[Updated] Lifenotes: Janet Rickman

Janet Rickman with Reba McEntire in 2012.

Janet Rickman with Reba McEntire in 2012.

Longtime music industry publicist Janet Rickman passed away Tuesday, March 19 at Alive Hospice after a year long battle with cancer.

Her career began as a publicist for PolyGram -Mercury/Nashville in the mid 1970s working with The Statler Brothers, Johnny Rodriguez and a young Reba McEntire. This led to stints in the Los Angeles and New York publicity departments of Mercury Records where she worked closely with Tears for Fears, Rush and John Mellencamp among others. Rickman later returned to her Nashville home to head up the MCA Nashville publicity and video department, where she worked extensively with artists such as Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, George Strait, Patty Loveless, Marty Stuart, Trisha Yearwood and more. She retired from MCA Nashville in the late 90s and began a second career with the Nashville Library.

No memorial service is planned but donations may be made to a library of your choice.

Reba has fond memories of Rickman, sharing a favorite memory. “I just found out today that my friend of many years, Janet Rickman, has gone on to the big library in the sky. We had many good times together but one in particular I remember was the time Janet picked me up at the Nashville airport and drove me to my hotel. She even walked me to my room, to make sure everything was in order, when we found the mattress off the bed, sheets thrown everywhere, lamps turned over and the whole room in a mess. Janet was NOT happy about that! 🙂  She indignantly closed the door and ushered me back to her car. She drove me straight to the Spence Manor, a more private and more up scale hotel off Music Row. Now, I had always wanted to stay at the Spence Manor and Janet was the one to get me in!

“I loved working with Janet,” she continues. “She was one of a kind. I didn’t see her much but knowing she’s passed on, makes me realize, once again, how quickly things can change. Because I didn’t get to say goodbye to Janet, her passing reminded me to let people know how much they mean to me. So while it may take some time of me letting you know in person, let me say now to my friends in the music business, thank you for all your love and support during my years in this wonderful business. Here’s to many more great times together.”



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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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