Rickie JONES (2004)
1933 - Erica, better known as Rickie was
born at Boolaroo Whim,
Melrose in the
on December 8th.
Radio played a big part in family entertainment. Rickie
became interested in songs she heard on the air waves, so much
so that she decided to learn and sing some.
At sixteen she went out and bought herself a guitar.
Became part of the cast on Bob
Fricker’s 5AD Saturday morning “Western Party”.
Aged 20 when she won Australia’s
Recorded on the Phillips label
Sydney where she cut 8
Singing on with the Phillips label meant that she now had to
travel to Sydney to record. Her
first tracks were country, recorded under the name of Rickie
Jones and at least four of these were her own material . . .
"Over The Hills," "The Valley Where Dreams Come True," "The
Drover’s Song" and "Neath The Blue Western Skies." All of these
were the old 78’s.
LPs were beginning to emerge and Phillips were quick to
release on Hawaiian LP. Most of the tracks were instrumental,
but four were vocal, two male and two female tracks were by
Rickie - singing under the name of Leila Lani, a name chosen by
These were a great success and were quickly followed by
some pop numbers recorded under the name of June Denver
At this time her life mainly
centered around travelling to Sydney
to record, and travelling with the Harold Raymond Concert Party
and radio work in Adelaide.
Live radio shows were a big thing in those days and all live
shows were done with two, three or four all backing one another.
The show went straight to air - no second goes or practice runs.
It was a regular thing ,working with Bob Cunningham, Rocky Page,
Reg Lindsay, Johnny Mack, etc. Bob Fricker’s programme "Western
Swing" did much for country music in
and gave many an artist their first break.
During this period of time, horses took second place, as
she just did not have the time, but with the death of Bob,
country music seemed to die with him. With the decline of
country music Rickie was able to put more time into her horses.
She has achieved international distinction as a horse breeder
and trainer. She trained horses for Olympic Gold medallist
Richard Mead and trained a English junior team for the European
Championships in Germany.
She has been called
top dressage rider, winning her seventh Australian Dressage
Championship in 1979
1986 - South Australian Country
Music Festival Awards- Inducted into the Hall of Fame.
2004 – Inducted into the Hands