Story From the Road #22

This has been a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I have brought 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.  These stories have been told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ve done my best to correct grammar, but I wanted to keep them in his own voice.

This will be the last “Story From the Road,” from Rick. I want to end this series on a positive note. I also want to thank everyone who had ridden this train of stories with me, commented and shared. It was your interest that kept me digging. 


“In 1965, the movie Shenandoah sharting Pat Wayne and Rosemary Forsythe came to Abilene, Tx., and they planned a big premiere party. I was hired to provide the entertainment.

You can see me and Red in the background behind Pat and Rosemary. They were two of the nicest folks I’d ever met and I can’t tell you how excited this country boy was to get to meet them up close and personal. The movie was a huge success and stayed sold-out during its entire run in Abilene.


Another pretty cool deal I had going in 1964 and 1965 was a weekly live TV show on KPAR, Channel 12 in Abilene every Saturday afternoon.

KPAR Framed

We had show sponsors, one of them being the Key City Sportatorium. I played there almost every Friday night for many months and Benny Barnes, the owner and I were good friends.

But, I would get fan mail at the TV station and would take time to answer each letter I received. A lot of times it would be some gal wanting to hook up and I’d write her back and tell her I was married. Not that it really made a damn to me back then, but I kept all that at arm’s length.

I got to do a lot of amazing things in my music career before I got shipped off to Federal Finishing School aka Leavenworth Penitentiary. I was blessed. The sadness is that I was too stupid to know it. If only I had known then what I learned behind bars, I’d have made a lot of different choices in life. I was right there with all of them that went on to make it big. I’m not saying I would have, but if I’d taken different paths, I would have had a shot at it. I tried throughout the rest of my life to help point youngsters starting out in the music business in the right direction. I hope I succeeded to some degree.

One of the most satisfying things I did later in life, after I’d lost my leg, was to teach young children to play guitar. I loved the look they’d get on their faces when they got a chord down. Some of them went on to learn to play pretty good.”


Rick with young Denny and Dillon_1 (2017_11_16 21_30_48 UTC)
Rick’s first two guitar students

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of_STORIES FROM THE ROAD_from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

Thank you, everyone, for your overwhelming support for these bits of music history!




24 thoughts on “Story From the Road #22

  1. Beautiful Tribute, Jan! I missed a few segments, but, being around ‘county/western music’ some of my life, I understand the tears – this last episode got to me, too! JohnWH’s comments speak for me as well!. Know what you mean, John. God bless, dear Lady! Tears are part of country music and spill from good hearts. ♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sad to see this end but I have enjoyed getting to know Rick better. Thank you for sharing that with us. I love the picture of Rick and his first two students as he passes talent on. You ended this on a perfect note.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A fabulous way to end this series, Jan. I loved Rick’s insights about teaching children how to play the guitar.
    Thanks so much for sharing his memories with us through this series. I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rick did so much that was good, and missed so much of what he could have been. Thank you for sharing his journey with us, Jan.
    Can anybody tell me why the up-beat ending made me cry? I guess it was the delight on the youngsters’ faces, and the pride in their achievement on Rick’s.
    I thought he was a very special man when I only knew him as Luke through the books. He was, and his own stories show it, though I’m sure that was never his intention.
    Rest in peace, my friend who I never had the privilege to meet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh, Sarah, your comment made me tear up. I struggled with ending this series, but at the risk of becoming repetitious, I thought it best. It did leave me with a bit of a sad feeling, though. I never want Rick’s legacy to die out and as long as I am alive, it won’t! Thank you for taking this journey with me. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jan- I just love all these stories and after reading all 4 books, anyone who hasn’t needs too, so getting these extra stories are gold. Love you and have a great day. Tell Kay I said hello.

    Liked by 2 people

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