Feb

25

2010

Justin Taylor|12:00 pm CT

My Name Is John Daker

It was several years ago that I was introduced to John Daker. We were over at another couple’s house, and they pulled out a VHS tape, sitting us down to watch a recital originally aired on WTVP, a public access TV station in Peoria, IL (circa 1990-1991).

At the piano was Reva Cooper Unsicker (1915-1995). She attended the First United Methodist Church of Peoria, and for over half a century she had been teaching her fellow congregants piano, organ, and voice. Twice a year their recitals were shown on the cable access channel.

The humor in the performances is found in the humor of life itself. I think it’s possible to avoid mocking people and at the same time to enjoy the foibles of everyday folks.

John Daker is the highlight of the recital.

So earnest.

So forgetful of the lyrics.

And such perseverance until the bitter end.

At some point John Daker went viral, with his solo performance even appearing on VH1.

You can watch him sing below. It’s a strange combination of song choice: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and “That’s Amore.” The video starts with the previous performer, then a brief introduction by Reva Cooper Unsicker. It all starts to go south around the 1:35 mark. Listen for the “whoop.”

In my opinion, it gets funnier with more than one viewing. After the original, I’ve included a cartoon that someone put together (including subtitles!).

Enjoy:

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