Practice for Passion with Musings from Music Masters – RM Chaffee @gifts_music #NewRelease #Music

I am so happy to turn my blog over to an amazing woman and artist, Becky Chaffee. Her book is different and a valuable tool with profound insight for a budding or a seasoned musician.

Welcome, Becky.

Thank you, Jan. I appreciate your hospitality.

There are so Many Reasons to Play a Musical Instrument.

It’s not only fun to play an instrument, but for both young and old, it’s healthy! To inspire you to practice, I created a fun, witty book with practice stories and tips from great musicians, Passion For Practice With Musings From Music Masters.

Playing an instrument uses more of your brain than any other art and more than playing a sport according to Ted Talk, “How Playing A Musical Instrument Benefits Your Brain”, by Dr. Anita Collins. It creates fresh neuron connections in your brain. Talking about connections, playing is a very social activity which is also healthy and fun! I joined a music club, but you can also join a community band or orchestra or play duets to make new friends.

If you learned an instrument in grade school, take some lessons again from a teacher if you need help getting started again. The better you are, the more fun you’ll have. The regular practicing can be rough, but “Passion For Practice…” helps you to practice smarter, making it more of a fun challenge than rote practicing.

I have listened to about 20 years of music lessons from fine teachers (between my kids and myself) on violin, piano, flute, and guitar in both classical and jazz genres. The lessons expressed practice concepts in so many different ways that I thought it would be fun to express these lessons in paintings.

On the back cover of the book are testimonials from Ransom Wilson, Yale Flute Professor, and Steven Greenman, International Klezmer Violinist:

“A delightful and valuable resource for musicians of all ages and abilities, Passion for Practice offers instructive strategies for practicing effectively. Chaffee’s book promotes a positive message that resonates with the reader while encouraging patience, self-discipline, creative problem-solving, and self-reliance. Her wonderful illustrations add a vibrant display of color and imagery to reinforce each lesson. A clever use of wordplay presents analogies to solutions for musical and technical issues…augmented with insightful comments, stories, and advice from professional musicians and educators… an entertaining, supportive, and informative approach to learning music.”

— Steven Greenman, Violinist-Educator-Composer, Internationally Renowned Klezmer Violinist

“Ms. Chaffee’s creative book reminds people who grew up learning music that they can successfully pick up their instrument again. Whether playing by yourself or in a group, you have to practice to be proficient enough to enjoy playing. If you practice smarter, you will set yourself up for a fun challenge and have a rewarding experience. This book offers ideas for improving your practice sessions. Amazing practice tips and stories from very accomplished musicians included in the book will remind you of others out there practicing too and give you an understanding of what some of them went through to get to their playing level.”

–Ransom Wilson, Professor of Flute, Yale School of Music

You might also enjoy Have Fun With Your Music by Becky Chaffee, a book to encourage young musicians to make practicing their own.

PURCHASE LINK – PASSION FOR PRACTICE With Musings from Music Masters

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Becky Chaffee grew up in a musical household and raised two musical children. She has degrees in civil engineering from UC Berkeley and Cornell University. She enjoys playing flute for her music club. Through her music gifts company, MusicTeacherGifts.com, Becky raises funds for music education and has distributed $1,000s to youth. Much of the artwork in her books is presented on note cards, prints, and Tee shirts that sell in music stores and symphony gift shops such as the Brevard Music Center, Nashville, and San Francisco Symphony Gift Shops, SW Strings…

Follow Becky:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Instagram

#NewRelease! Shh…It’s Our Secret @Lizzie_Chantree

I am so excited to share my blog space with the amazing author, Lizzie Chantree! She is here to tell us all about her newest book release!

Thank you, Jan! I’m thrilled to be here!

I want to share a character profile from my newest book, “Shh…It’s Our Secret.”

Having good mental health can help us relax, achieve more and lead happier lives. In my latest book, “Shh. It’s Our Secret,” my main character, Violet, has been dealt some blows by life. She is determined to show her friends and her sister that she can be a strong person and successful in her chosen career, which is managing a run-down café and bar.

