Robbie Fulks

On this date in 1963, alt-country singer Robbie Fulks was born in York, Pa. He grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. Fulks took up the banjo at age 7. He dropped out of Columbia University, working as a paralegal, proofreader and actor. In 1983 he moved to Chicago, where he joined the bluegrass band Special Consensus. He also taught at Old Town School of Folk Music.

In 1993 he formed Robbie Fulks and the Trailer Trash. “Insurgent Country: Vol. 1: For a Life of Sin” came out in 1994, followed by volume II of “Insurgent Country” in 1995. Other early albums included “Let’s Kill Saturday Night” (1998), “Couples in Trouble” (2001) and “13 Hillbilly Giants.” His 2016 album “Upland Stories” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album and the song “Alabama at Night” was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Song.

In an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Oct. 23, 1998), Fulks said: “Religion is one of the important questions in life, I think. Or the disposition of our mortal souls and what happens to us after we die, and whether there is or isn’t a God. I definitely think about it every day of my life. Given that it’s that important a topic, it just makes sense to deal with it in music. I just took my own views and slightly radicalized them for [“God Isn’t Real”]. I’m not really a confirmed atheist. But I am kind of a reluctant disbeliever.”

Fulks has three children: sons Nick, Preston and Tennessee. His wife is the actress Donna Jay Fulks.

Fulks at a 2013 house concert; Larry Miller photo under CC 2.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation