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SPIDER JOHN KOERNER was born August 31, 1938, in Rochester, N.Y. At the age of 15, he was one of the youngest to ever get a student glider pilot license. He enrolled in 1956 at the University of Minnesota as an engineering student, but in early 1958, he became a student of the burgeoning folk scene. With a borrowed guitar and a Burl Ives song book, he began a journey which helped shape the course of American country blues and folk music.
SPIDER JOHN KOERNER’S musical career has taken him to stages throughout North America and Europe. He has entertained MANY and influenced several generations of musicians. His songs are recorded and performed by others, including Bonnie Rait-- I Ain't Blue.
John Koerner appears often as guest on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, most recently appearing on November 15, 2008. He has also been guest artist on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.
In the '70s, John Koerner also ventured into film making, and a commentary on how some folks were feeling in the '60s called The Secret Of Sleep was produced. He also discovered a passion for astronomy, which continues to this day. He has built and reconstructed telescopes in New England, Minnesota, Mexico, Arizona, and Zimbabwe, lectured at colleges, and presented "Spider John's Space Shows". He is also interested in wooden boat building and sail design and has completed construction of an 18 ft. cat boat, which he sails on the Minnesota lakes.
Spider John lives in Minneapolis. He has two sons and a daughter, and grandkids.
SPIDER JOHN KOERNER IS ONE OF AMERICA'S TRUEST MUSICAL ORIGINALS AND ONE OF THE GREATEST PRACTITIONERS OF THE TRADITIONAL SONG.
Original text by Jan Cornish, edited by lmk.
memory: when asked if he grew up with music in the house, this is what John said he remembered!
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