Folk musicians bring songs of American civil rights struggle
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[March 13, 2012]
-- Folk musicians Sparky and Rhonda Rucker bring the songs of
the American struggle for democracy to the Hickory Ridge Concert
Series on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Sparky and Rhonda Rucker weave their
music into captivating stories that span over three centuries of
African-American history, including slavery, the Underground
Railroad, the Civil War, the westward migration, the birth of blues
music and the civil rights movement.
Sparky Rucker has been singing songs and telling stories from the
American tradition for over 40 years. He grew up in Knoxville,
Tenn., and began playing guitar at age 11. Sparky accompanies
himself on guitar, banjo and spoons and has released 12 recordings.
He was active in the civil rights movement, playing freedom songs at
rallies, marches and sit-ins, alongside other folksingers such as
Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger. Rhonda Rucker is also a versatile
performer, playing blues harmonica, piano, banjo and adding vocal
harmonies. Their 1991 release, "Treasures and Tears," was nominated
for the W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Recording.
In over 40 years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian
Folklife Festival as well as National Public Radio's "On Point,"
"Prairie Home Companion," "Mountain Stage" and "Morning Edition."
The Hickory Ridge Concert Series is hosted by singer-songwriter
Chris Vallillo at Dickson Mounds Museum on the third Saturday of
every month. The museum lobby opens at 6:30 p.m. and concerts begin
at 7:30 p.m. Coffee, drinks and a variety of desserts are available
There is an admission charge of $5 per adult and $3 for children
under 12. Seating is limited to the first 150 people.
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The Dickson Mounds Branch of the Illinois State Museum is located
between Lewistown and Havana, off Routes 78 and 97. The museum is
open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Tours
and special programs are available for groups with reservations. For
more information, call 309-547-3721 or TTY 217-782-9175, or visit
[Text from file received from
Dickson Mount Museum]