From the Rockin' DC Ranch
Before they hit the big time -- and one time after -- the
Dixie Chicks sent a newsletter to their loyal fans. The
irregularly published Chick Chat was a facinating
stream-of-conciousness look into the lives of a group of
talented young ladies (and gentlemen) struggling with life on
Found! Suzanne Lamb, whose Dixie Chicks Scrapbook
is also featured on this site,
found and sent me a copy of the elusive one-sheet 1996 Chick Chat welcoming new lead singer
Natalie Maines and saying goodbye to founding Chick Laura Lynch.
This is the last issue featuring the Western motif designed by George Toomer.
By the time the glossy 1997 issue of the Chick Chat was issued,
announcing the arrival of Wide Open Spaces,
their image had changed completely. Suzanne's copy was postmarked 6/4/1996.
For an deeper insight into the emotions surrounding Laura's departure, see the Editor's Notes,
"It's been awhile since you've heard a peep. We've been on the road no time to sleep. Our
impatiens are thin, and the chickweed's deep, no time to hoe, got dates to keep. Our fridges are
green, our plants are brown, our cats are lonely without us around. Poultry in motion is what we
have been, so a quick hello and we're off again."
[The publicity photo, credited to John Scarpatti]
On May 9th we returned from our first tour of Japan. Our adventure started on Okinawa where
we entertained hoopin', hollering homesick soldiers at the Officers' Clubs on Kadena Air Force
Base. (It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it).
Next stop - Kumamoto: When we arrived in this beautiful city, we were greeted by the Mayor, given
a tour of Kumamoto Castle, Suizenji Park, and the Coca Cola factory. Thanks to our entourage, Kumamoto
may now be experiencing a trinket and sushi shortage.
Later that night, Martie cut a rug with the V.P. of Coca Cola at the local country bar, Goodtime Charlie's,
and we sat in with the band and played such favorites as "Ca-ri-ja" and "Rouisiana Saturday Night".
On the last night, we headlined the 7th annual Country Gold Festival where we performed for 1,800
Japanese country music diehards. Our host, and Japan's own country music pioneer,
also played with his band
He'll be making his way to Texas in October to do a show at
Billy Bob's. You won't want to miss this!
[Note: according to a Dixie Chicks fan in Japan, Charlie Nagatani is still popular and is the
organizer of the annual "Country Gold International Music Festival", which has attracted such big-name
Jo Dee Messina.
If you (and your browser) know Japanese, check it out at
Let's Make a Deal
As most of you know, we have long been in search of that elusive creature called the record
deal. We finally have a contract in our eager little hands and a date with a recording studio in
August, but that's all we're gonna give you for now.
Our focus is to write, write, write, and check the mail for any tapes you aspiring songwriters might
send. Then we'll put our favorite songs in a hat and pull out an album's worth of tunes. We hear
that's how all the big wigs do it.
Seven Year Itch
In March we celebrated our 7 year anniversary, and since day one down on that street corner we
have saved every picture, news clipping, and fan letter. To observe our birthday each year, we get
out the archives and reflect on where we have been, and dream of where we hope to go.
Last Fall our dear friend Laura Lynch left the band to pursue other life adventures. And so one chapter ends...
"Seven years. We had some wonderful times. You gave up your Friday and Saturday nigths just to come hear
our band. I was always so flattered. Touched. I will miss those times. I will miss you"
and another chapter begins...
Natalie Maines, Lubbock native and daughter of world famous producer and steel guitar player
Lloyd Maines, has added her exciting new voice to the Dixie Chicks. We are truly honored to
have her as a part of the dream!
"Howdy Y'all. I just wanted to say thank you to all the fans who have so graciously welcomed me
as the new 'Chick' in the coop. Since last Fall I have been having a great time. Everything is so
new and exciting, and I hope to meet all of you down the road. Until then."
-Natalie- [typed, not signed]
Well, it's back to the glamorous life of State Fair cornydogs, truck stops, and Summertime sweat
fests. And when it's all over, there's nothing like coming home just to discover there's been a block
of Monterrey Jack in the crack of the R.V. couch!
[signed, Martie, Emily & Natalie]
[The usual concert listing. Will transcribe in the future.]
For Calendar Updates:
[Now 972-233-9124, but it's never updated anymore...]
New! Email address:
[No longer in service]
New! Web page:
[Also no longer in service: see the Site History page for more details.]
Be sure to call the hotline for calendar additions.
Just for the halibut we took some Marines up on their offer to go snorkeling in the East China Sea. Martie
got pulled in by the undertow, and for the moment we thought we had lobster, but then we flounder.
While wrestling an octopus, Emily scraped her eel on some coral. When Nature Natalie chastised her
for stepping on the reef, Emily clammed she didn't do it on porpoise, "I wouldn't wish that on my worst anemone!"
By the end we were all starfish, so we decided we otter go eat.
[Pic: Dixie Chicks flanked by Okinawan Marines]
As is the case whenever a band changes its look, all was not sweetness and light. Helen Bryant,
society columnist for The Dallas Morning News, wrote this note in the October 16, 1995 edition:
Here a chick...
This item could be a country song: Two Chicks Dumped Me For A Younger Woman.
Laura Lynch has been replaced as lead singer of the Dixie Chicks by
Natalie Maines, the daughter of steel guitarist Lloyd Maines.
Sisters Emily Erwin and Martie Seidel -- the other two Chicks -- hope
Natalie's powerful voice will propel the trio to commercial success.
"We thought we needed to make a music decision now," says Martie, adding that Laura views
the change as "the passing of the baton." But when I talked to Laura Wednesday night, she
sounded awful fond of that ol' baton.
"It can't really be characterized as a resignation," Laura said. "There are three Dixie Chicks, and
I'm only one." She said age was a factor in the baton-passing, and she understands.
"The group's called the Dixie Chicks," said Laura, who's 37. (Emily and Martie are 23
and 25, respectively). "When I was out there on the road having a bad day, it was awfully hard to be a Chick."
The upside for Laura: "I have a 14-year-old daughter, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her."
But all's well that ends well... soon after leaving the Chicks, Laura married her high school sweetheart,
rancher Mac Tull, and is now living the cowgirl life outside of Weatherford, Texas.