Jan Sikes: Honky-Tonks and Flowers and Stone

 

When I was asked to be a guest blogger, I was thrilled. I have visited this sight often over the years since my sister, Linda Broday, is a founding Filly.

 

My next thought was,”What am I going to blog about that has to do with petticoats or pistols and in relation to my new book, Flowers and Stone?” It didn’t take long to come up with an answer.

 

My story is set in the rowdy honky-tonks of Texas in 1970; and back in that time, it was not uncommon for men to carry pistols (most often in their boot) and also very common to find ladies wearing a petticoat in the honky-tonk. After all, that was the best way to get a dancing partner for the night.

 

So, what I want to blog about is how that although time periods change, some practices do not. In the 1800’s music was the main source of entertainment. People worked hard and needed to have some way to relax and unwind (much like 1970). Alcohol was normally found to be a part of the event as well (much like 1970). There might be a fight or two break out (much like 1970) and two people might fall in love (much like 1970).

 

I’m sure you have heard stories about your parents or perhaps grandparents who met at a dance and wound up spending the rest of their lives together.

 

Then there were the saloons…now that’s where a big difference comes in. Women were shamed and ostracized in the 1800’s if they went inside a saloon, much less worked in one. In 1970, the honky-tonks thrived on the business women brought in because where there were women, men would follow and men drank, therefore spending money. All of the waitresses were women and in Texas, 1970, go-go dancing was a new rage.

 

In “Flowers and Stone” you will find young Darlina Flowers, a fledgling go-go dancer trying her wings out in the world, and a seasoned musician, Luke Stone, who finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. He has a strong urge to protect her from the rough honky-tonk world he’s lived in for a very long time.

 

As the story unfolds, they fall deeply in love and Darlina embraces the lifestyle, traveling with him and his band up and down the many roads of Texas playing their music. Luke decides to make her a part of his show bringing go-go girls to country music crowds. She is ecstatic to be included.  

 

I loved weaving some of Texas music’s history throughout the story and noted often how people came in great numbers to hear the band.

 

This is a true story based on my life with my husband, Rick Sikes. The band was Rick Sikes and The Rhythm Rebels, and they played in most of the honky-tonks, military bases, rodeos and even high school dances all over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and on out to California. They must have traveled at least a million miles over the many years they played. Here are some pictures of Rick and the band and of him dressed in his confederate uniform that he loved.

 

Music brings people together and it doesn’t matter if you are making it or listening to it. The energy of music draws people into the emotion of the song. Sometimes it is the person making the music who draws people in, but it always captures our attention and sometimes even a little part of our soul. There is nothing better than true “soul” music and that is simply music that touches us.

 

I’ve really enjoyed reading some of the recent blogs on this site that shared what particular song the writer listens to while writing, or the history of a song that we’ve heard all our lives.

 

It truly is the universal language and remains as important today as it was 200 years ago. Some things won’t ever change….

 

Please click HERE to watch my book video. Rick is singing the song we used.


Tell me your favorite Honky-Tonk story for a chance to win an autographed copy of FLOWERS AND STONE.

 

FLOWERS AND STONE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, My Texas Books, and through www.JanSikes.com.

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Jan began writing poetry at a young age, which coupled with her passion for music led to songwriting. She’s an accomplished singer and guitar player and she’s written a screenplay in addition to her first novel. You can visit her at www.JanSikes.com.

Guest Blogger

29 Comments

  1. WOW! I loved this and would sure like to win this book. Love the cover. I love country music. Always listened to this kind of music. I got to go to see Hank Thompson at a dance in OK. once. It was a thrill to me. My favorite story tho is about a small dance where my husband danced many dances at Bob Wills and his band, way out on the country in OK. but not far from a small town, Elgin,KS. where all of my husband’s family lived. There was this Honky Tonk built on a pretty high knob. They built a sort of porch on one side with rails. This was where those who got too drunk and rowdy had to go, and the rail was to keep them from falling and rolling down that hill. I tho’t that was so funny. Don’t know how but one guy fell and rolled down tho and wasn’t hurt bad. Many years later I got to go to street and other outdoor dances by the old members of Bob’s band. There were yearly dances in honor of the band after Bob had died. For he had once married a local gal and played many dances in that area for many years. It was great to meet all of his band members and got all of their autographs. And, at one of the street dances, I found out that Bob was born in the Small TX. town, KOSSE, where my dad had been born a few years earlier. So, he had played at many dances as a young boy with his dad and others. Was very popular at a young age. By the way, I moved to this town at 1 year old and grew up there. Love my country music.
    Please put me in for the drawing. And, HOPE I’m a lucky winner.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. Yay! The site is back up! So sorry for the delay.

