Over the past 30 years Mike Cross has performed everywhere from raucous music clubs and college auditoriums to the refined concert settings of places like Symphony Hall in Boston. He’s even had the unique pleasure of performing on a Mexican Television Show entitled; "Chulas Frontieras" where in his first segment he followed a cock fight.
Events like this make his appearances on a variety of other radio and television shows such as "The Smothers Brothers CBS Television Special" seem very tame. But whether he’s standing alone on an outdoor stage in the High Sierras of California or playing his songs with a symphony orchestra out in the world somewhere, he’s comfortable, happy and quite at home.
Mike plays guitar and fiddle with reckless abandon and total disregard for his own safety, and his eclectic blend of folksy, bluesy, country sounds has given birth to a musical style he laughingly calls, "Appalachian Mountain Boogie Blues."
He has written a multitude of songs, several of which have become staples in the repertoires of many other performers. His song, "The Scotsman", which he wrote in 1973, has been the theme song for the Dr. Demento Radio Show and was once voted the Funniest Song Ever Written. Another song, "Leon McDuff," as recorded and performed by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, served as a theme for the first Farm Aid concert. His songs and stories continue to be recorded and performed on stages, on broadcasts and around campfires throughout the known world by the great, the near great and real, honest to goodness human beings.
Mike was born in Maryville, Tennessee, October 25, 1946 and grew up in Lenoir, North Carolina. Although he loved stories and liked to write poems (even while sitting in his uniform in the dressing room before high school football games) he displayed no interest in music until the middle of his junior year at the University of North Carolina. An unexpected snow storm and a touch of the flu forced him to stay in a friend’s dorm room for the night. His friend’s roommate was a dedicated guitar player who believed that anyone who didn’t know how to play a song or two on the guitar was living a pointless, meaningless life. So, when he discovered that Mike didn’t know how to play, naturally he insisted on teaching him a few chords. By sunrise Mike was obsessed with the instrument and began to see how he could use the guitar to create melodies and set musical scenery to the stories he made up and the poems he wrote.
This innocent, unlikely occurrence completely changed his life and set him on the path he has followed to this day; writing songs, playing music, delighting and entertaining his audiences.