The café bar regulars have become Violet’s family, following the loss of her own parents, and she fights to persuade the new owners of the café that the regulars should still be a part of the rebranded bar’s make-up. Three feisty pensioners and some untrained bar staff don’t really appeal to Kai, but he soon learns why they mean so much to Violet.

Violet has a shy personality and although she is very friendly, she hides in her comfort zone and shies away from any conflict. She has a secret that could change the fate of the whole community, but to share it means that she has to believe in herself, to step out of the shadows, and find her voice.

Book Blurb:

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidentally discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

Universal link: Shh… It’s Our Secret: mybook.to/ItsOurSecret

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual businesses, who are stronger than they realise.

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: The little ice cream shop: viewbook.at/IceCreamShopByTheSea

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: viewbook.at/BabeDriven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewbook.at/FindingGina

Universal link: Shh… It’s Our Secret: mybook.to/ItsOurSecret

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lizziechantreeauthor

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

Music Festival

It has been SO long since I got to participate in one of my favorite things in life – a music festival.

But I’m heading out for a weekend of music, friends and fun. I will be returning on Sunday afternoon.

I’m elated about going, but aside from that, Kevin Costner is our headliner Friday night!!! When I go to Outlaws & Legends, I always work the artist gate, so he HAS to come through my gate to get onto the festival grounds. You can bet I’ll be trying to snap a picture!! AND, I will also be trying to get one of my books into his hands. If nothing else, I’ll drop it into his artist swag bag. 🙂 Wish me luck.

I will catch up with you when I return. Have a great weekend everyone!

Comments are closed.

Sunday Spotlight – STEEL BLOSSOMS! @steel_blossoms

I am SO excited to turn my blog site over to Hayley and Sara today, of the amazing duo, STEEL BLOSSOMS! I had the pleasure of hearing these girls live at Love & War in Texas when they were opening for the artist I went to see. I had never heard of them and they blew me away! So, I’ll turn it over to these multi-talented young ladies and let them tell you about themselves! Take it away, Sara and Hayley!

Hello! It’s nice to virtually meet all of you and I hope you’re surviving this strange time in the world. Let us first introduce ourselves. You’ll be hearing from us both, Hayley Amour and Sara Zebley, as we make up the female fronted, Nashville-based duo, Steel Blossoms.  

A LITTLE BACKSTORY:

We met about 12 years ago at a music festival in Pittsburgh, PA near where both of us grew up, but it wasn’t until 3 years later when we joined a band together that we actually became friends and started singing full time with each other. It was instant chemistry on stage and off. We were both on the path to being elementary teachers for life when we convinced each other to give it all up to move to Nashville in 2014. It’s been a hell of a ride ever since. 

Moving to Nashville was an opportunity to make music a full time career instead of a hobby and we quickly began performing regularly on Broadway 4 hours a day, 7 days a week. About a year in, we discovered that traveling the country was going to be key in expanding our following so we started performing “house concerts,” a unique experience that has gained us lifelong relationships with fans who have turned into friends. Seriously, you’ll question ever going to a regular concert again after attending an intimate house concert- it’s that fun!! 

Fast forward a few years later… In January 2019, we signed a record deal with emerging Americana label, Billy Jam Records, under the direction of hit songwriter Jerry Salley. That was huge for us, as it gave us a boost in the industry and a team to rely on for some of the legwork it takes to promote an album. We’ve been so lucky to have since hired a band of phenomenal musicians (who are literally our best friends now), buy a van (her name is Blonde Betty White), and tour the country telling the stories behind our original songs. 

AN EVEN BIGGER BREAK:

I remember us saying to each other “How in the world will 2020 ever top 2019? So many amazing things happened in 2019 and there’s no way we’ll outdo it!” And then we got a phone call that changed everything. We may have both blacked out during the conversation in disbelief, but at the end of that 5 minutes, we were the opening act for Alan Jackson’s 2020 tour. WHAT?! Crazy, right? We screamed, cried, called our families and swore them to secrecy, cried some more, questioned whether it was a dream, then got to work preparing for one of the biggest moments of our career. 

