© Somebody Productions
Danny Riddle
"The season of singing has come ... " Song of Solomon 2:12 (NIV) 
Don’t You Worry Ricky Riddle
Ricky Riddle 1969 - Rio Grande Records Promotional Photo
Biography Compiled By Craig Maki, 2010 
Ricky with Red Foley and Mrs Foley Feb 9, 1954 Nashville TN Rickey and Don Anspach - Raffles Bar - Wilmington CA 1963 with Tony Coffman (bass)& Dwight Harris (steel) at Roxy Bar Detroit on Ricky's Bday 8-22-1954 Ricky at Crackers - Bishop, California June 1965
With a mellifluous, deep voice often compared to western singer Rex Allen, Ricky Riddle was an Arkansas-born, Detroit-bred vocalist who gravitated to the western side of country music. His surname was apt, as he was a restless character, always on the go and never satisfied with life in one place for very long. Born Arvin Doyle Riddle on Aug. 22, 1920, in Rector, Ark., his parents moved him, two brothers and one sister to Hamtramck, Mi., around 1933. The Riddle family eventually settled in a house on McClellan Street in Detroit. During World War II, Riddle enlisted with the Navy in Chicago, Ill. He served aboard the U.S.S. Adair in the Pacific Theatre. After an honourable discharge in 1946, He returned to Detroit and found a booming country music nightclub scene waiting for him; a result of thousands of new migrants from the South who moved north to build Detroit’s “Arsenal of Democracy.” Riddle pursued the life of a singing cowboy in earnest, writing songs and performing in nightclubs and showcases, sitting in with other entertainers and headlining his own shows. In 1949, Drake’s Record Shop, located on East Jefferson Avenue, sponsored appearances by Hank Williams, Cowboy Copas and others at the convention center on Woodward Avenue. When Riddle’s friend, singer Eddie Jackson, was hired to open for Williams, Riddle shared the stage with him. Riddle was probably living in Nashville, Tennessee, by then. Jackson visited Riddle in Nashville during ’49, and Riddle took him to witness his new buddy Clyde Julian “Red” Foley record what became a major hit for Decca Records, “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.” Compared to the size to which it grew a decade later, the country music business in Nashville was small, thriving through the projects of independent record labels, music publishers and promoters who tapped local artists working at Nashville clubs and radio stations; particularly members of the “Grand Ole Opry” barn dance at clear-channel WSM. In January 1950, Riddle's first commercial recording appeared as the premier issue of the Tennessee label, a record company created by three Nashville businessmen, including a jukebox serviceman. Riddle’s “Second Hand Heart” on Tennessee no. 711 (numbered for luck, no doubt) was a good seller, and a hit in Detroit. Riddle cut several more releases for Tennessee over the next two years. “Second Hand Heart” and the song on the record’s flip side, “Somebody’s Stealin’ My Baby’s Sugar,” were both covered by several artists, including Houston’s Benny Leaders (4- Star), Bill Johnson and the Casanova Boys (London) and, more than a decade later, Everett “Swanee” Caldwell remade “Second Hand Heart” for King. By 1950, Riddle was operating a nightclub in Nashville. He befriended Arizona singer Marty Robbins, whose first appearance at the “Grand Ole Opry” occurred in early 1951. Probably in 1950, Riddle bought author rights to Robbins’ song “Ain’t You Ashamed,” which became Riddle’s second release on Tennessee. (Detroit musician and Capitol Records distributor Bob McDonald purchased a share in the song from Riddle.) Cowboy singer Bob Atcher covered the song for Capitol. Riddle recorded Robbins’ “Heartsick” for another Tennessee release. He attempted to present Robbins with a recording contract, but the company’s artists and repertoire man passed on the deal. Robbins went on to launch a storied career with Columbia Records in May 1951. Among other releases on Tennessee, Riddle sang a duet with Anita Kerr, leader of the Anita Kerr Singers, on a heart song called “The Price Of Love,” again attributed to Riddle and McDonald. After the label’s biggest hit played out in 1951-52 (Del Wood’s “Down Yonder” of 1951), the Tennessee label closed its doors. The tall, easygoing Riddle persevered, and cut a single for Decca’s subsidiary Coral Records in 1953. In early 1954, he recorded the bouncy “Steamboat Boogie” for M-G-M Records, with steel guitarist Don Helms and Chet Atkins on electric guitar. Framing the clever lyrics of the song was the refrain: Steamboat Boogie / Rock, Rock, Rockin’ Along. But for the fiddles, the song rocked like Bill  Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” earliest efforts. The flip side, “A Brand New Heart,” was written by Riddle as a follow-up to his song, “Second Hand Heart.” In 1956, Riddle cut two releases for Decca Records. The first featured “Drivin’ Down The Wrong Side Of The Road,” backed with “I’m A Whip Crackin’ Daddy.” The single sounded like it was recorded at Owen Bradley’s Quonset hut in Nashville. Riddle’s second Decca single featured the Anita Kerr Singers for a country-pop production, “The House I Used To Live In,” and a song with religious content (he had cut similar material for the Tennessee label) called “If Jesus Had To Pray (What About Me?) During the 1950s, while living in Nashville, Riddle performed as a guest at the “Renfro Valley Barn Dance” in Kentucky, and as a guest on the “Grand Ole Opry.” His parents moved from Michigan to Tempe, Az., and Riddle travelled the country, visiting friends and family while singing in nightclubs along the way. Around 1968 Riddle settled in Arizona for a spell. There he recorded the finest vocal performances of his career for the Rio Grande label, based in Glendale. For starters, he cut a version of the traditional cowboy song, “Streets Of Laredo,” as well as “Reata Pass,” his own western composition. Riddle reprised “Ain’t You Ashamed” and “Second Hand Heart,” besides coming up with some swinging shuffles like “Don’t You Worry,” a cheeky ode to overdoing it at the bar, and “There's Something In Your Future.” The band was top-notch, delivering punchy performances with quality production and arrangements, including a stellar steel guitarist. With a broad, toothy smile, Riddle had a likeable personality and visited Michigan often, to see his siblings and their families, and check up on musician friends he grew up with in Detroit. While in town, he made the rounds of local radio stations and sat with country music disk jockeys for on-air interviews. At some point during the 1970s, Riddle moved back to Michigan and took a job as a security guard in Hamtramck. Late one night, Riddle walked out the door of a Detroit bar and was mugged. When police found him, he stank of liquor and the officers mistook his condition for simply being drunk. They placed the unconscious Riddle in a jail cell for the night. When he didn’t respond to attempts to wake him in the morning, Riddle was admitted to the Veterans Administration hospital. Doctors found that Riddle had suffered a stroke resulting from a blow to his head; he was paralysed on his right side. Riddle’s brother, E. Marvin Riddle, arranged for him to live at the Clintonview Care Convalescent Home in Clinton Township. Relatives and friends visited regularly. Mentally, Riddle was the same person, but he was unable to sing and play guitar. To cheer him up, a niece often called a local country music station to request Riddle’s records, and they played them late at night when he enjoyed listening to his radio. Riddle passed away on Aug. 8, 1988. His ashes were interned at the top of the hill in St. John’s cemetery in Fraser, Mich. ©  Craig “Bones” Maki, 2010
“My Father, James Riddle and Ricky Riddle were inseparable in the day, often times passing themselves off as brothers, when in fact they were actually cousins. I remember Ricky visiting our family often in Florida, when I was a child, I always called him; Uncle Ricky. When I was Three years old, I recall Ricky teaching me to write my name. I will always treasure the memories that I have of “Uncle” Ricky. Danny Riddle
MIKE SEITTS Ricky used to play at my dads bar in N Scottsdale AZ., called “Rustlers Rest”. We were just down the road from Reata Pass. We have some great stories from all the different owners who loved Ricky. Ricky was big to the people that heard him, as you said I think he was just happy playing in the Honky Tonks. He knew that people loved him... it is a tough biz, it seems like he had some shots at it, but the competition was tough in those days. I saw where he was in Nashville and played many venues. Arizona at the time was putting some talented people out there, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, Duanne Eddy. and many more. Ricky may have come back here to try and catch that wave. When Ricky would play “Streets Of Laredo” or  “Cattle Call” there was nobody better. Even the song “Ghost Riders In The Sky”,  to this day ... I have never heard anybody sing those songs better. Danny, I know that he would be happy and proud that he made a mark on you. Mike Seitts (2011)
BUCK COGHLAN Danny, In the summer of 1955  here in Phoenix I received a phone call from Buddy Wheeler a great steel guitar player.  Ricky Riddle and Buddy needed an upright bass player to play at an old night club on South Central Ave. in Phoenix, AZ known as Seven Sea's Nightclub.  Buddy and Ricky dropped by my apartment to hear me play.  Ricky broke out his rhythm guitar and began to sing Second Hand Heart.  After singing one or two lines of the song he quietly returned his guitar to its case.  After a few moments of silence he said, "I'll see ya tonight at 9:00 pm.    Ricky was a big fan of Marty Robbins and sang many of Marty's songs during our performances.  Ricky was a very handsome cowboy style guy and usually there were more than two or three women fighting for his attention at each performance.  