Citizen’s Band Has the Cure for What Ails You

Y’all got yer ears on? It’s the Citizen’s Band!

The Citizen’s Band, a group of musicians from Excelsior Springs, has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years. The band began when friends, Rick Horn, Tom Smith, and Larry King were talking on their CB (Citizen’s Band) radios and Rick began playing some guitar to entertain everyone… “the next thing you know Tom was at my front door… and we played until 5 AM,” laughed Rick. Eventually, Larry began to play with them as well and they formed the nucleus of the band. Over the years the band has changed, adding Rick’s wife Theresa, and Tom’s son Josh.

At Larry’s suggestion, the band started playing in nursing homes, where they found a great sense of fulfillment. They initially played only gospel music, but as they began to play for larger audiences, they started incorporating more traditional country songs into their setlist.

Unfortunately, Larry passed away, but his legacy lives on through the band’s mission to bring joy and entertainment to those in nursing homes. The Citizen’s Band doesn’t charge for their performances. “Our payment is when we see the smiles on the faces of the people that we played for,” says Rick. 

The band has a circuit of five different homes where they regularly play, with “a few floater gigs in between.” Rick is now retired, and he also occasionally goes to different nursing homes to play solo shows when they call him. He says that playing music is something that he truly enjoys and that there’s an emptiness in his life when he doesn’t get to play “for these folks.”

Rick recalled a special moment when the band played for a group of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. “The doctor said that they had a lady who hadn’t spoken a word in a long time, but after our performance, she started singing one of the songs we played,” Rick said. The doctor to them that music is a powerful tool in improving the quality of life for those residents.

It’s the personal connections that the band has built that keep them coming back week after week. Residents wait all month long to see their band. “We’ve been playing for 30 years, we’ve seen people come and we’ve seen people go,” said Rick, “sometimes it really hurts.” Seeing people having fun even for just a couple of hours, laughing and singing along, really makes it all worth the effort for the band and motivates them to keep on truckin’.

We keep the local news free thanks to advertisers and individual contributions!

Thanks to our Founding Sponsors

News for and About Excelsior Springs!

Get the Excelsior Citizen e-newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each week. It’s a collection of the best news and events all focused exclusively on Excelsior Springs. No fluff just local news and information you can trust!

Free Newsletter Signup