OUR FIRST STADIUM/ARENA TOUR:

January 10 and 11, 2020 was the first weekend of the Alan Jackson tour and we were beyond excited that the very first show was in Cincinnati, OH, equal distance between our Nashville friends and our Pennsylvania friends and family. It was one of those surreal weekends that we struggle to put into words. Let’s try though. 

First of all, we got to ride a tour bus for the very first time (not as glamorous as one would think- those bunks are tiny!!). We rode the bus with a lot of the sound engineers and techs from the show and that alone was such a neat experience to see what behind the scenes work goes into making the performance night run smoothly. Alan Jackson’s band was particularly welcoming and genuine, which was not taken for granted on our parts. We got to watch their sound check and hang out with some of the musicians throughout the evening. Alan’s fiddle player, Ryan, is from our hometown- small world! Hearing some of our favorite songs in person from AJ was also nothing short of amazing. Imagine hearing “Remember When” and “Little Bitty” from a few rows back in an empty arena before 13,000 people were on their way to fill the seats. PINCH ME MOMENT times infinity. 

We had the honor of performing 5 songs to start the night off and saying we were terrified and filled with adrenaline would be the understatement of the year. We were all pleasantly surprised that the butts were in the seats so early on and we had over 10k people watching our performance. The most amazing part of this experience was realizing that we belonged on that stage. I know it sounds crazy considering we’ve been working our way up to this moment consistently for years, but we really weren’t sure before that first performance if our usual stage show was going to translate to such a large atmosphere. When it did and we proudly finished our last original song of the night “You’re the Reason I Drink” with the whole audience singing the hook, we realized we had caught the bug. Both of us cried, hugged our band members, and decided that we NEVER wanna not be doing shows like that. Honestly, after feeling what we felt on that stage, I’m not sure why musicians do drugs. 

UNTIL NEXT TIME:

Thanks for getting to know us through these stories and we look forward to not only continuing the Alan Jackson tour once the world is in better shape, but we hope and pray that while you are reading this, you and your loved ones are safe, healthy and managing the uncertainty of these times. 

Follow The Steel Blossoms:
www.steelblossoms.com

www.steelblossoms.com/store

www.facebook.com/steelblossoms

www.instagram.com/steelblossoms

www.youtube.com/steelblossoms

Spotify link to SB latest album

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6c7CCsR0EwgZ81KHktNrhO

A Hundred Miles of River – Rick Sikes

I am out of town this weekend and am turning off comments for this post, but I wanted to share something that I think is pretty special with you.

I made the decision (a hard choice) to pull down Rick’s website at the end of 2019. It was strictly due to the amount it was costing me per year with very little return. So, I created a page (or the beginnings of one) on my own website. I’d love for you visit, as there may be some things you don’t know about the early years of his career. I will be adding more things as time allows.

Rick Sikes Page

And I’d also like to share this YouTube video with you. It’s a song that is a true story about a boat that was sunk in the Sabine River during the civil war. I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for visiting!

Two Amazing Ladies of Music! Claudia Nygaard and Ruby Lovett

One of my greatest joys in life is supporting music artists. I receive a lot of press releases because I write for Buddy Magazine. We are strictly a Texas Music magazine. However, I often receive music from artists who aren’t based in Texas but deserve a shout-out.

That is the case with these two ladies. So, I am using my blog today to introduce you to Claudia Nygaard and Ruby Lovett!

Claudia Nygaard is Nashville based and Ruby Lovett is from Mississippi.

Their music touched me and I want to share!

Claudia Nygaard isn’t afraid to tackle sensitive or difficult subjects with her music. From that aspect, she reminded me of a younger Loretta Lynn. She is a fantastic storyteller, as is shown in the lyrics of the title track of the album, “Lucky Girl.”

It tells the tale of her great, great, great grandaddy, her great grandaddy and her grandmother all on her father’s side of the family. From Norway to North Dakota, it’s a journey of hard times and heartache, a tribute to one family’s ability to survive and thrive. With that kind of family lineage, it makes Claudia a lucky, lucky girl!

“Like a Moth to a Flame,” she relates a story that many of us have experienced. There are times in life where passion draws us too close to the fire and we singe our wings. I loved these lines from the song, “Mama if you need me, you can find me in my room/I’m pulling all the shades down, gonna sit here in the gloom/Mama I’ll be tending to these wings so badly singed/Mama I’ll be praying that he’ll pass this way again…” Sigh…Some lessons are never learned.

With songs like “The Codependent’s National Anthem,” “Tumbling Down,” and “I’m A Little Bit Embarrassed” it’s easy to see that Claudia doesn’t shy away from the raw honest truth.

This just might be my favorite line from this collection of emotion-driven songs. “This isn’t something ladylike to do/But you treated me like trash/So that’s how I’m treatin’ you…” The title of that song is “Me Too.”

If you’d like to sample Claudia’s music, here is her performance of “Lucky Girl.”

You can find her new CD, Lucky Me, wherever music is sold, but for your convenience, here is the Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Lucky-Girl-Claudia-Nygaard/dp/B07VC1DF79/

Follow Claudia Nygaard:

WEBSITE

Facebook

Twitter

When Ruby Lovett emerged on the music scene in the late 1990s, music critics said, “Lovett’s voice is a refreshing slice of hillbilly heaven. “

When I listened to her new CD, I had to agree. Her voice is authentic and real.

While she didn’t write all the songs on her album, It’s A Hard Life, she chose songs that fit the theme and tell compelling stories.

The first track, written by Nanci Griffith, “It’s A Hard Life,” speaks such strong truths! “If we poison our children with hatred/Then a hard life is all that they will know…” Isn’t that a message the entire world could pay heed to today?

Lovett did write the second song on the album, “A Father’s Love,” as a tribute to her adoptive father. This line says it all, “Some say blood is thicker than water/And tho’ I wasn’t born your daughter/You cherished me as if I were your own…”

“Catfish John,” takes us back to another place and time in history. “He was born a slave in the town of Vicksburg/Traded for a chestnut mare/But he never spoke in anger/Though his load was hard to bear…”

Another written by Lovett, “Straight From My Heart,” drips with genuine emotion and her delivery is nothing less than pure honesty. “Here in this changing world/where nothing lasts forever/A love that you can count on is sometimes hard to find…”

Ruby Lovett’s music is as real as she is, full of honest emotion and real life situations sung with pure grace and power. I’d like to tell you about every song on this beautiful album, but I’ll let you explore, if it has piqued your interest. 

Take a listen for yourself!


AMAZON purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/ItS-Hard-Life-Ruby-Lovett/dp/B07P6YXFRX/

Follow Ruby Lovett:

Website

Facebook

Thank you for allowing me to introduce these two amazing women and their music to you! I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

Thankful

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I reflect on all I have to be thankful for, I am astounded that there is so much! We tend to go through our days without stopping to really take a look around us and truly appreciate what we have. We are always chasing a carrot just out of reach. But, today, I pause to give thanks for all that I am blessed with.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my amazing two daughters. They are strong young women raising families while still managing careers. I couldn’t be more proud.

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I am thankful for five unique and awesome grandchildren! And, I’m thankful I live close enough that I get to see them often (sometimes too often.) 🙂

I am thankful that I have created an entirely new career for myself…one I could never have imagined!

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I am thankful for the writing organizations that have enhanced, supported, taught and uplifted me along this journey.

 

The beautiful friendships that I have formed around the world are cherished!

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I am thankful for my apartment. I know that may sound silly, but I truly am thankful for my sanctuary. It is quiet, unassuming and has everything I need to be comfortable.

I am thankful for the music and the awesome people who make the music that feeds my soul!

I am thankful for my sister who patiently mentors and encourages me. We talk every Sunday morning over a cup of coffee, by phone, and solve all the problems in our stories and the world. 🙂

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I am thankful for my best friend of over 35 years. We have been through lots together!

As Rick told the Baptist preacher, I am thankful for the breath that sustains life. I’m thankful for faith and hope that are my constant companions.

I am thankful for the beautiful angels that watch over, protect and help when they can.

I am thankful for all of you who follow my blog and leave comments when something interests you. I appreciate the encouragement you give when I post stories.

