It Was Easier Back Then CD Cover

The Origin of Raker john

Welcome to Raker john's page! This page is provided as a source of historical information by the aforementioned artist. It is anticipated very few will read its contents, but there you have it...


The primary purpose of this page is the explanation of how I acquired the pseudonym, Raker john. While my musical history is well documented elsewhere, this page discusses only the name itself and projects undertaken using that moniker.

I had been playing for about 7 years by the time I returned to Tallahassee, FL, presumably to finish my college degree, in 1965. As it turned out I was no more enthused about the acedemic environment than I was during my freshman year there but I was more involved in music this time. The folk music "boom" was sweeping over the college campases and I was fortunate enough to have connected with a friend from Ft. Myers, Rail Guthrie, who had a great voice, played guitar and was currently singing with a young woman with a great voice as well, named Rita Coolidge. Once I was invited to join the group, the obvious issue of naming the group arose and so we all took turns coming up with names. At the time I was feeling a little out of my element and I thing I may have wanted to change my image a bit as well. Rather than just be the guy that sang "all those sad songs" I could now mask that image a bit since I would be but a part of this larger group. So I though I might adopt a name inferring more of a "bad boy" image (really out of character, I might add). My logic was that since both of the names "Rita" and "Rail" began with the letter "R" that my assumed personna should begin with that letter as well. While I was reviewing my list of songs for more material for the group, I ran across the song "Rake and Rambling Boy" which inspired me to further research the meaning of the term "Rake". It seemed perfect but did not really identify me by name - soooo... Thereby, created the name of our group as Rita, Rail & Raker john.

I continued to use that name even after the group divided and Rail and I went to California for the summer of 1966. Even after Rail returned to Tallahassee at summer's end I used the moniker when I played open mic nights in L.A. However, very few of my friends still fondly refer to me by that name. However, with my resolve to finally do some of the recording projects I always intended, I have decided that I should reincarnate the name for the sake of its historical significance. Should I decide to form some sort of performance group to support the recordings I will probably name it "Raker john's Remains" - somehow that seems appropos...

Well, kiddies, there you have it in a nutshell - the true, untold story of how the name came to be. Not too exciting, really, but factual, if nothing else. Stay in touch!!!

Final Thoughts

Please remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcomed. I take requests; I won't promise to play them but I'll take them, none the less... Keep those electronic cards and letters comin', folks!

Send comments to:

and/or follow me on Twitter!!!

Follow @Rakerjohn

Also, feel free to share a link to this page with others - thanks!


Changes last made on: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 11:41am