Bucky Halker

Bucky Halker
Background information
Birth name Clark D. Halker
Born 1954 (age 6162)
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, United States
Genres Americana, American folk, labor protest
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, music historian, labor activist
Years active 1984–present
Labels Revolting Records, Brambus Records
Website www.buckyhalker.com

Clark "Bucky" Halker (born 1954) is an American academic, music historian, labor activist, singer and songwriter who specializes in American folk music. Halker is best known for his work on labor protest songs, Illinois folk music, and his involvement with the preservation of Woody Guthrie's musical legacy.[1][2] He is a recipient of the American Folklife Center's Archie Green Fellowship.[3]

Early life

Halker was born in Beaver Dam, WI, and grew up in Ashland, WI, where he began performing in rock bands and as a solo artist as a teenager. He attended The College of Idaho, majoring in History. Later, he enrolled in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, and continued his studies in History focusing on the working class and labor protest songs and poetry. After completing an MA and PhD at the University, he taught at the College of Idaho, Albion College, and North Central College. In 1986, moved to Chicago, IL and began working as a freelance scholar and musician.[1]


Halker released his debut album, A Sense of Place in 1984, with Step n' Blue, a collection of blues and folk songs, released shortly after in 1986. He joined the Chicago band The Remainders as frontman, and released a single record with them in 1993. Human Geography followed in 1993, and Passion, Politics, Love being released in 1997 to acclaim, with Erik Hague from AllMusic calling it "top-notch, varied Americana".[4][5] 2001 saw the release of Don't Want Your Millions, partly funded by the Illinois Arts Council, and considered a historic document of union and labor songs, featuring material from Studs Terkel, The Carter Family, Hazel Dickens and Lead Belly.[1][6][7]

In 1991, Halker authored the book For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, 1865-1895, accompanied by a cassette of labor protest songs.[8]

As part of his ongoing work with folk music, Halker has also produced the Illinois Humanities Council's Folksongs of Illinois series volumes 1-5, which chronicles the history of folk music in Illinois since 1865.[9] Volume 4, Chicago Since 1945, was released in 2011 through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. A National Endowment of the Arts grant funded Volume 5 of the series, Chicago Since 1970, which was released in 2013. Bucky is currently in the studio recording a tribute CD in honor of Joe Hill, an IWW activist, who was executed (for a murder he likely did not commit) by firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 19, 1915. The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of his execution. The CD contains songs all written by Hill and some which have never been recorded. Funding for the project was provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Woody Guthrie

For years, Halker has been involved in the promotion and preservation of Woody Guthrie's musical legacy through concerts, lectures, writings, and media programs. In 2012, Halker released The Ghost of Woody Guthrie in collaboration with Minneapolis musician Andy Dee. The album is a tribute to Guthrie and includes eighteen Halker originals songs and four Guthrie songs. On volume 4 of the Folksongs of Illinois CD series Halker included Old Chy-Car-Go, a Guthrie song that was part of the performer's repertoire but had not been recorded before 2010. Halker recorded the song in collaboration with Cathy Richardson.[10]

Bucky Halker also serves in the board of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives.[8] As part of Guthrie's birth centennial, Halker participated in several memorial concerts that showcased the singer's material.[11][12][13]

Personal life

Halker is married and lives with his wife in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. 1 2 3 Hage, Erik. "Bucky Halker - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  2. Matejka, Mike. "Bucky Halker channels Woody Guthrie". Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  3. "American Folklife Center Announces Recipients of Fellowships and Awards". Library of Congress. May 11, 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  4. Hague, Erik. "Passion Politics Love - Bucky Halker : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  5. Kening, Dan (July 18, 1997). "Bucky Halker and the Complete Unknowns Passion...". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  6. "FolkLib Index - Bucky Halker Discography". FolkLib.net. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  7. Ray, Linda (May–June 2001). "Bucky Halker Dont Want Your Millions « Americana and Roots Music - No Depression". No Depression Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Bucky Halker - chicagotribune.com". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  9. "Folksongs of Illinois, #1-5". Illinois Humanities Council. 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  10. Kogan, Rick (January 19, 2012). "Musician Halker helps to preserve Guthrie legacy". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  11. Wilson, Brian. "Woody Guthrie Turns One-hundred: This Land Is Still Your Land". CarbondaleRocks.com. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  12. Halker, Bucky. "Woody Guthrie at 100: Songs of Celebration and Protest". Illinois Humanities Council. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  13. "03-01-12 - Frank Hamilton, Eddie Holstein and Bucky Halker". Chicago Tribune. January 3, 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.

Further reading

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.