Rick performs entertaining and enlightening music and history programs

Rick Pickren performs the very finest in music and history programs for Libraries, Seniors, Historical Societies, Schools and Museums.

Rick Pickren: Biography


 Actor-Singer-Songwriter Rick Pickren has shared the stage with George Strait, Merle Haggard, Alabama, The Judds, Dolly Parton, Joe Ely, Rodney Crowell, B.J.Thomas and cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell.
His awards and successes include:

 The Call: 2009 nominee for Western Music Song Of The Year
               by The Academy of Western Artists

 Rick was the 1988 winner of The Marlboro Country Talent Roundup
 with his band Paleface Brigade.

 In 1989 he again won the Marlboro Country Talent Roundup with his new band Thunder Riders (a name taken from the Gene Autry serials) and went on to the Nashville Finals losing to Ronnie Dunn, soon to be half of Brooks & Dunn. In the early 90s Rick was a staff song writer for Jordan Entertainment in Nashville.

Rick has a Bachelor of Music in Musicology and Masters of Acting/Directing from  the University of Michigan. His knowledge of cowboy and rail history, lore and song is reflected in many critically acclaimed albums:  
Songs From The Lonesome  PrairieRails, Rogues & Wrecks, The Call: More Songs From The Lonesome Prairie, The Good Gone Days and Pale Moon on the Prairie..

His four volume CD collection of the 50 U.S. State Songs, has received acclaim from educators, librarians and fans throughout the country.
 "Go! Mississippi" was featured in the PBS American Experience documentary: Freedom Summer. "The Song of Iowa" was featured on CBS's The Good Wife in 2016.

Rick's newest CD, Liberty: Songs of America, is available on Amazon, iTunes and directly from bigstrikemusic.com.

   As an actor, he portrayed the role of Jim in the original Chicago production of Pump Boys & Dinettes. He also directed and starred in Foxfire. He is featured in the films, Major League, While You Were Sleeping, Soul Survivors and U.S. Marshals. He has also guest starred on many TV shows including The Untouchables, ER, Early Edition, Missing Persons, Turks, Chicago PD and Chicago Fire.

 Rick is a member of Illinois Arts Council Artstour, ASCAP, SAG and an emeritus Illinois Humanities Road Scholar.