    Welcome to the Junction! We’re really thrilled to have you. I want to show how very proud I am of my little sister. Our mama would be proud too. Great topic. I grew up in the age of honky-tonks and it was very special. Everyone came out to hear the bands back then.

    Loved, loved your book and am in awe of your ability to weave real life into those pages. Your love story with Rick was just so Cinderella-like. The slipper fit and you lived a wonderful life together.

    Such a great video too. Loved hearing Rick’s voice again.

    Love you, sis!

  3. When I was in college here in the Phoenix area, we used to go honky-tonkin at a scruffy ol bar in Glendale, AZ. It had wooden floors and a scarred bar. The glasses were clean though. On weekends they would feature local talent to sing with a band. We used to hear an up and coming young man in the music field named Marty Robbins. We thought he was just ok, nothing special. However, he got better. ha ha My favorite song of his was when he sang about El Paso and a girl named Galena.
    Also playing there was another we thought really had that honly tonk sound-Buck Owens. My husband went to grade school with him. A lot of country singers came from Arizona. Another was Tanya Tucker.
    I love country music. My favorite is George Jones and George Strait.
    Your book sounds interesting.

  4. Maxie, I LOVE your description of the honky-tonk up on the hill and how the railing was to keep the drunks from rolling down the hill! 🙂 One of Rick’s greatest joys in life was getting to play music with Bob Wills for about a year, so also loved that you talked about Bob.

  5. Jan, welcome to the junction! Wow! Your personal story is bound to bring back many happy memories for readers. Congratulations on your new book!

  6. Welcome, Jan! So happy to have you here with us. Congratulations on your book, what a fun premise. I love the story behind the story. Thanks for sharing. 😉

  7. Welcome Jan, Loved the book video and the song! My hubby and I loved to go to dances when we were dating but mostly they were school or community organization sponsored. This would have been early 60s. Did go to a few bars to see go- go dancers in the 70’s but mostly in our small town area they danced to recorded music. But since I love music of all kinds that didn’t matter. We got to know one young lady and had a meal or two with her when she was in town. Loved learning of her young family and how hard it was for her to be away from them. Was happy when she told us that she had found a job near home and was going to be able to work from home and be with her babies.
    Looking forward to reading Flowers and Stone.

  8. Joye, how awesome that you have personal memories of Marty Robbins and Buck Owens before they were famous! Rick knew Buck personally and sang lots of Marty Robbins songs with the band. Thank you for sharing. Thank you, Margaret and Renee, it is such an honor to be here. Connie, music is, as I say in my blog, the universal language and how unique that you got to know one of the go-go dancers!

  9. Jan, thank you so much for taking my blog day. I’m thrilled to welcome you to P&P. I loved your blog and it brought back so many memories. Of course, my Texas Honky Tonk experiences were a bit earlier than the ’70’s because by that time I was having babies! Many don’t know but after I got out of the regular business world, I owned a Texas Honky Tonk with a partner. It was so much fun, lots of work, but experiences I find myself putting in my books. The one coming out in September “The Tycoon and the Texan” (contemporary, not historical) has a scene set in one of the Honky Tonks my husband and I went to while we were dating. Such wonderful memories and thank you, thank you for blogging. Your books is a great read, full of emotion and love. Big hugs, Phyliss

  10. Reading Maxie’s comment reminded me of the time my girlfriends and I went down to Turkey, Texas, to Bob Wills Day. It’s such a little town, so when we were driving into town we thought … man there’s a lot of traffic on Main Steet but quickly discovered we had turned into the parade, so we just smiled and waved to everyone standing along the street. We had a fantastic day and loved the music. Thanks for the memories, Maxie and Jan. Hugs, Phyliss

  11. Phyliss, it was my great pleasure to take your blog day! Thank you for being willing to give it up. I would love to hear some of your stories from the days when you owned a honky-tonk! I bet you have some doozeys to tell. Oh, what a laugh to find yourself in the middle of the parade in Turkey! 🙂

  12. Hi Jan! Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols. What a terrific setting for a book . . . Those Texas honky tonks have to be full of stories. Terrific characters, too!