I am a most blessed person!

Happy-Thanksgiving-Images

 

The Story of Nanyehi With Becky Hobbs

This is one of the most interesting interviews I’ve done to date, for the Oklahoma Farm and Ranch magazine. So, I thought I’d share it. Since this interview, they have turned this into a film and are entering it at film festivals around the world.

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 “I started writing songs when I was nine-years-old. I was born to write songs, and I’ve known that my whole life,” Becky Hobbs stated in a recent interview.

Hobbs was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. When she was in high school, she formed the first all-female rock band in Oklahoma, The Four Faces of Eve. She went on to have quite a successful career in country music with many of her songs gaining popularity through her own recordings as well as other artists.

But her latest musical project combines her consummate songwriting prowess with a deeply personal and profoundly historic story.

Nancy Ward (Nanyehi) is Hobbs’ fifth great-grandmother born around 1738. Hobbs recalls stories passed down through the family.

“I was very fortunate because I always knew I was a direct descendant of Nancy Ward, Nanyehi, through all female lineage except for my great-grandfather, Richard Taylor Parks who came to Indian territory in the late 1800s. He was a horseback preacher man and hailed from East Tennessee,” Hobbs said. “Cherokee society was female driven. It was matriarchal; it was matrilineal. When a baby was born, he or she was born into the mother’s clan. The Cherokee women made the most important decisions, like when to go to war. In fact, in the 1700s, the whites dubbed the Cherokee tribes as The Petticoat Society. In Nancy Ward’s day, she represented the Cherokee at many peace negotiations. The whites were always amazed that they would let a woman speak for them.”

I found this bit of history to be most interesting. Hobbs has extensive knowledge about her beloved Cherokee tribe and is prolific in the language.

Hobbs continued, “When I was a little girl, my mom would tell me a story that intrigued me. Nancy Ward was around seventeen-years-old. Her husband, Kingfisher was battling the Creek Indians at the Battle of Taliwa in 1755. She was beside him, chewing the bullets, giving them ragged edges to make them more deadly. Kingfisher was killed, so Nanyehi took his rifle and led the Cherokee to victory.”

That act earned Nancy Ward a high status within the tribe. She was honored as War Woman, headed up the Women’s Council to determine the fate of captives and she became Nanyehi – Beloved Woman of the Cherokee.

What inspired Hobbs to honor her Fifth Great-Grandmother?

“There are eighteen songs in the musical, and I wrote or co-wrote them all,” Hobbs Said. “The interesting thing is that in 1993, I got all fired up to do a music album to pay tribute to Nancy Ward. So, I wrote a handful of these songs back then. That was the year that David Hampton in Tulsa established the Association of the Descendants of Nancy Ward. They were looking for a theme song, and I wrote “Let There Be Peace” and “Pale Moon,” that year.”

Hobbs admitted that around that time, her country music career took off like a bullet and she got so busy that she put the project aside, knowing that someday, she wanted to create something to honor her ancestor’s life.

Hobbs continues with her story, “In 2007, for the one-hundredth anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood, I was invited to participate in a celebration in Bartlesville. Well, I could not stand up there and talk about Oklahoma without talking about my Cherokee heritage. So, I talked about Nancy Ward and sang “Let There be Peace Among Us” and “Pale Moon,” and shared some of her stories. After the show, the director, Nick Sweet, came up to me and said, ‘I know who Nancy Ward was.’ So, we talked for a while, and I said, ‘You know, I’ve got some other songs besides the ones I sang tonight. Maybe we should get together and try to write a musical.’ And that’s kind of where it all started.”

Nick Sweet has been a stage director in Oklahoma and Texas for the past forty years, so he brought a level of expertise to the table that Hobbs needed to move forward with this passionate tribute.

One year later in November 2008, Hobbs decided it was time.

“I woke up and told my husband, ‘Today’s the day.’ He said, ‘Today’s the day for what? Are you going to leave me?’ I said, ‘I’m going to move forward in telling Nancy Ward’s story.’ I went to the bathroom and looked out the window, and there was a white owl perched in a tree staring at me. This was around 8:30 in the morning, and it was bright daylight. So, I knew it was a sign.”

