singer Ricky Strickland

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Mid-Southerners are mourning the death of a local music icon, after Eye to Eye Band lead singer Ricky Strickland died last week

In front of a microphone, Ricky Strickland had the ability to sing almost any song - and he had a lot of fun doing it.

"We do a lot of Elton John, (and) some Stevie Wonder. We just do a wide variety of songs," Strickland said in a recent interview.

Over the years, all that singing and dancing earned Strickland and his band the reputation as an audience favorite at music festivals, night clubs and other venues.

Before his death, Strickland spoke to Action News 5 about his connection with the thousands of fans who enjoyed his music so much...

"I can just feel something when I'm up on stage," he said. "I can feel something between me and the people. It's like a real strong vibe."

But despite all his talent, Strickland never got the big recording contract many felt he deserved.  It was something he wrestled with, but never let it stop him.  That may be why, throughout his career, Strickland kept his day job as a machinist at a local company.

"It pays the bills, plus insurance benefits," he said. "I got somewhere to go. It takes care of me okay."

Strickland's death is bound to leave a big hole in the Mid-South music scene, and while many will miss him, many more are glad for the short time they had Ricky Strickland in their lives.

Strickland's funeral is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Saturday at Hill Chapel Missionary Baptist Church on Raleigh LaGrange Road.

To sample Strickland's music, click here.

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