When he was a little boy, Mike Mennard was painfully shy. His mother tried to figure out how to get Mike to "come out of his shell." One evening as she cooked supper, she handed Mike an ice cream scoop and said, "Mike, pretend this is a microphone and entertain me."
For hours that night—and for countless nights, thereafter—Mike performed silly songs and poems to his mother. It's safe to say that Mike came out of his shell, and decades later it’s difficult to imagine Mike as anything but a performer. But he claims that that shy little boy still lives inside, which helps him to relate to children—shy ones, as well as not-so-shy ones—better.
Throughout the 1990s, Mike performed contemporary gospel music extensively throughout the United States. But Mike's first musical love has been children’s music—or as Mike calls it, "family music." He incorporated his "family music" in all of his gospel concerts until soon those songs became his most requested. Concert-goers were disappointed that those fun, zany songs were not available on CD.
At last, that is not true. In 2004, Mike recorded his first family project—Something's Rotting in the Fridge, a collection of utter weirdness. A mixture of music and poetry, Something's Rotting in the Fridge is a constant parade of laughs.
Mike has turned his full creative talents toward creating and performing music and poetry for children. As an English professor at Union College, he teaches college students about the values of poetry, yet he believes that one is never too young to learn to appreciate rhythm and rhyme (and wacky humor!).
Mike's latest CD, When Mother Goose Laid an Egg, is a rollicking tour of Mother Goose rhymes made rockin'--with country, rock, hip-hop, and even opera!