Within six months, Hobbs wrote the musical, learning it all the hard way. She contacted Nick Sweet and asked him to direct it, and they performed Nanyehi publicly for the first time in 2009. Hobbs shares that the first performance was only herself, her husband, accomplished guitarist, Duane Sciagcua, Nick Sweet and his wife, Peggy. They each read scenes and Hobbs and husband performed songs live.

From its humble beginnings, Nanyehi has had eight major productions, been picked up by a major production company in Georgia and now has a cast of approximately twenty people including professional actors and actresses.

The songs for Nanyehi are incredibly amazing. From the first, “White Wolf on the Horizon” to the last, “Let There Be Peace,” they tell the entire story from Nancy Ward’s birth to her death, with many adventures in between, including the famed battle of Taliwa where Kingfisher died.

Nanyehi at grave

Although Hobbs has had many musical accomplishments in her lifetime, she openly admits she is most proud of Nanyehi. It not only took her out of her comfort zone but gave her a medium to educate so many about the Cherokee tribe as well as celebrate Nancy Ward’s fascinating life.

If you’d like more information, please visit http://www.nanyehi.com/

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Mama’s House

Happy Mother’s Day!

mothers-day

My mother was born in 1917. She was a young woman just married and starting a family during the Great Depression. The things she endured were beyond comprehension. But, she grew to be the strongest, most determined woman I ever knew. Born in May, she was a Taurus. No task was too big for her to tackle. I have a distinct memory, as a very young child, of Mom climbing up a ladder and putting a new roof on our house because Daddy was working too many long hours to do it himself. I like to think I get some of my grit from her.

She could make the best peach cobbler on the face of the earth and was most at home in the kitchen.

When she passed away, I wanted to create some sort of deserving tribute. I was driving down the highway between Coleman and Brady, Texas one day and this song came to me all at once and clear as a bell. I pulled over on the side of the road and wrote it. I hope you enjoy it and the photos that accompany it.

My tribute to Marian Edith Clark Smith.

Thank you for listening.

Stories From the Road #21

http-www.ricksikes.com

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.

Rick:

“Back in the sixties, marketing yourself was quite different than today. There was a company out of Missouri I used to order these rainbow posters. It was my trademark. They would look exactly like this, only, of course, would say, “Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels” and advertise where and when we were playing. I’d give anything to find one of these posters.

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I’d usually give my bass player, Red, a stack and I’d take a stack and we’d canvas the area where we were going to be playing. We’d tack them up on telephone poles, tape them to windows and anywhere folks would let us put one.

I recorded several little 45 rpm records back then and as soon as I’d have a new one in hand, would start hitting every little radio station across the state. That was a time when you’d walk in, meet the DJ, hand him a couple of records and visit with him. Nowadays, you have to have a record promoter to even get in the door of a radio station, but we did it all in those days.

I recorded a song, “Hundred Miles of River,” that was a true story about a Confederate gunboat that was purposefully sunk in the Sabine River during the civil war. I pushed that song hard. I had these cards printed up and got some newspaper coverage on it.

Hundred Miles of River

Then when the DJ’s played my songs, I always thanked them.

I had business cards that I left with every club owner across the five-state area.

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I booked my band through Wilson Talent Agency out of Fort Worth, Texas  for a while and they wrote up this nice little promo for us.

Wilson Talent Agency

But, sometimes publicity attempts backfired on me.

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I had this crazy idea to do some promo pictures at the train tracks outside Brownwood, Texas and make us all look like outlaws about to rob a train. Little did I know that these two pictures would be used against me in the trials for bank robbery. They were submitted as evidence. So, what seemed like fun at the time, turned into a bad deal.

It was a very hands-on time for marketing and promoting yourself and your art. Without internet, social media or even faxes, it required leg-work and one-on-one connections. And, I was pretty good at it, if I do say so. I kept us booked solid and for the times, drew good pay. So, maybe there is something to be said for old-fashioned communication…”

What do you think would be the best way to market yourself and your books without all the instant internet avenues we have today? 

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