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KATIE McCROSKEY: Bio

Katie McCroskey

An entertainer from childhood, Katie picked up the guitar in 1971 and hasn’t looked back since. She learned early on to use her sharp wit and engaging personality to put an audience at ease and then to wow them with her vocal talent. She’s a born performer and crowd-pleaser.
Katie’s been performing in clubs and other venues in the Springfield, Missouri area since 1979. She’s played at Lindburg’s, the Buffalo Bar, the Peppermill Lounge, Nonna’s, the Bar Next Door, Harlow's, Cartoon's, at festivals and outdoor stages around the area. She headlined a show in Ft. Scott, Kansas during the "Echoes of the Trail" festival. She was a cast member on stage at the Starlite Theater in Branson, Missouri.
As a solo performer, Katie’s unmatched in her ability to hold an audience’s attention.
Her skillful guitar work, her polished vocals, a sparkling stage presence, an over-active sense of humor — she puts it all together with a play list that’s always fresh , diverse, and never, ever predictable.

What Katie Says about Katie

“The songs I like best are ones that swing, whether it’s a western swing, a jazz swing, or a classic 40’s swing. Toss with the blues, a touch of cowboy, and there you have it!”

Polled Herefords & Gregorian Chant

Little Katie O'Bryan grew up on a 6736 acre ranch in southeastern Kansas in the 1950's. Polled Hereford cattle, Appaloosa and Quarter Horses, Hampshire hogs and a great big St. Bernard named Tootsie were her companions then, if you don't count Joe & Rosemary and their other 8 kids. Grandpa Savino Rendina, violinist and pianist with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra in the Schubert Theater, proved a worthy inspiration for the budding musician. Country music icon Leroy Van Dyke ("The Auctioneer", "Walk On By") was a frequent visitor of the family.

Catholic upbringing included Camp Ursuline in Paola, Kansas, and high school attendance at The Academy of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. It was in the marble terrazo hallways and stairwells of this Benedictine Convent that Katie learned the beauty of voices raised in song. She and her classmates would devise unseemly lyrics so they could combine their two favorite pasttimes: Gregorian Chant and teenage silliness.

Could I Interest you in a Kirby?

Ahhh, the 70's in Wichita, Kansas. The gasoline shortage was the big crisis then, with prices shooting up to as much as 65cents per gallon. I had a '58 Ford with a V-8 Interceptor and ran that baby over the Kansas Interstate system every weekend...Manhattan, Kansas City, Wichita Falls TX (Daddy's credit card, thank you very much!)

Well, Draughon's Business College couldn't hold my interest, so I ventured out into the world of business. Kirby Vacuum Cleaner sales (me and Willie Nelson, huh?).
But Kirby introduced me to Mad Mitch Cameron and his guitar. Together with a small, fortune-seeking entourage, we travelled to Concordia, Kansas and I landed in the Lightning Bar in the basement of the venerable Baron Hotel on Main Street. The pay was good ($5.00 a night and all I could drink), the tips were good ($5.00 from old Dusty Britches everytime I would sing Suzanne by Leonard Cohen), and from those nights were born a soul tied to performing music to please the listener.

STARLITE CHRONICLES, 1986

A friend suggested I audition for a show in Branson. I did, along with several well-qualified musicians, talented and schooled. Why they didn’t wear pink spike heels and tight jeans to the audition, I’ll never know, but … well, guess who got hired?

And so, for the next 8 months, I sang, I danced, I wore a size 4 dress and lots of makeup. I met some great people and lived on Table Rock Lake. And when it was over, I came back to Springfield. What else do you want to know?

BUFFALO SPRINGBURG

My first gig in the Ozarks, as I recall, was at Lindburg’s, Springfield’s Oldest Tavern. It was smart to get there early, because the last one there had to sit underneath the moose, which had begun to shed its shaggy coat after all those years of revelry. Then there was the Buffalo Bar, another venerable Springfield haunt with its own set of traditions and home of the first Blue Monday.