David Hilker

2013 - Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award

From a live performer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and recording engineer to a music publisher and record company executive, David Hilker's 40-year career has spanned all facets of the music industry.

David got his start in 1973 at age 14 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, playing flute and saxophone in guitarist Craig Erickson's band. The band, Crossings, played Cedar Rapids Jr. Highs, church dances, private parties and Eastern Iowa high schools. Hilker then joined the Cedar Rapids band Windchant and gigged in popular Cedar Rapids nightspots like Polly's Penthouse, The Bank, The Mirror Lounge and Waterloo’s The Golden Dolphin. Windchant went on the road and played clubs throughout the Midwest and central Canada.

In 1979 David landed in Phoenix, AZ where he continued to pursue a career as a live performer. Hilker toured extensively throughout the 1980’s with his bands 1933 and Unity, and he opened for many artists including America, Donnie Osmond, Mr. Mister, Buster Poindexter, Milli Vanilli, Nina Cherry, Tiffany and Klymaxx. After a stint in Los Angeles with Shore Management, Hilker moved back to Phoenix to focus on songwriting and music production. In 1990 he founded Wild Whirled Recording and Fervor Records with songwriting and business partner, John Costello. The team leveraged their recording studio and production skills writing and producing music for ABC, BMG, Epic Records, Fuel TV, FOX, MTV and Universal among others. Their accolades include a number 1 on Billboard’s video charts for the animated series NASCAR Racers and 2 regional Emmy Awards.

David Hilker now serves as CEO of Whirled Music Publishing, Inc., the parent company to Wild Whirled Music, Fervor Records, 2 recording studios and a dozen ASCAP, BMI and SESAC publishing affiliates. The company has been very successful licensing their music to the film, television and advertising industries. Fervor Records has acquired an incredible catalog of music from 1921 to present day. This includes recordings from icons such as Waylon Jennings, Wayne Newton, and Bill Champlin along with 400+ songwriters from around the globe. Their catalogs also include Billboard charting hits, Grammy Award winning producers and MTV artists. The company's music is also represented in 37 countries.

David Hilker’s music has appeared on literally every television network and can be heard daily in hit TV shows, major and indie films and ad campaigns around the world. David is actively involved in perpetuating the legacies of artists and songwriters of yesteryear and is launching current artists with MTV.

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram