Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meet Willy Welch aka Mr. Willy

With a guitar in hand and a song on his lips, who wouldn’t be entertained by this self-proclaimed, "silly guy?"Willy Welch, better known as Mr. Willy to his fans has a resume a mile long which includes, singer, song writer, author, actor and much, much more. Some people are just born to entertain and Mr. Willy is one of them. His first ‘gig’ came to him at the age of six and a half when he did a puppet show at his four year old baby sister’s birthday party. But that was just the start of a long career in performing.

Willy says, "I got my first paycheck for singing when I was 15, singing Sunrise, Sunset for the ladies club at Temple Israel with Billy Finn." Willy admits he has always enjoyed writing and performing for people. Not sure if you’ve ever heard Mr. Willy’s work? If you’ve seen Barney, the big, purple dinosaur, than you’ve probably had more than one of Willy’s songs jaggling around in your head. That’s right, Mr. Willy has done over 35 songs for this ever popular show.

He says, "It was kind of flukey. A friend of my wife’s from college days was married to (the person) in charge of getting songwriters for the show. Jill heard I was writing and performing for kids and asked me to "audition" by writing a sample song for the show."

Mr. Willy is also doing the songs for the DVD series; ‘Boz the Green Bear Next Door.’ As well as writing songs, Mr. Willy has also penned three children’s books; "Playing Right Field," "Dancing With Daddy," and "Grumbling Bunnies." Along with children’s CD’s; ‘My Backyard,’ I Won’t Eat That,’ and ‘I Only Looked Away for a Minute.’That is a lot of writing, so I just had to know, where does all this inspiration come from?

"I never know," admits Willy. "It could be a phrase that pops out of a conversation. Or a snippet of something that starts whirling around in my head. Or something one of my kids says, a poem I read...I’m open to inspiration from anywhere."

It obviously works. Kids and adults alike love Mr Willy. Why? Because in his music they find things they can relate and respond to; "songs about everyday life, feelings, beauty and ethics." I’m very blessed to be able to do the kind of work I like to do," finishes Mr. Willy. However, I think it is we as the listeners and readers that are the truly blessed ones.

If you would like to see Mr. Willy in person, he will be performing this coming weekend (April 17 & 18) at the Dallas Public Library, part of the Dallas Children’s Book Fair, sponsored by the African-American Museum. He will also be at the Northpark Mall branch and the Central Library. You can look for Willy doing performances at other libraries all over Texas as well. Plus, he’ll even be in International Falls, Minnesota.
If you want to book Mr. Willy for your classroom or special occasion check out the details on his website at http://www.misterwilly.com/

See you next time...Sandie Lee

Mr. Willy's Songs and Books



Mr. Willy singing his own song through a montage of his work.



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