When I first decided to make the plunge into doing music for kids back when I lived in Buffalo, people from the area kept telling me, "Oh, you mean like Glenn Colton?" or "Oh, you should go see Glenn Colton." Recently, a musician I know from Buffalo named Matt Suroweic contacted me to ask some advice about his own foray into doing music for kids, and so of course I had to say, "Go see Glenn Colton!"
Suffice it to say that Glenn Colton is without a doubt the first name in children's music in the greater Western New York area. A quick scan of his schedule and you can see how popular he is as a performer, and many of the venues where he performs have him back year after year after year. That's not surprising, as Glenn writes very memorable songs for kids and performs them in very interactive and involving shows that are a lot of fun, and he provides a wide variety of school assembly programs that cater very well to what a lot of schools want to offer for their students.
After heeding the advice of those who said to me, "Go see Glenn Colton," I went to one of his park concerts and one of his school assemblies, and was inspired by how well a one-man-band performer could entertain a large group of kids. I had one of those "that's what I'd like to do with my life!" kind of feelings (not a moment too soon, considering I was about 33 at the time). Glenn made it look so easy and fun (of course, I hadn't seen the many years of experience he already had up to that point) and his use of conga lines, limbo sticks and other various props and jokes was also inspiring for the kind of fun shows I wanted to offer kids and families. If you saw a show with me and Glenn on a bill together (hopefully we'll put that together sometime when I'm out in Western New York again), you would probably notice a difference in some of the styles of material and humor that we each employ, and yet, you might also recognize that Glenn was a big influence on me as a children's performer, and so I would expect that you might find both shows to be highly entertaining and fun in their own unique ways.
When I first met him, Glenn was generous about sharing some tips to get me going in the right direction, and I really appreciated that. We've been friends ever since, and so when I was back in Buffalo recently, I thought, why not do an interview with him, since I've been meaning to feature him here at some point? Glenn invited me over and he shared a lot of great insights into his musical approach and how he's achieved and maintained his success performing music for children. The interview is split up into two parts below...
Glenn Colton website