By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Like any member of the relatively large group of people seeking fame in the country music field, Atmore resident Ricky Crook has harbored a dream of hearing one of his songs on the radio. He can now mark that accomplishment off his list.
Crook’s first single, “In My Truck,” was released January 14 and is starting to pick up steam, with at least two area radio stations — WPPG (FM 101.1 in Repton and WKNU (FM 106.3) in Brewton — and a scattering of stations outside the area having added the song to their playlists.
In a post to Crook’s Facebook page, the former emergency dispatcher said the first time he heard his song played on the radio, in the same mix as country’s biggest hit-makers, was a unique and moving experience.
“Pretty awesome hearing your song on the radio, out of the blue,” he wrote. “I’ve sold a lot of CDs and downloads over the years but I’ve always wondered how it would feel to hear your own song on the radio, in rotation with the top artists. Have to say I’m a little emotional, but smiling ear to ear.”
He thanked “Luther and Lee at WPPG” for playing the song, which was the first release under a contract with Mc1 Nashville, as well as WKNU and “the other stations across the U.S. showing interest and giving us a chance and getting us heard.”
National release of his single marked the realization of a dream that Crook has had since music became a fulltime vocation for him. He noted that technological advances have increased the chances that his song will be heard by a wide audience.
“As a singer-songwriter and musician, I think we all dream of that day we hear our music on the radio,” he said. “And today it’s even more exciting, because we aren’t just limited to AM-FM signals in our area anymore. We have satellite radio, App-based radio, as well as radio websites, so getting your music heard worldwide these days is a reality.”
Crook had hoped to vigorously promote “In My Truck,” but an unforeseen surgical procedure forced him to put that plan on hold for a while. He pointed out, though, that he won’t be wasting time while he’s recuperating.
“I’ll be taking some time off for the next week or two and will get back to promoting the new single as soon as I can,” he said. “I had to have surgery to remove a skin cancer from the left side of my nose, and it ended up being a little more complex than the doctors anticipated. Right now I look like I went 12 rounds in a heavyweight boxing match and lost all 12. But, on a good note, the downtime gives me an opportunity to finish up the last song for the new EP.”
He expressed appreciation for all the support he’s gotten as he’s tried to gain a foothold in the country music world, especially to his biggest fan — his wife.
“Thank you to Sherry Walker Crook for putting up with me and all this crazy music stuff,” he said. “None of this would be possible without all her love and support on so many levels, and even pushing me to pursue my dreams.”
He also thanked those who paid attention as he honed his performing skills on creek banks, at gravel pits and in parking lots, and to the members of Horseshoe Halo Band — “Keith, Earl, Tommy and Turner, and Rick D. — that have helped and continue to help me and fill in when needed,” and producer-musician Kevin Key and “all the other super-talented Nashville musicians that contributed to this song and project.”
Crook said he is set to begin recording the “In My Truck” EP in Nashville “in the coming weeks.”