Stories From the Road #15

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

This is part of a 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 bus 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.

Since we are entering a New Year, I thought I’d take a step back and show the vast difference in the economy between the 1960s and now.  I found these interesting.

I couldn’t find the exact date on this, but do know it was somewhere around 1965 or 1966.

Mayan_Ranch

Mayan_Ranch_Rhythm+Rebels
Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels with Mayan Ranch Owners

The following are entries from a 1967 Yearbook in which Rick noted every gig played and what clothes he wore. That was important to him. He never wanted to duplicate the costume at a venue.

Journal_Entries_Rick_Sikes

Journal_Sikes_Ferlin_Husky

 

Journal_1967_Rick_Sikes
New Year’s Eve was the golden night as far as pay went.

 

 

Journal_1967_Rick_Sikes_Year_end
So, there you have it. The totals for the entire year. 

Now, to put it into perspective:

The average price of gas in 1967 was Thirty cents per gallon.

The average price of a new car in 1967 was $2,750.00

Average rent was $125 per month

Average income was around $7,000

So, you can see from these journal entries, that playing music for a living wasn’t exactly lucrative. But, Rick managed to support a family, a girlfriend and keep the band members paid. He did pay the band members less than he paid himself. After all, he did all of the bookings, advertising, choosing songs, providing costumes, and transportation.

So, I’ll end on this note because I can’t say it any better.

Guitar_Design_Rick

 

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

28 thoughts on “Stories From the Road #15

  1. Wow! They worked every single weekend. 266 days was a lot of days playing music. I looked at the rate of inflation and the $250 they got for working the New Year’s Eve dance equaled $1,825 of today’s money. And their total income of $18,545 was $135,443 so it seems they did all right although it doesn’t appear that way. This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing it. Love you, sister!

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    1. It puts it all in perspective for sure. I’m so glad you found it as interesting as I did. And how bizarre that this one journal got saved all these years. That was fifty years ago. I treasure it. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, sister. I love you!

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  2. Those prices are eye-openers, Jan. Wow, how times have changed.
    Rick did an amazing amount on what he earned, but best of all, he succeeded at something he loved. That has to be the best payment. And in reading Linda’s comment, it sounds like that income was actually pretty darn amazing.
    Another great post and a look at stories from the road 🙂

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  3. Another interesting post, Jan…especially the price differences. It’s the cars I still can’t over! It’s great you have the notes to show how well he kept track of details! I am so glad you can pass all that color on to us:) Happy New Year!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, D.L. Yes the prices were quite different, but then so were wages. I treasure this journal. Somehow through everything, it got preserved and I just had to share it. Happy New Year to you too!

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  5. Jan- wow that was amazing. Thank you for sharing these stories, I hope we get more. It’s so astounding the prices back then as compared to today. That last picture of what Rick said about musicians was lovely. I really wished I would of been around to hear him play back then. That’s my kind of music. Happy New Year to you, Sweet Lady. Love you and may 2018 be a wonderful year.

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    1. I enjoy sharing these snippets of such a crazy life that Rick had. The prices were definitely much different, but in Linda’s post, she made comparisons that really put it into perspective. I wish you had been around too, but you do know I have CDs of his music. They are on Amazon, CDBaby, iTunes, Spotify and my website. 🙂 Hugs and Happy New Year to you!!

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  6. Jan, this is fascinating, both the lives of the musician, their dedication and hard work. It never fails to interest me at the variance of the prices compared to today…my father-in-law kept the receipts for their wedding, cake, rings etc and of course, it was so low compared to now!

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    1. How fascinating that your father-in-law kept the wedding receipts. Of course, in relation to the wages, it might not be so much difference between then and now. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I wish you a Happy New Year!!

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  7. This was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, Jan. It’s amazing how inflation skyrocketed in the last 50 years, compared with the 50 years prior. You have so many lovely mementos of Rick. I especially enjoyed the quote you ended with ❤

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