Ricky was very quiet and slow moving and a very kind person.  We became close friends.  As usual Ricky moved on without saying a word to me as to where he was headed.   Ricky returned to the scene around 1968 and began performing at Reata Pass Steakhouse in North Scottsdale, AZ.   At that time the featured act was the Western Gentlemen, Johnny Dakota on vocal, Slim Forbes, fiddle and yours truly on bass.  Ricky worked at Reata Pass as a single act during our nights off.  Again, Ricky drifted off to some unknown location.  I last heard from him by phone in 1976 or 1977.  He explained that he was located in Detroit, Michigan and sounded as if he was there with Jack Daniels.   I have wondered many, many times about the rest of the story concerning Ricky.  Your website told us the story.   Buck Coghlan Note: Buck was inducted into the Greater Arizona Country and Western Swing Music Association’s Hall of Fame on August 10th, 2003. Click HERE to read more about Buck. (2011)
BILLY COLE I am now pastor of a small church in Camilla TX.  I've been  here 22 yrs now, and I think the church is going to keep me!  They know that I was a country musician, and that I still like the oldies. As for Ricky and I, I  was working at the Yo-Yo Club in Calumet City. I knew that Ricky was a musician from the western suit that he was wearing. I got him up to perform and Lord, the voice that I heard that night was perfect! Ricky and I became friends.Each time he was headed back to Detroit, Ricky Riddle  would always stop by for visit. I cherished those times. Later I was at The Sail Inn, on Central, at the bridge crossing  the Salt River. This was in the fifties. One night I heard that Ricky would be performing at either The Silver Spur or The Golden Saddle on East Van Buren. [its been a long time] I had to go see him and WOW what a reunion! Like I said, we were friends! Bro Art Gillinger aka Billy Cole (2011)
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With a mellifluous, deep voice often compared to western singer Rex Allen, Ricky Riddle was an Arkansas- born, Detroit-bred vocalist who gravitated to the western side of country music. His surname was apt, as he was a restless character, always on the go and never satisfied with life in one place for very long. Born Arvin Doyle Riddle on Aug. 22, 1920, in Rector, Ark., his parents moved him, two brothers and one sister to Hamtramck, Mich., around 1933. The Riddle family eventually settled in a house on McClellan Street in Detroit. During World War II, Riddle enlisted with the Navy in Chicago, Ill. He served aboard the U.S.S. Adair in the Pacific Theatre. After an honourable discharge in 1946, He returned to Detroit and found a booming country music nightclub scene waiting for him; a result of thousands of new migrants from the South who moved north to build Detroit’s “Arsenal of Democracy.” Riddle pursued the life of a singing cowboy in earnest, writing songs and performing in nightclubs and showcases, sitting in with other entertainers and headlining his own shows. In 1949, Drake’s Record Shop, located on East Jefferson Avenue, sponsored appearances by Hank Williams, Cowboy Copas and others at the convention center on Woodward Avenue. When Riddle’s friend, singer Eddie Jackson, was hired to open for Williams, Riddle shared the stage with him. Riddle was probably living in Nashville, Tennessee, by then. Jackson visited Riddle in Nashville during ’49, and Riddle took him to witness his new buddy Clyde Julian “Red” Foley record what became a major hit for Decca Records, “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.” Compared to the size to which it grew a decade later, the country music business in Nashville was small, thriving through the projects of independent record labels, music publishers and promoters who tapped local artists working at Nashville clubs and radio stations; particularly members of the “Grand Ole Opry” barn dance at clear- channel WSM. In January 1950, Riddle's first commercial recording appeared as the premier issue of the Tennessee label, a record company created by three Nashville businessmen, including a jukebox serviceman. Riddle’s “Second Hand Heart” on Tennessee no. 711 (numbered for luck, no doubt) was a good seller, and a hit in Detroit. Riddle cut several more releases for Tennessee over the next two years. “Second Hand Heart” and the song on the record’s flip side, “Somebody’s Stealin’ My Baby’s Sugar,” were both covered by several artists, including Houston’s Benny Leaders (4-Star), Bill Johnson and the Casanova Boys (London) and, more than a decade later, Everett “Swanee” Caldwell remade “Second Hand Heart” for King. By 1950, Riddle was operating a nightclub in Nashville. He befriended Arizona singer Marty Robbins, whose first appearance at the “Grand Ole Opry” occurred in early 1951. Probably in 1950, Riddle bought author rights to Robbins’ song “Ain’t You Ashamed,” which