Rick Pickren

Paul Klonowski
Artist / Program Description: 

RICK PICKREN is a nationally known actor and singer-songwriter of traditional and original folk songs. A descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Musicology and an MFA in Acting/Directing from the University of Michigan. He travels the Midwest with his guitar, banjo and harmonicas performing his critically acclaimed programs. He has performed in venues ranging from the Allstate Arena to intimate concert settings.  His programs are filled with historical detail and depth, encompassing a vast repertoire of folk, cowboy and original songs.

“Pickren’s approach puts a fresh sheen on these folk tunes of old.” - Sing Out

"Unpretentious sincerity and a fine, refreshing voice as rich as Swiss chocolate." -True West

“Not just entertaining. . .but inspiring, enlightening. . .and essential.” - Ted Eselgroth of the Children’s Radio Network


Illinois :  Gateway To The American West
From the contributions of renowned Illinoisans like Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, Black Bart, and Joseph Glidden...to the influential WLS National Barn Dance; America’s first country radio program featuring Gene Autry, Patsy Montana, Pat Buttram, Bob Atcher (the first Mayor of Schaumburg), Les Paul, George Gobel and Lulu Belle & Scotty..this delightful music and story program examines the key role Illinois has played in the development of western history, culture, and myth.

Buffalo Bill Cody In Story & Song
An overview of the life and legend of Buffalo Bill from his early days as a Pony Express rider, Army scout, Chicago stage performer…to his triumph at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Featuring Rick’s own songs and music of the times played on a period Boucher banjo, guitar and harmonica, this program examines the life of America’s first superstar!

Rails, Rogues & Wrecks
A musical excursion of railroad songs with historical anecdotes about the impact railroad expansion had on American life in the 19th and early 20th century.

Featuring The Rock Island Line, Casey Jones, I've Been Working On The Railroad, 16 Tons, Jesse James, The Wabash Cannonball, King of The Road and The City of New Orleans.

The U.S. State Songs
A delightful and engaging music program based on Rick's critically acclaimed four volume CD set The State Songs which was funded by the Illinois Arts Council.

Sing along to America's most beloved official State Songs:  My Old Kentucky Home, Oklahoma, Home On The Range, Yankee Doodle, You Are My Sunshine, The Old Folks At Home, The Missouri Waltz, & Illinois!

Performing artist/company/ensemble