Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Dodge City Cowboy Band

Shortly before the Santa Fe Railroad arrived, Dodge City, Kansas was incorporated. The booming business was buffalo bones and hides and the town provided a social gathering place for the soldiers from nearby Fort Dodge. In 1875 its cattle days were born and for the next ten years it was known as the “Cowboy Capital” as well as “Queen of Cowtowns”. Well known lawmen and gunfighters took their turn in Dodge- Wyatt Earp; Bat, Ed, and Jim Masterson; Doc Holliday; William Tilghman; Clay Allison; Ben and Billy Thompson; Lake Short; to name a few. Dodge. Matter of fact, it was often hard to tell the good guys from the bad.

One of the only real bullfights ever performed in the United States was in Dodge City in 1884. Mexican Bullfighters were invited and a dozen longhorn bulls corralled in town for the event. Advertising across the nation brought people in from all around the state as well as a few neighboring ones. The event was proclaimed a success, but the sport never became legal in the states so was not repeated.

Another highly attractive event for Dodge City that became extremely popular was The Dodge City Cowboy Band. Their musical abilities were high quality; however it was said it was their manner of dress that attracted fans by the hundreds. The members wore flannel shirts, gray cowboy hats, leather chaps, spurs and pearl-handled revolvers, and the band leader used a revolver to keep time instead of a baton. The Cowboy Band also played in Denver, Chicago and Minneapolis, and in Washington, D.C., at the inaugural celebration of President Benjamin Harrison.

Though known as the “Dodge City Cowboy Band” not one of the ‘cowboys’ was from Dodge.

Music played a major role in winning the west, and the base it set is still alive in the country and western genre—as is The Dodge City Cowboy Band’s manner of dress.

When the Wild Rose Press sent out its call for stories for their Honky Tonk Series, I was excited. For years, every time I heard Toby Keith’s song, How Do You Like Me Now, I’d imagine a tense reunion story of lost love and was excited to write it. My story is not related to the song, but was somewhat inspired by it in the sense my hero, Lance Dugan, had left Texas dreaming of making it big in the music scene.

Sing to Me, Cowboy was released yesterday.

Blurb: Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night. 

Locked in a custody battle with an ex-husband who's looking for any excuse to take her children, Heather doesn't need any more trouble. But when a broken-down car and a dead cell phone leave her stranded at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes face-to-face with the one man who could jeopardize everything—including her heart. 

Country-singing sensation Lance Dugan is back in Amarillo for his grandfather's birthday and to take care of a bit of unfinished business—apologize to Heather for leaving ten years ago. Lance has fought hard and won big the last few years, but seeing Heather again makes him wonder if he's been fighting for the right things.

Finding each other again may seem like fate, but one horrible secret, buried deep, could divide them forever.


  1. What a fun post, Lauri. I had never heard of the Dodge City Cowboy Band. Loved it.

  2. My thoughts ran to Willie Nelson when I read about the Cowboy Band. I wonder what they sounded like? That was quite a crew of them.

    Fun post, Lauri. Best of luck with lots of readers.

  3. Fun post on the "cowboy" band and your Honky Tonk story is a great read!


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