MUSIC FROM RICK AND JAN SIKES
The songs on this CD were taken off 45 RPM record that Rick Sikes recorded in the 1960’s.
If you listen closely, you’ll still hear a few scratches of the needle on the record.
The songs on this historic CD were recorded inside the walls of Leavenworth Penitentiary in the 1980s. RICK SIKES wrote “From The Bottle to the Needle” in order to get the Warden’s attention and request permission to build a recording studio.
Permission was granted with no funding provided. Resourceful convicts gathered and used bits and pieces of broken and discarded electronics to build a crude mixing board and two track recorder. Then empty egg cartons from the prison kitchen were glued to the concrete walls to absorb the sound. Discarded carpeting and curtains completed the buffers needed. Add detailed artwork and a studio was born.
The title song, “Forty Foot High” (penned by RICK SIKES during his incarceration) depicts his emotional journey and inner struggle to exist behind prison walls. JAMIE RICHARDS composed the music and recorded the song.
Even though he wrote every song, you won’t hear RICK SIKES’ rich baritone voice on each one, as he was the only person who knew how to operate the recording equipment. Thomas “Red” Jenkins sang on a lot of the tracks.
As far as it is known, this was the only recording studio ever built inside a prison. It is truly a piece of history preserved in song!
When Rick Sikes (who had been a music man all of his life) came home from prison in 1985, he put his guitar in the closet and went about the business of raising a family.
He wouldn’t turn back to the music again until fate intervened in 2000, following the death of a dear friend, Roxy Gordon. At Judy Gordon’s insistence, Rick performed for Roxy’s memorial at the famed Hermann Hall in Dalla
From that point on, he turned full force back to making music and brought his family along with him.
On this CD you will hear songs written and sung by Rick’s wife, Jan, along with their daughter, Deva Deaton. He was proud of his family’s involvement with music and these songs showcase their endeavors.
After an article appeared in Texas Monthly in January 2001, Rick Sikes was approached by two men who believed in him and respected his long musical career. This CD was the result of that union and features Rick on all tracks. The songs on this CD are a mixture of country, gospel and a little rockabilly that you are sure to enjoy.
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A collection of authentic Civil War Era songs. The goal was to keep it as close as possible to the original music of that era and that goal was reached!