Who is John Daker?

I decided to make a website dedicated to John Daker. Check it out here…


If you haven’t already seen the video ‘My name is John Daker’ yet, here it is…

[I updated this section after reading Michelle Cooter’s comment below – thanks Michelle!]

I did some research to try and find out more about him, but information is sparse. According to this video from Michelle Cooter’s YouTube channel, John, or Mr Daker, as he is known to his closest friends, may have died a few years ago. Michelle says that she used to perform with Rev Cooper Unsicker, and that Rev always played too fast, which explains John’s lyricism. There’s a video here of Michelle with Rev Unsicker, which has a similar background and set up as the John Daker video (perhaps filmed at the same performance?).

Most awesomely, Michelle has footage of John Daker singing the Woody Woodpecker song. At first I thought it was just a rumor that someone made up to get everyone unnecessarily excited, but Michelle has posted a video. It’s amazing, and gives just a glimpse Mr Daker’s breadth of experience. Some great close ups too.

Some guy on some blog says he uploaded the John Daker video to the internet after his friend gave him a VHS copy of the segment (which he speculates was perhaps a second generation copy). Some claim that there was a sort of cult following of the show when it was first broadcast bi-annually on public access television. (This kind of reminds me of the owner/uploader of the video ‘Jesus is my friend‘, who said that they played the VHS tape to everyone who came over in the pre-internet era – a kind of viral video without the internet).

Also, according to the comments, Reva Unsicker was born in 1915 and died in 1995. And that’s all I could find out about John. If you find any more reliable information, let me know.

Here’s the John Daker sing-a-long, the John Daker sextet (which includes a close up of some great jaw work at 0:45), and the Hitler bunker verion…


21 thoughts on “Who is John Daker?

  1. Yeah, I think youre the guy to sent me the private messege to my YouTube channel ( ya know, the girl who’s chest was talking to the camera?) yeah, that’s me…the “Woody Woodpecker song does exist, & I have uploaded it on my channel, I intend to upload it in better quality later. I dont own a VCR anymore so my neighbor was kind enough to let me barrow theirs,& btw I never claimed to “be” the girl at the start of the video, I said in the beginning of the video when Reva does her speech that you can hear her announce “my” name, & then the video cuts to a girl who was also there that night that was “Not” me. However, I was there that night, & if you had looked through any of my videos at all you would have found “my” segment. Reva had been my music teacher since I was 4 years old & we would sing all over Illinois & have been in the “local” television station many times over the years. Even though the singing I did wasn’t by my own choice, I never thought I had any talent, but my grandmother raised me & insisted. Reva was also my mothers music teacher since she was a little girl.

    • Oh, and I’m not sure about whether or not I sent you a private YouTube message. I can’t see how I would find out either. And I’m not sure how to send private messages through YouTube. And your chest doesn’t seem to feature in that video, so I’m don’t know why I would have said that… (I just re-watched ‘Me singing~1990’ and it makes a bit more sense with the context from your comment, so thanks for that!)

    • Hmm… I thought I’d posted another reply to your comment. Anyway, my original reply (which I can’t find) was just to say thanks heaps for your comment. It’s cleared up a lot, and sorry if there was any confusion! Awesome work on uploading the Woody Woodpecker song. It blew me away. Wow! Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks. I’ll try and follow this up some time. Would be interesting to see how much we could find out about John Daker… there’s so much backstory that needs researching!

      • Yeah, at least we’re starting to get a vague picture – assuming anything in that thread is right.

    • Nice work. I hadn’t thought of that. Although do you think that’s him? I’m not sure he’d spell his name Jon. But I guess it couldn’t hurt. It would be probably be interesting to hear from someone called John Daker, even if it wasn’t him, just to see what it feels like to share the name of a YouTube celebrity.

      • I have the mobile app called Chess Time. I was driving through Illinois and browsing players with local IP addresses. Saw the username “dakers” on there and sent an invitation to a game. I realized I was about 150 miles away from Peoria, so it’s not beyond reason to assume this MIGHT be John or somebody related to him, especially since we know that he’s into chess in some fashion. I’m going to see if he responds to the game request and if so, I’ll pop the question in some sort of subtle way. Outright calling the guy seems pretty creepy, but this might be a subtly informal way to open up a dialogue. Thanks for the Moon River/Woodpecker video. It’s nice to see that he has some actual talent and just had an off night on the video we know and love.

    • Wow, awesome find. Are you in the US? Do you reckon you’d actually get around to making a documentary? Because that would be super awesome. I’m in Australia, so I’m going to pass on making a documentary… but I should get around to updating my John Daker specific blog sometime one of these days 🙂 (http://johndakersings.wordpress.com/)

      • I’m from Canada. Still too busy on other projects right now. But would love to meet the guy.

  2. John Daker is still alive and well. The reason there is little “trail” is that he is a gentleman with an intellectual disability – thus explaining his difficulty in recovering when he messes up the song. I’ve always felt bad over the years and have no idea if he knows about his internet notoriety. He loves to sing, has a beautiful voice, but is a very simple man who just lives his life and sings in church on Sundays.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’d never considered that he might have an intellectual disability. I assumed that he wouldn’t have much of an internet presence due to his age. Also, he’s been a regular member of a chess club and doesn’t come last all the time (I think last year he was third last) and people have reported that he regularly visits car dealerships. How do you know John Daker? Do you have any more information about him and are you certain he had intellectual difficulties? Thanks heaps for your input!

  3. Oh, come on, Ruth. There’s no reason to pity the guy or feel sad. From what I’ve seen, Daker isn’t intellectually challenged, he’s merely eccentric! This man has belonged to a chess club and is able to drive his own vehicle – AND – in other videos he has been able to remember lyrics just fine. In that infamous local TV video he (as they say in the biz) went ‘up’, or blanked out on his lyrics. Just my two cents’ worth.

  4. The reason we all love John is that in some way he represents all of us who find it hard to keep up with the pace of the soundtrack of our lives, who stumble and recover, who give without claiming to be stars. In his many facial expression we see a reflection of our own diverse moods and confusion, and in his posture we see dignity despite everything. We do not mock him, we laugh delighting in our common humanity. He is our brother.

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