|Birth Day:||May 4, 1931|
|Death Date:||September 26, 1988|
As per our current Database, Bruce Haack died on September 26, 1988.
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New York City's Juilliard School offered Haack the opportunity to study with composer Vincent Persichetti; thanks to a scholarship from the Canadian government, he headed to New York upon graduating from Edmonton in 1954. At Juilliard, Haack met a like-minded student, Ted "Praxiteles" Pandel, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. However, his studies proved less sympathetic, and he dropped out of Juilliard just eight months later, rejecting the school's restrictive approach.
As the 1960s progressed and the musical climate became more receptive to his kind of whimsical innovation, Haack's friend, collaborator, and business manager Chris Kachulis found mainstream applications for his music. This included scoring commercials for clients like Parker Brothers Games, Goodyear Tires, Kraft Cheese, and Lincoln Life Insurance; in the process, Haack won two awards for his work. He also continued to promote electronic music on television, demonstrating his homemade device encased in a suitcase on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1968, where he sampled a song by the Rolling Stones entitled "Citadel". He released The Way-Out Record for Children later that year.
Kachulis did another important favor for his friend by introducing Haack to psychedelic rock. Acid rock's expansive nature was a perfect match for Haack's style, and in 1969 he released his first rock-influenced work, The Electric Lucifer. A concept album about the earth being caught in the middle of a war between heaven and hell, The Electric Lucifer featured a heavy, driving sound complete with Moog synthesiser, Kachulis' singing, and Haack's homegrown electronics including a prototype vocoder and unique lyrics, which deal with "powerlove" — a force so strong and good that it will not only save mankind but Lucifer himself. Kachulis helped out once more by bringing Haack and Lucifer to the attention of Columbia Records, who released it as Haack's major-label debut.
Haack continued making children's albums as well, including 1972's Dance to the Music, 1974's Captain Entropy, and 1975's This Old Man, which featured science fiction versions of nursery rhymes and traditional songs. After relocating to West Chester, Pennsylvania, to spend more time with Pandel, Haack focused on children's music almost exclusively, writing music for Scholastic Corporation like "The Witches' Vacation" and "Clifford the Small Red Puppy." He also released Funky Doodle and Ebenezer Electric (an electronic version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol) in 1976, but by the late 1970s, his prolific output slowed. Two works, 1978's Haackula and the following year's Electric Lucifer Book II, were never released.
Haack's failing health slowed Dimension 5's musical output in the early 1980s, but Nelson and Pandel kept the label alive by publishing songbooks, like Fun to Sing and The World's Best Funny Songs, and re-released selected older albums as cassettes which are still available today. In 1982, Haack recorded his swan song, a proto hip-hop collaboration with Def Jam's Russell Simmons, entitled "Party Machine". Haack died in 1988 from heart failure, but his label and commitment to making creative children's music survives. While Dimension 5's later musical releases — mostly singalong albums featuring Nelson — may lack the iconoclastic spark of the early records, Nelson and Pandel's continued work reveals the depth of their friendship with Haack, a distinctive and pioneering electronic musician.
Haack: The King of Techno is a documentary film about Bruce Haack by Philip Anagnos. It was released in 2004 at the Slamdance Film Festival, distributed by Koch Vision and televised on DOC: The Documentary Channel, Sky Italia, and Sveriges Television. It features interviews with some of Haack's associates and collaborators such as Ted "Praxiteles" Pandel, Esther Nelson and Chris Kachulis as well as contemporary artists including Eels, Mouse On Mars, Money Mark, and Peanut Butter Wolf. Additionally, the film includes archival footage of Haack's appearances on various talk shows and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. In 2013, the documentary was re-released by Bleep.com, a division of Warp Records.
In 2005, a tribute album was released entitled Dimension Mix. A tribute to Dimension 5 Records featuring covers of Bruce Haack songs by Beck, Stereolab, and others, the project was produced by longtime friend and Beck collaborator, Ross Harris, whose autistic child, and godson to Beck, inspired the album.
Currently, Bruce Haack is 91 years, 1 months and 22 days old. Bruce Haack will celebrate 92nd birthday on a Thursday 4th of May 2023.
Find out about Bruce Haack birthday activities in timeline view here.