became Riddle’s second release on Tennessee. (Detroit musician and Capitol Records distributor Bob McDonald purchased a share in the song from Riddle.) Cowboy singer Bob Atcher covered the song for Capitol. Riddle recorded Robbins’ “Heartsick” for another Tennessee release. He attempted to present Robbins with a recording contract, but the company’s artists and repertoire man passed on the deal. Robbins went on to launch a storied career with Columbia Records in May 1951. Among other releases on Tennessee, Riddle sang a duet with Anita Kerr, leader of the Anita Kerr Singers, on a heart song called “The Price Of Love,” again attributed to Riddle and McDonald. After the label’s biggest hit played out in 1951-52 (Del Wood’s “Down Yonder” of 1951), the Tennessee label closed its doors. The tall, easygoing Riddle persevered, and cut a single for Decca’s subsidiary Coral Records in 1953. In early 1954, he recorded the bouncy “Steamboat Boogie” for M-G-M Records, with steel guitarist Don Helms and Chet Atkins on electric guitar. Framing the clever lyrics of the song was the refrain: Steamboat boogie / Rock, rock, rockin’ along. But for the fiddles, the song rocked like Bill “Rock Around The Clock” Haley’s earliest efforts. The flip side, “A Brand New Heart,” was written by Riddle as a follow-up to “Second Hand Heart.” In 1956, Riddle cut two releases for Decca Records. The first featured “Drivin’ Down The Wrong Side Of The Road,” backed with “I’m A Whip Crackin’ Daddy.” The single sounded like it was recorded at Owen Bradley’s Quonset hut in Nashville. Riddle’s second Decca single featured the Anita Kerr Singers for a country-pop production, “The House I Used To Live In,” and a song with religious content (he had cut similar material for the Tennessee label) called “If Jesus Had To Pray (What About Me?)” During the 1950s, while living in Nashville, Riddle performed as a guest at the “Renfro Valley Barn Dance” in Kentucky, and as a guest on the “Grand Ole Opry.” His parents moved from Michigan to Tempe, Ariz., and Riddle traveled the country, visiting friends and family while singing in nightclubs along the way. Around 1968 Riddle settled in Arizona for a spell. There he recorded the finest vocal performances of his career for the Rio Grande label, based in Glendale. For starters, he cut a version of the traditional cowboy song, “Streets Of Laredo,” as well as “Reata Pass,” his own western composition. Riddle reprised “Ain’t You Ashamed” and “Second Hand Heart,” besides coming up with some swinging shuffles like “Don’t You Worry,” a cheeky ode to overdoing it at the bar, and “There's Something In Your Future.” The band was top-notch, delivering punchy performances with quality production and arrangements, including a stellar steel guitarist. With a broad, toothy smile, Riddle had a likeable personality and visited Michigan often, to see his siblings and their families, and check up on musician friends he grew up with in Detroit. While in town, he made the rounds of local radio stations and sat with country music disk jockeys for on-air interviews. At some point during the 1970s, Riddle moved back to Michigan and took a job as a security guard in Hamtramck. Late one night, Riddle walked out the door of a Detroit bar and was mugged. When police found him, he stank of liquor and the officers mistook his condition for simply being drunk. They placed the unconscious Riddle in a jail cell for the night. When he didn’t respond to attempts to wake him in the morning, Riddle was admitted to the Veterans Administration hospital. Doctors found that Riddle had suffered a stroke resulting from a blow to his head; he was paralysed on his right side. Riddle’s brother, E. Marvin Riddle, arranged for him to live at the Clintonview Care Convalescent Home in Clinton Township. Relatives and friends visited regularly. Mentally, Riddle was the same person, but he was unable to sing and play guitar. To cheer him up, a niece often called a local country music station to request Riddle’s records, and they played them late at night when he enjoyed listening to his radio. Riddle passed away on Aug. 8, 1988. His ashes were interned at the top of the hill in St. John’s cemetery in Fraser, Mich. ©  Craig “Bones” Maki, 2010
© Somebody Productions
Don’t You Worry Ricky Riddle
Ricky Riddle 1969 - Rio Grande Records Promotional Photo
Biography Compiled By Craig Maki, 2010 
“My Father, James Riddle and Ricky Riddle were inseparable in the day, often times passing themselves off as brothers, when in fact they were actually cousins. I remember Ricky visiting our family often in Florida, when I was a child, I always called him; Uncle Ricky. When I was Three years old, I recall Ricky teaching me to write my name. I will always treasure the memories that I have of “Uncle” Ricky. Danny Riddle
Danny Riddle
"The season of singing has come ... " Song of Solomon 2:12 (NIV) 
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