Jon Stork grew up on the coastal plains southwest of Houston as the least musical person of the most musical family you could imagine. While his siblings and parents were all musically inclined when it came to singing and playing instruments, Jon preferred to be surrounded by the farm animals. So much so that he became known as the “egg boy” to all that knew him. He sold eggs to anyone that he thought needed them from teachers and neighbors to the church congregation. Jon continued his egg business as well as his preference for being surrounded by cows and livestock all the way through high school. However, one thing that did not grow from his love of livestock animals was the ability to rodeo. Jon found out fairly quickly that his feet needed to stay on the ground instead of suspended in a stirrup…and it just took a few bumps and bruises to do it.
As a teenager, he took a brief crack at playing music in church for a few years. But that all went away when it came time to go off to college at Blinn in Bryan, Texas. Jon did everything you could imagine to support himself through school. He sold mattresses and helped to open up the first Mattress Firm in College Station. He continued to be around livestock while working for the TAMU Equestrian Team. He even became a jack of all trades handyman for jobs as small as changing a lightbulb to as big as painting entire houses.
At the age of 21, Jon was getting ready to go out with a buddy on a Wednesday night. He had that night and the next morning off and his friend talked him into going out to blow off some steam. Unbeknownst to Jon, his buddy put his guitar in the truck while Jon finished getting dressed.
The pair get to a bar at the end of Northgate in College Station called Church Street BBQ where there’s an open mic night. Jon’s buddy waits until they’re a few drinks in and then pops off, “I’ll buy the next two rounds if you’ll get up there and play. Your guitar is in the truck.” Jon, a little bewildered but full of liquid courage at this point, agrees. Afterall, the bar is basically empty because it’s a Wednesday night.
Well, about the time Jon was climbing the stairs to the stage, a huge group walked in. And not just any group, these were all musicians and artists from other well-known Texas country bands. Sink or swim! Jon strummed and sang the words to a popular Cody Johnson tune and none other than Jody Bartula, CoJo’s fiddle player, hops on stage to crank up the volume. At this point the damage was done and Jon Stork had been bitten by the music bug. Don’t worry though, the egg boy holds onto his roots.
Now 23, Jon was doing any and every odd job that he could in order to go to school at the University of Houston. Pat Green gave him the advice to go get the worst job he could find and do that until it was time. Jon worked at a pizza place, waited tables, and bartended on the weekends. They finally told him he had to pick between playing music on the weekends, or being able to bartend during the busiest times so he quit and didn’t look back.
One day in the spring semester, Jon’s PR professor pulled him aside and said, “Why don’t you just leave?” Talk about being shocked. “I’ve talked to your classmates and looked at your grades, why are you here? You can always come back if you want.”
Being at school wasn’t making Jon happy and really wasn’t even one of his goals. He never cracked a book as a Public Relations major, he just paid attention to what he thought would serve his music well as a marketing tactic.
Not long after that talk with his professor, Jon held his first album release party at Rockefeller’s in Houston. The bar was an old bank that had been robbed by Bonnie and Clyde and it had a balcony up top. Jon’s entire PR class and several professors lined that balcony and played a part in selling out the show. The bar was icing down beer in the back because the place was so packed that they were caught underprepared.
Jon never signed back up for school in the fall semester and no one asked what he was going to do with the rest of his life, it was obvious. He went on the road and ignored the rearview mirror. The next year and a half was a roller coaster of learning lessons and getting the crash course of the entire music industry in little to no time. Songs were written and true colors were shown, but nothing compares to the lessons that Jon learned in such a short amount of time. When asked if it was all worth it, the answer is always yes because of the experience and knowledge that was gained.
Finding the right person that you can write music with is like finding a needle in a haystack. Music doesn’t just happen, it’s something that’s made with people you trust. Little did Jon know that he’d found that needle years back in his freshman biology class. Jake Doucet reached out to him out of nowhere. The two wrote five out of the eleven songs on Jon’s new album. Jon says, “He’s a good friend that writes music that I work with. There’s not a whole lot of people that you can get close to when it comes to that kind of thing without it turning into drama.” The first single that was released was written by Cameran Nelson and Cody Johnson. Facts And Lies went number 1 on the Texas Country Music charts and is sure to be the first of many more to follow.
Jon has come a long way from being the egg boy on the coastal plains of Houston. He’s held on to his roots and now has Ethel the chicken as his mascot. She, and Jon of course, can be found on his merch and all over his social media channels.
One thing is for sure, Jon Stork is heading to the top…and you can count on him having his trusty sidekick, Ethel the chicken, along with him.
Article by Katie Armstrong