  13. Hi Jan,
    Wonderful cover and premise to your story. My hubby and I love music, especially “Oldies” but he’s not into dancing. I find myself watching Dancing with the Stars, and getting up and making some dance moves. I think I am out of practice! Lovely to have you here today.

  14. Welcome, Jan! So glad you can spend time with us in Wildflower Junction. The idea of honky tonks is such a fun one. I don’t know how to country-dance but I’m sure I could learn even though I am a klutz. Hubby and I did learn ballroom dancing for our daughter’s wedding, but it’s nothing we’ve done since.

    Best of luck with a terrific-sounding book. The cover is awesome.

  15. I met my husband at a dance and we have now been married 50 years.

  16. Thank you so much for the welcome, Victoria, Charlene and Tanya! I am enjoying spending time with all of you today. Charlene, my husband, even though he was a musician, was not a dancer and there is a scene in my story about that. Goldie, that is a very wonderful story and just goes to prove my point even more. 🙂

  17. Honky Tonk is great. Where I live there is this band that plays in unusual places, a saloon that was once a mine, a field of flowers and they are so talented and creative that people are enthralled with them. I enjoyed their playing from the day I met them and introduced others to their music.

  18. During the summer many honky tonk bands tour and they are very popular here in town. Just the sound make the crowd start up and dance the night away. Summer and honky tonk are my favorite times and things to enjoy.

  19. Diane and Ellie, thank you for your input! Ellie, I would love to hear the band you are referring to. I know some people like them who are so darned talented, it’s amazing!
    Diane, summer, music and dancing seem to go hand in hand. Great times to enjoy!

  20. What a great love story, Jan. And what a unique perspective on life. Growing up I’d only heard of Honky Tonks in country music songs (like “…I didn’t know God made Honky Tonk angels…”) They sounded like pretty wild places. Nice to read a different take on them. Thanks for being our guest today.

  21. Great post and I loved the story. Also enjoyed the book trailer. I don’t really have a Honky Tonk story, but I would love to read your book.

  22. Sounds like a wonderful story, Jan. How neat that you weave together 3 loves; music, history, & writing. Good job. Thanks, ladies, for the guest blog.

  23. Ditto what JOYE said cuz she’s my sister and we went together sometimes to that Phoenix bar to hear Marty Robbins and Buck Owens.

  24. Welcome to the Junction, Jan! (Sorry for the site issues.) It sound like you and your hubby had a lot of fun “back in the day.” Best of luck with “Flowers and Stone!”

  25. Elizabeth, I definitely experienced life on the road with a Texas musician and it is different from anything else I’ve experienced so far in life! Thank you, Quilt Lady! Janet, it was my goal to weave the 3 loves together in the story. Oh Jackie,I bet you and Joye had some good times together.
    No problem, Tracy. Just glad the “site issues” got worked out. It’s been a great time being a guest blogger on this site! Great group of ladies!!

  26. I have to say I do not dance. I would not know where to start.
    Some people amaze me how well they do dance. They make it look so easy. Please enter me in enter me in your giveaway. Thank you for sharing.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

  27. Thank you for your comment, Barbara. You are entered in the give-away!

  28. Good Morning, Jan! I’m so glad we decided to leave your post up for a second day. So sorry we had all those site issues yesterday.

    For all who are wondering….Jan will have her drawing later today. Check back and see who gets the autographed copy of FLOWERS AND STONE.

    Also….you might like to know that Jan is on Facebook. She’d love to friend you. http://www.facebook.com/jansmith.sikes

  29. I just want to say a great big “Thank You” to Petticoats and Pistols for letting me be a guest blogger on the site and absolutely LOVED all the comments I received. Please check out my facebook page and take a minute to click over and “Like” my “Flowers and Stone” book page on facebook as well.
    I look forward to visiting again soon!!

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