Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 38°F

Advanced Search

Search Stories

Go

Subjects A to Z

Advanced Search

Labor of Love

With a Ph.D. in history, folk singer and songwriter Bucky Halker knows where he comes from. That's why he's still singing the working-class songs he heard growing up in blue-collar Ashland, Wis.

Halker has released half a dozen albums over the past two decades that chronicle the daily lives – and untimely deaths – of regular folks struggling to get by. The latest album from this Chicago resident, "Welcome To Labor Land," pulls together union songs written in Illinois, with some numbers going back to the mid-19th century.

The album brings together some little-known tunes such as Woody Guthrie's "Dying Miner," a song about the 1947 Centralia coal mine disaster, as well as introducing some melodies Halker composed to accompany poems he found in union newspapers.

Related Links

See how the rise and fall of coal mining in southern Illinois affects working class communities by watching Greg Boozell's documentary about the coal-town of Marissa.

Check out some of the other Illinois artists who help keep American folk music alive: the Gordons, Special Consensus, Jim Kanas, Michael Miles, Sons of the Never Wrong and Erwin Thompson.

Explore video/image gallery

Related Video

Click to view video

 View Video Clip

Learn more about Bucky Halker's music and the passion for politics that drives his music.

Click to view video

 View Video Clip

More about Labor songs from folk-poet Bucky Halker. This clip features Halker's tune "In Union Lies Our Strength/Good News," which features the lyrics of labor poet William Creech.

 

Related Images

Click to view image

view image View Larger Image

Bucky Halker in action.

Click to view image

view image View Larger Image

Bucky Halker and his travel companion.

 

Thanks To Our Sponsors
Contact Us Site Map Pressroom WTTW Digital Archives Production Services Corporate Sponsorship PBS 98.7WFMT

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use

©2014 WWCI

WTTW Arts - View Story ImageWTTW Arts - Select Your BandwidthWTTW Arts - View Story ExcerptWTTW Arts - Listen to Audio ClipAdvanced SearchStory DetailContact UsSite MapPressroomWTTW Digital ArchivesProduction ServicesCorporate SponsorshipHomeSchedulesProgramsWTTW KidsWTTW ArtsWTTW EventsSupport WTTWAbout UsMembers OnlyGeoffrey Baer Tours - Seven Wonders of ChicagoArchitect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the PastArchitect Michael Graves: A Grand TourArchitect Thomas Beeby10 Buildings that Changed AmericaCatholicismProhibitionAmerican Graduate