Rick Strickland Bio

Inspired by seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, Rick wrote his first song at the age of 13.  That moment  sparked a passion that would set him on a journey that has spanned over 45 years in the music business.  Rick has written over 3,000 songs so far that draw from a variety and wide range of musical styles, genres, and influences.  Flying under the radar for many years with limited success in college radio, it was the Carolina Beach Music community that widely embraced Rick's music and has brought him his highest acclaim so far in his career.  Now Rick is well known for penning some of beach music's most beloved hits including  Something Smooth, So Do I, One Step Closer, Nice While It Lasted, and My Heart Belongs To Youand he  is also considered one of the best voices in the Southeast.  His soaring vocals, smooth harmonies and high energy performances have delighted music fans young and old for decades. Now event goers can enjoy Rick's award winning, fan pleasing music and energy LIVE along with the outstanding musical talents of The Rick Strickland Band!


Six original songs by Rick Strickland are now in the 94.9 Surf Hall of Fame including: Something Smooth, I Miss You, One Step Closer, Party 'Til The Break of Dawn, Nice While It Lasted and So Do I. Other songs which have received heavy airplay include: Bubba White's, Love the Night Away, Winner, The Devil Made Me Do It, Weve Got It Made, My Heart Belongs to You, and Counting the Days. His songs have charted in the top ten in Mississippi, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and California.

 

During his career, Rick has performed with some of music's giants.  He was musical director, bassist  and background vocalist for 3 national tours with  Billy Joe Royal.  He has performed with Ray Stevens, Joe South, and Tommy Roe. He has opened for BB King in Central Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fifth Dimension, The Romantics, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynnette, Martina McBride, Tommy James & The Shondells, Jan & Dean, The Turtles, John Sebastian, and Paul Revere and The Raiders.  Rick has also performed with The Band of Oz, and Shag Time.  In recent years he has been on the road as a solo artist.  But in 2009, this award winning artist realized a lifelong dream by forming his first full band, appropriately called The Rick Strickland Band.  RSB performs throughout the southeast electiifying audiences everywhere they go with their high energy live performances, pristine harmonies and musical expertise.

The Band's talent and energy coupled with Rick's phenomenal original music makes them a great choice for events and audiences of all kinds including festivals, clubs, private events, wedding parties, corporate events  basically any event where you'd like to deliver a truly unique musical experience.  They are not a cover band.  The Rick Strickland Band performs Rick's original music. The music is typically classified as R&B Soul, Beach and RockNRoll. The musicianship and vocals are stunning, the music is fun to sing and dance to, and the energy and professionalism are always over the top when The Rick Strickland Band takes the stage! 

 

 "Each member of this band brings an undeniable talent and strength to the group. Each one has achieved many great accomplishments in their own field of music. Together as a team we are definitely a band of excellence," says Rick. "I'm honored and humbled to perform with this group. It's a dream come true.

 

          Band Member Bios:

 

The forever versatile Art Benton (keyboard & vocals) began playing accordion at age 15 in restaurants & private parties. His first band - The Blue Notes  was a James Brown tribute band.  He then performed R&B with The Pagans working for Ted Hall out of Charlotte.  Art achieved nationwide recognition with the band Pallbearers who had a contract with Mercury Records in 1967 and had 2 nationwide releases Getting Fired Up & Music With Soul.  These songs were played on The Dick Clark TV Show and are still getting airplay in England today.  Art later went on to perform with The Platters, Drifters, Sam The Sham and Billy Joe Royal to name a few.  Art has been Rick's main go to guy for all things music since 2006, and showcases his stellar keyboard talents on some of Rick's biggest hits.

 



 

At the ripe age of 10, Debbie Anderson (vocals & bass guitar) entered a talent competition at school.  She played drums and sang the song I Got The Music In Me.  She brought down the house that day and took home the winning trophy too!   Debbie has a natural musical talent that enables her to play multiple instruments and is versatile in many music genres.  She taught herself how to play acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, and her natural rhythm instincts make her a fantastic bass player.  Debbie is one of a very few female bass players in the industry.  She is also a versatile vocalist having performed over 20 years and currently also sings with her parents in The Anderson Trio (southern gospel). She is a member of her Praise Team at church. Debbie is also a founding member of Contemporary Christian trio NAccord, whose distinctive and powerful harmonies brought many opportunities to perform throughout the Southeast.  NAccord released 3 CD projects.

 


 

After the release of her first solo CD in 2006, singer/songwriter Lesa Hudson (vocals & keyboard) quickly gained popularity in Inspirational Country Music circles.  Three of her original songs peaked in the Top 10 of the nationally acclaimed PowerSource Christian Country Top 100 radio chart.  She is a 3-time finalist for ICMA Female Vocalist of the Year and 2-time finalist for ICMA New Artist of the Year.  Lesa has performed at some of Nashville's most legendary venues including the Acuff Theater, BB Kings (during CMA FanFest), Gibson Guitar Cafe and Trinity Broadcast Network.  Also a sought after National Anthem singer, her most notable anthem performances include the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (televised on Fox-TV) and in 2010 for The Biggest Loser 5K Race in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Along with Debbie, Lesa is a founding member of N'Accord and at one time fronted her own band (The Lesa Hudson Band), She also leads contemporary worship at her church.  Lesa has released 5 CD projects and 1 Live DVD project.  Lesa picked up her first 2 CBMA awards in 2011 for Songwriter of the Year and Smoothie of the Year for her hit song "When You Look At Me."  The song was also rated the #1 Song of the Year for 2011 by 94.9 The Surf radio.

 


 

Drummer Don Hamrick's professional career began at the age of 13 with his uncle Harold and The Night Lifers. He wrote his first song, Eyes of Gypsy Brown at age 16. At 17, Don was performing with Nashville Recording artist, Jerry Moore. At 18, Don helped formed the band Truant which later became Fever. During his career, he has toured with many national and regional acts such as The Clovers (who had hits such as Love Potion #9 and Blue Velvet),  Billy Scott & The Georgia Prophets Band and The Rick Elder Show (formerly of The Main Street Singers). Don made his TV acting debut as the drummer for Bill Haley and the Comets in the 1999 CBS mini-series Shake Rattle and Roll. He attended Winthrop University as a full time music major from 1979-1983 and earned a B.M.E. as a percussion major. Dons professionalism, musicianship, natural talent and all around good guy attitude have been a winning combination throughout his career, and have afforded him much deserved recognition abroad as a well known drummer, clinician, session player and instructor.