Beginnings of BnB Club, an email To: Doris Volz @ doris@LineDanceFun.com From: Neil Hale:
Yes, my good friends, Charles (CW) Parker, *Rick Bowen, and Mary Hendrix along with myself and Charlotte Skeeters and maybe about a dozen or so others sat together at Swiss Park one evening in the early 80's (over 30 years now) to found the club. We were only able to do this because CW talked the Swiss Park people into allowing us to use the Swiss Park venue, initially at no charge. We had been dancing at the South 40, but not really organized as a club, rather a loosely gathered group. The environment there was deplorable -it was a smoked filled bar with a very small floor and a staff and clientele that hated line dancers. To my knowledge, a good number of the original members and most of our beloved staff of instructors and helpers have passed away.
God bless original members and staff, Rick Bowen, Paul Sorenson, Mary Hendrix, Harry Bisset and instructors Connie Siva and (I believe) Ganean de La Grange (All My Exs Live In Texas) who are no longer with us. I have not heard anything of CW Parker since he left for back East many years ago. I imagine he would be quite elderly. (received in email from Neil Hale July 9, 2014)
*Rick and Joan Bowen have a Swiss Park Connection.
CONFIRMATION for Boots 'n' Buckles founders Rick & Joan Bowen in email from Cindy Lambert:
In a 1997 published bio Rick says: Joan and I founded the Boot's 'N' Buckles dance club.
Statement documented (.pdf file) complete Cindy Lambert email August 13, 2014
their Bio says "We met in 1982 when she came to a honky tonk, where I was teaching, to find out what C/W dance was about. She stayed after class, I asked her to dance and we've been dancing together since. We were married about a year later." He goes on to say "I've choreographed about 15 dances during 1995-96. Most of these are routines for our exhibition dance team and for the several hundred kids I teach each week in the elementary schools here in Amador County." He mentioned they both teach and did competition judging at CWDI events.... They both also taught senior classes and he said he did most (if not all) teaching at no charge. He told us he choreographed some of these dances for the school kids.
1)The Boot Scooters Boogie- No date listed
2)The Boot Scooters Kick -No date listed
4)Honky Tonk Miss-8/95
6) The Bear Walk-12/95
7) Sutter Creek Stomp (AKA Wolverine Slide)-1/22/96
8) Cougar Slide-2/96
9) Rockin' C-O-U-N-T-R-Y-2/96
10)The Bubba Slyde-1-98 (received in email from Cindy Lambert August 11, 2014) Cindy Lambert, Willows, CA (formerly Chico, CA)
Line Dance Instructor in the Chico Area 1991-2014 (plus some couples and special events)
Boot Scooters Boogie - No date listed
Boot Scootin' Boogie
2 Wall Contra/Line Level: Intermediate
Choreog: Rick & Joan Bowen Featured In: *RK Country Issue 1
This signed original Boot Scooters Boogie sheet indicates that Rick Bowen is the choreograher. (IMAGE received August 2014 from Line Dance Instructor, Eve Holmes, Vacaville, CA)
Brooks and Dunn released Boot Scootin' Boogie in 1991
BnB 1988 Roundup: Rick and Joan Bowen were instructors at Swiss Park back in the mid 1980's.
Tumbleweed taught at Swiss Park on May 2, 1988 (and At Cowtown on May 31, 1988)
(Doris Volz Scanned copies -May 1988 BnB Round Up
provided by Anni Wunderlich (CQS President 2002-present 2014 and originally
mailed to Diane Mongomery, S F Bay Area Instructor)
... I found something from a Sonora workshop booklet (1996) written by Kitty Hunsaker that says "Rick and Joan have several nationally famous choreographed dances "The Boot Scooters Boogie and Tumbleweed". These dances were recently published in The Big Book of Country & Western Dancing by NAP Productions". (received in email from Cindy Lambert August 10, 2014)
Phone shot P. 467 of the original copy of Tumbleweed written by Rick and Joan Bowen, Pine Grove, CA
from my copy: The Big Book of Country Western Line Dancing by NAP Productions
complied by Nancy & Aubrey Woodroof, published in 1996.
Jose Cuervo by Shelly West was the No 1 hit on the 1983 Country Western Charts.
Tumbleweed was written circa 1983; taught May 2nd 1988 at Swiss Park, Newark, California.
*Charlotte Skeeters wrote a re write of the original Tumbleweed for Rick & Joan Bowen's 29 count dance.
The music listed on her re write is: Jose Cuervo by Shelly West (*Information received August 2014 in facebook conversations/messages with Charlotte Skeeters)
Also published in The Big Book of Country & Western Dancing by NAP Productions on P. 50
Boots 'N' Buckles Break circa 1984 by Rick & Joan Bowen (founders of the Boots 'N' Buckles Club)
BOOTS ‘n’ BUCKLES 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY (July 25, 2014 at Swiss Park, Newark)
Author: Judy Romanenkov
Maybe 30th is no big deal but in line dance years that’s when you get the reserve seat in front of the bus. For seniority not senility, mind you, for the club shows no signs of slowing down. So last Friday on what seems to be the hottest night of the century, we gathered at the place where Boots n’ Buckles was born, on the dance floor ...of Swiss Park in Fremont, California to mark the momentous occasion. We celebrated with a “Boots 'n’Buckles 30th” Birthday buttons for everybody and of course a birthday cake. Gracing the event was one of the founders who flew in from Oregon, CHARLOTTE SKEETERS, as the honored guest.
To get a sense of history and perspective, I gave Charlotte 10 questions to answer. Here’s the Q&A:
JR: Tell us about Charles W. Parker and what motivated him together with you and Neil Hale to start BnB. Where is CW Parker now?
CS: CW Parker was a country western dance instructor with some ballroom background. He taught both line and couples dances. I started taking lessons from him in 1984. He put out a monthly newsletter called the “Kicker” and a semi-annual directory of country western night clubs, dance clubs, classes, instructors and radio stations. His motivation to start a country western dance club was to find a place dedicated wholly to line dancing. In clubs like the South 40 (which no longer exist) we always had to compete with Rock n Rollers and they were not very polite. The birth of BnB took place at a meeting in 1984 when CW invited Neil Hale and I and a few others to form a line dance club which would eventually be called Boots 'n’ Buckles. After handing over the classes at Swiss Park to me and Neil, he moved back to the Midwest. Back in those days he/we always taught a beginner, intermediate and partner dance in each class.
JR: Can you remember favorite line dances that you did at BnB during that time, 30 years ago?
CS: Travellin’ 4 Corners was huge back in the beginning when I started, it was actually one of the first dances I learned. Others were Tush Push, Slappin’ Leather, Wild Wild West, Southside Shuffle, Flying 8, Chocolate City Hustle, Zydeco Lady. Partners: Drifter, Wooden Nickel, Horseshoe Special, Ten Step, Wanderer, Cowboy Cha Cha, Continental Cowboy, Whiskey Wiggle and so on.
JR: What was the prevailing attire then?
CS: Western skirt/blouse or dress w/belt and western boots for females. Western shirt, belt w/big belt buckle, western hat and western boots for males.
JR: What was the average Friday night attendance at that time?
CS: In the beginning it wasn’t many, just the students who took the classes but word traveled fast and Swiss Park became THE place to dance. There were no other private dance halls in the early days, most country western dancing was done in clubs. I can remember well over 100 people dancing on a Friday night, 60-80 people was not uncommon. Line dancers in the middle of the floor and couples dancing around the outside.
JR: What was the first dance you taught at BnB? How did you choose what dances to teach and how did you come by them?
SC: In the beginning, Neil and I were protégées of CW, learning our craft through instructions from him so he picked the dances we taught for awhile, until we got the hang of it and could judge a beg. dance from an interm. dance. I couldn’t tell you what dance was my very first teach but I do remember a few I did early on – Stray Cat Strut, Cowboy Boogie, Ukiah 20.
JR: Who was the DJ then?
CS: CW did all the music in the beginning.
JR: How was the playlist decided upon?
CS: Play List? Ha....there was no real play list as we know it today. He’d just write down the dances he/we taught in class and added other popular ones being done in the area....San Jose, Hayward, Sunnyvale, Concord, etc. (eventually the West Bayers ventured over the bridges to dance with us).
JR: How much was the entrance fee at the time?
CS: I think $3.00 or $4.00.
JR: What was then the biggest challenge as a teacher and dancer?
CS: Teaching back then was soooooooooooo much easier than now. There were not too many choreographers so not too many new dances. We danced and taught the same ones over and over again. Maybe one new dance....yes, I said “one” new dance would pop up every couple weeks or so. EVERYONE who attended the BnB dances knew the dances played....not like today where there are dozens of new ones each week with a million choreographers out there.
JR: What do you think is the biggest and most profound change in line dancing from 30 years ago and today?
CS: There are two (2) very prominent differences from early days to now. 1) The music - in the beginning it was Country Western music only. 2) The volume of dances.
Thanks Charlotte for taking the time to answer the questions. For someone like me who came into line dancing and became a member of BnB at a much later time, it was good to have an idea of what it was like at the beginning and marvel at how much it has evolved to encompass all genre of dance from country western to ballroom, to hip hop to ballet. It is a testament to the incredible talents of our choreographers that keep line dancing constantly fresh, engaging and exciting.
It would be great to hear from other areas – when they started, how they started, where they are now before we at BnB start beating our chest and yelling Tarzan-like aaaeeeyyeeaahhhh as being the oldest continuously running linedance club in the country if not the world. Not that “who cares” is not discounted or that you’d be jealous or anything ..you know...just sayin’....
Judy Romanenkov (posted July 2014 Facebook SF Bay Area Line Dance Social Group)
My July Dance Blog has my report on the dances that were done at the July 2014 30th Celebration of BnB.
1998 Golden Gate Classic Melt Down Party on Nale Hale & Charlotte Skeeters Deck (photo by Neil Hale)
Rick Bowen is the older gentleman 2nd from the end, 2nd row. He stands above Lorraine Kurtela (Hello Dolly) and next to Michele Perron (Smokey Places). Doris Volz stands in the center w/Doug Miranda behind on my right and Michael Barr to my left. Neil told me to take center place because I was the 1998 GGC sponsor.
Steven Garrison uploaded his Tumbleweed Youtube on July 28, 2012.
This is a close match for the original circa 1983 Tumbleweed 29 count 2 wall step sheet.
Rick and Joan Bowen wrote a 5-step turning vine LEFT. His full turns are to the left.