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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Glenn Colton - Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret

Glenn Colton - Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret
2006, Glenn Colton

Glenn Colton is a singer/songwriter/educator living in Orchard Park, NY who has made a name for himself in Western New York for his work on behalf of and with children, earning induction into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame in 2009. Originally a folk/rock musician who wanted to be everything from the next Jimmy Buffet to the next Harry Chapin, Colton became an elementary school teacher by day and a rocker by night. A member of local Buffalo legends The Dooleys, Colton left to combine his passions of education and music, forming Glenn Colton Shows in 1993 and turned to performing 300 shows per year for elementary school kids and younger. These days The Glenn Colton show is eagerly anticipated by kids and families wherever Colton manages to play. While Colton may have made a choice to focus on changing his own corner of the world, the effects of his music and brand of character-based education are far reaching. Colton's best known song is Mr. Ducky Wucky, a somewhat autobiographical water fowl who teaches children about following their dreams, doing their best and making the most out of life's experiences. Colton wrote a book, illustrated by John Arnold, and sixteen songs related to or inspired by the story entitled Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret.

In the book, Mr. Ducky Wucky learns important life lessons while chasing his dreams of learning to play guitar and maybe someday having a career that involves his passion. The title song, Mr. Ducky Wucky's Wonderful Secret is a simple rhyming tune that is charming in its simplicity and camp factor, but also because it’s written from such an obligingly honest perspective that even the most cynical parent will crack a smile. Colton has a touch for breaking up the more serious material with fun dance songs, showing a deft understanding for the attention span of his audiences. "Conga Line Fever" is a concert favorite, with children (and no few adults) regularly bouncing along to the beat. Colton also has a knack for non-threatening feel good songs. "Everybody Needs A Hug" teaches the value of simple contact as a way to tell someone you like them.

Colton goes honky-tonk on "Lucky", a reminder that luck is bred by hard work. Perhaps the greatest key to Colton's success as a children's/family music songwriter is illustrated here. With a straight-forward, good-natured style, Colton brings out messages that are universally applicable to both children and parents. He delivers each song with a distinct musicality and sense of melody, and in his live shows he has an almost vaudevillian performing style peppered with bad puns, cornball humor and the sort of innate goodness of heart that can't be faked. On stage or in conversation before or after the show Colton resonates with the light-hearted wholesomeness that illuminates his songs.

Colton espouses school and life schools with songs such as "Readers Are Winners", "If It's Meant To Be It's Up To Me", "The More You Put Into It, The More You Get Out Of It" and "What To Be". Most of these songs are staples in his family shows, and many fit into the scheme of his school-based shows as well. "Another Brand New Day" is another fan favorite on Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret, a regular sing-along at shows with fan participation all done up in Caribbean style. "Mr. Ducky Wucky's Dance Party" will get kids and parents moving; an emblem of the balance that Colton teaches in his act that leads into "The Wonderful Secret", a keyboard based ballad that serves as one last word of encouragement to chart a course for your dreams. Colton not only encourages but reinforces with statements of belief, "I believe in you and I believe you're on your way, I can see that you are getting better every day". Once again, there is a positive message here for the children, but Colton also models for parents the sort of approach that can make a difference between dreams unrealized and dreams come true.

Glenn Colton is a treasure. With a simple story-teller's style, Colton imparts love, knowledge and wisdom to his hoards of fans in a fashion that's hard to find fault with. Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret is a rarity in this day and age. Colton manages to educate, entertain and show chops as a serious songwriter in one fell swoop. Kids and parents alike with fall in love with Mr. Ducky Wucky and Glenn Colton's affable singing/story-telling style. We here at Wildy's World occasionally award Desert Island status to deserving recordings. While none of us wishes such exile on children anywhere, if such there be the stay would be much easier with Mr. Ducky Wucky - The Wonderful Secret along. We'll call it a Wildy's World Certified Junior Desert Island Disc/Book.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Glenn Colton at Ducky Wuckey - The Wonderful Secret can be purchased directly from Glenn Colton's website.  If it's just the songs you're looking for, you can purchase the album from MP3, CDBaby or iTunes

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