For Billy Grisack, or as the kids know him, Mister Billy, he didn't grow up planning on becoming a children's musician. But music was in his blood and he knew he always wanted to do something with music.
For years, Grisack tried playing "real" music and had varying levels of success with it. It wasn't until his son, Wil, brought him to show and tell. It was there that Wil's teacher told him he was good at entertaining kids, so Grisack decided to have a go at it. That was 12 years ago and Grisack has been performing for kids (and parents) ever since.
"I always try to do music that is like classic rock so the parents wouldn't mind coming to the show," Grisack said. "The topics are about what kids are learning about in school or what they're into in their free time."
Grisack has been pretty busy over the years. Just last year he took up a challenge to release 12 CDs in 12 months. He's even got a hit song called "Angry Birds," which was recorded using his iPhone.
But he doesn't do it to make money.
"I thought it was cool and neat," he said.
He also does it because it allows him to spend time with his family, who often travel and/or play with him.
"I love families and being with my kids and family," he said.
Some people may feel that Grisack doesn't play real music, as it is aimed toward kids, but Grisack said the only difference is in the lyrics.
Grisack's dream from when he was 9-years-old was to write his own songs and have people come see him and in the past 12 years, that's what he's been doing.
"I always wanted to be a rock star, and I guess I am," he said. "I just didn't realize my fans would be four feet tall."
Mr. Billy plays July 8 at The Calumet Theatre. Tickets are now available and can be purchased at The Calumet Theatre.