Ain’t Got a Dollar: Illinois Workers and Protest Songs, 1865 – 1965 With Bucky Halker
Doors open at 4:30; program at 5:00 pm
The Western Illinois Museum is pleased to welcome musician, author, and cultural historian Bucky Halker for Ain’t Got a Dollar: Illinois Workers and Protest Songs, 1865 – 1965. The performance and discussion illustrates a century of songs from Illinois workers, and will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017, at the Western Illinois Museum. The doors open at 4:30 pm followed by the program at 5:00 pm. Cash bar will be available, provided by Hy-Vee Catering, along with light refreshments. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door.
In the century that followed the Civil War, Illinois businesses made great gains, and the state emerged as a central player in the nation’s economy. Much like our current times, gains were not experienced equally across the population. Workers in many sectors felt that their wages, hours, and working conditions were unfair. Repeatedly they protested to improve their situation, a practice we are once again seeing across the country. Political action, unionization, public education, strikes, and rallies were their tools, but nowhere was their voice more clear and artistic than in song and poetry. Illinois became the center of American working-class protest music, as coal miners, laborers, printers, iron workers, clothing workers, and their allies penned songs and poems for the cause.
The program is made possible by a grant from Company of Folk, an Illinois based non-profit that works to cultivate partnerships to build strong communities through advocacy, documentation, and creative production.
The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square. For more information contact the museum at 309-837-2750 or visit www.wimuseum.org.