Stories from the Road #3

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a new series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a van full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

This week we are traveling back to the late 40s or early 50s with another tale from Texas Singer/Songwriter, Rick Sikes

New Young Rick

“Here’s another experience I want to relate to you from my early formative years. Back in those days, bands would travel around and stop in every little town at every little radio station to promote their records. Sometimes, they’d do a live show of thirty minutes or so. Once, back in the 40s or early 50s, Webb Pierce came to Coleman. He was on his way somewhere else to play but stopped in at KSTA Radio to promote a record which I believe was “Wondering.” My mom took me and my younger brother out to the station to see him. I can gauge the year by the fact that I wasn’t old enough to drive yet. (A side note…my mom was a helluva piano player and she loved music almost as much as anyone I ever knew.) Anyway, she took us out to the station and we watched their show through the control room window. There was no one else there besides the DJ. I often wondered where everyone was. Perhaps they were working and couldn’t get away, as it was in the middle of the afternoon. At any rate, for whatever the reason, we had exclusive access. I distinctly remember the members of Webb Pierce’s band that were there that day: Jimmy Day on Pedal Steel, Tillman Franks on standup bass, Faron Young on rhythm guitar and fronting for Webb, Floyd Cramer on piano and Tommy Hill on fiddle.

After they finished their show, we got to visit with them. This was a real boost for me to see these guys because by then, I knew this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life – play music. They were driving a brand new shiny Pontiac car and had this nice little band trailer they were pulling. They were looking flashy for those times. I patterned myself after these heroes of mine when I launched my career. And while I never really cared much for Webb Pierce’s voice, I admired the hell out of him as a performer and businessman…”

Webb

Webb Pierce was known as the “KING OF HONKYTONK BLING” and this now famous car was lined on the inside with silver dollars while the outside sported a set of longhorns and pistols for door handles.

 

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

13 thoughts on “Stories from the Road #3

  1. I admit I’m not familiar the musicians mentioned in this post, but I can relate to the impact seeing these guys perform must have made on Rick. I remember my mother taking me to meet a professional author when I was fourteen and I had that same feeling as Rick–“this is what I want to do with my life.”

    And, wow, that car! I wonder if it’s still around somewhere today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mae, honey, you weren’t even a spark in your parents’ eyes in the forties and fifties, so no wonder you hadn’t heard of these guys. 🙂 But, yes, it’s that turning moment in life when you realize what you were meant to do that always stays with you. The car is in a museum in Nashville, from what I understand. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing another story with me. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love this bit of insight, Jan. That miniature saddle in the middle of the front seat caught my eye. It’s lined with silver dollars too. My oh my! That car must’ve been worth a fortune. I never did like Webb Pierce’s voice either. Some of his songs were pretty good though. What a great look back in time! I love these!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun post! In Branson, most residents are somehow tied to the entertainment industry, and there’s profound respect for the musicians. They love what they do and work hard to share that love — just like Rick (and you!). Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy reading these posts, as music and writing are my main interests, too. Keep ’em coming, Jan.

    What an all-star lineup that was in Webb Pierce’s backing band! I wonder if Jimmy Day is the same person Jerry Jeff Walker mentions in his 1980s song “Here and Now.” Faron Young and Floyd Cramer, too — both huge stars in their own right. Unbelievable!

    Also, I wonder if “Wandering” is the same ancient public-domain song that most people know through James Taylor’s recording of it in the mid-1970s.

    I’m writing a book on the late John Stewart (1939-2008), who was simply one of the most gifted and talented musicians and singer/songwriters this country has ever produced.

    Would you entertain the idea of running individual chapters of it in your blog, in serial fashion?

    Like

    1. Hi, Frank. Wow! What a surprise to see that you commented and that music is also your passion.Actually, the first question about Jerry Jeff Walker mentioning Jimmy Day in his 1980s song. Yes, it is the one and same Jimmy Day. About the song, I find that I made a typo in the title (which I have now corrected). It is “Wondering” and was released in 1952 where it sat at the top of the charts for 27 consecutive weeks. About John Stewart, I’ve sent you an email. I think it’s a wonderful idea. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Like

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