Rickie JONES (2004)

Rickie Jones

1933 - Erica, better known as Rickie was born at Boolaroo Whim, just outside Melrose in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia 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 Amateur Hour.

Recorded on the Phillips label in Sydney where she cut 8 sides. 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 Phillips.

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 South Australia 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 Australia’s 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 of Fame.