Lyle Douglas “Doug” Fackler
November 14, 1950 – January 6, 2024
Music legend, Doug Fackler, died in his family’s arms at his home in Omaha, Nebraska. He leaves behind a music legacy in the world of rock and roll. Doug emerged as a man of profound talent and spirit. He was a lover of the arts and a gifted musician who played in well-known rock bands.
He and his wife, Denise, were recently inducted into the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their work with River City All Stars (2022) and Bumpy Action (2023).
Doug attended UNO after graduating from Burke High School in 1969. But his musical odyssey had begun years earlier when he formed a local band at age twelve, The Bushmen, and played some of the nostalgic hip places such as Sandy’s Escape. He was a self-taught guitarist who also sang vocals. He played by ear and could play anything; his band members recall.
He left college to pursue music for a living as a rock and roll star. He said, “This is what I want to do.”
During its reign in the 1970s, Bumpy Action was characterized as “a classic hippie congregation, shaggy, stoned and grooving out to their signature song, Dr. John’s ‘I Walk on Guilded Splinters.’” Denise joined the band on powerful vocals.
Bumpy Action played local gigs, notably at Omaha hot spots The Aquarius and The Eight Limited. The band often opened for headliners such as Three Dog Night, the Allman Brothers, Sha Na Na, and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks at the Civic Auditorium, Music Hall, and in Lincoln venues. They were later the house band at famed Tulagi in Boulder, Colorado, where they fronted for rock stars who played at the legendary musical venue.
Doug put together another band called Lightning Lyle when the couple moved to California where he played with Eric Burdon (formerly of The Animals). The band appeared in local bars and clubs where they performed rock and also country music.
Once back in Omaha, their hometown, Doug and Denise became part of the River City All Stars that featured well-known guitarist Ron Cooley (later with Mannheim Steamroller) and Jack Greer on vocals, drummer Rich Walters, Brian Sampson on bass, Bucky McCann on sax, and John Roode piano.
The band played local venues but also were studio musicians for commercials created in Omaha. One gig was for the memorable country singer C.W. McCall of “Convoy” fame and for nationwide TV and radio commercials.
He is best known for his original compositions, the notable songs “Rain, Rain, Rain,” “Black Mountain Woman,” and “Atlanta Anna.”
When the Facklers retired from rock and roll in 1992, they bought and operated Shirley’s Diner in Millard, recently voted Best Diner in Omaha, still in the family under the guidance of their son Ben.
But music remained a part of Doug’s life when he met and became lifelong friends with Omaha TV broadcaster Dave Webber. Together they performed for various events such as conventions with Dave singing along with Doug on acoustic guitar.
Dave recalls that Doug loved rock and roll but his favorite music was the acoustic Mills Brothers and the Kingston Trio.
The creative musical DNA continues as his son Nik has become a notable filmmaker and musician himself. And grandson Max does a nice job playing trombone for his middle-school band.
Beyond his artistic and entrepreneurial pursuits, Doug was kind and intelligent, with a unique faith in God. He always seemed to have his guitar with him wherever he went, and he could always be caught humming something. This legacy is carried forward by his beloved wife, Denise, herself a fellow musician and poet. He adored his grandchildren.
The profound loss felt by Doug’s family and friends is challenging to articulate, yet amid the grief, it becomes impossible to overlook the enduring gifts and memorable harmony he left behind.
Doug’s parents, Wayne and Marge Fackler, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Denise Rosholm Fackler, and their sons: Ben Fackler (Alyson Wendel) and their children, Maxwell and Mila; Nik Fackler (Kat Lessor) and their daughter, Faye Rose. Also, by his brothers, Jim Fackler (Cindy Workman) and Dave Fackler (Lily Keeler), and sister, Diane Fackler (Steve Ozaydin), and extended family.
The family asks for flowers to be sent to Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler, or in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in Doug Fackler’s name.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: 3:00 p.m., Sunday, January 28, 2024, at Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler, 7805 W. Center Road, Omaha, NE 68124.