Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
An accomplished songwriter who supplied material for some of country's biggest names, Skip Ewing also made his own records and scored a few major hits during the late '80s. Born Donald Ralph Ewing in Redlands, CA, Skip grew up in a military family and moved around often as a child. He discovered country music through Merle Haggard and Lefty Frizzell and took up guitar at a young age; he began writing songs as a teenager, and also learned the banjo, which he played at bluegrass festivals. He took a job performing in a country show at the Busch Gardens theme park in Virginia, and from there moved to Nashville at age 19 to take a similar job at the Opryland theme park. He also branched out into demo and commercial singing, and worked at his songwriting enough to land a staff job with the famed Acuff-Rose music-publishing house. Some of his early compositions were recorded by the likes of George Jones, George Strait, and Charley Pride, among others. In 1987, he landed a deal of his own with MCA, and recorded his breakthrough album, The Coast of Colorado, the following year. It gave him two Top Ten hits in "I Don't Have Far to Fall" and the number three "Burnin' a Hole in My Heart," and two additional minor hits in "Your Memory Wins Again" and the title track. 1989's The Will to Love produced another Top Five hit in "It's You Again" and a Top Ten in "The Gospel According to Luke." 1991's Naturally failed to keep his momentum going, however, and he returned to songwriting as his primary career. By the close of the '90s, his compositions had been recorded by stars like Clint Black, Randy Travis, Collin Raye, Lorrie Morgan, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Suzy Bogguss, Diamond Rio, and many others; he also occasionally worked as a session guitarist and made sporadic recordings like 1997's Until I Found You (for Word) and the holiday album Following Yonder Star.