About the band
Who: Tim “Moony Mann” Willis, 44
Years singing/playing: 30
Type of Music: Early 60’s
Where can you see him: Tara’s on Marco Island Oct. 30 and Fifth Avenue's Halloween bash Oct. 31
More information: www.moonymann.com
Self-proclaimed the hardest working entertainer in Southwest Florida, Tim “Moony Mann” Willis can be found at just about any upscale restaurant, cocktail lounge or country club. He’s known for playing quality family music. Willis and his band can get both children and adults on the dance floor with their all-around fun tunes. We sat down to find out more about Moony Mann.
Daily News: When did you start singing and playing?
Moony Mann: I started playing when I was fourteen, since then I have been in and out of bands. In the early 80’s, I was in a big band playing live shows in Texas. But like all other bands, that ran its course, which brought me to Naples. I’ve been living here for almost thirty years.
DN: What kind of music do you play?
Moony: My band and I pretty much play anything, depending on what venue we are at. We work with the demographic that is down here, which are a lot of families and the older generation. We like to play music that appeals to all — like when we perform at Naples’ Earth Day Celebration or down on Fifth Ave for their Halloween bash, we stick to songs like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Good Golly Miss Molly,” something to get everyone on their feet.
DN: What is your favorite song to cover?
Moony: I have two favorite songs to play, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “Johnny B. Goode.” “Somewhere over the Rainbow” has the most globally recognizable melody lines of any song ever composed and its lyrics speak to everyone. “Johnny B. Goode” is such a fun song to play because it is so universal. Just about every person is familiar with that song. I just have to start playing the first four chords and you will see four-year-olds to people in their nineties up on the dance floor.
DN: What’s one song you get a lot of requests for?
Moony: A lot of people love to hear me sing Elvis Presley. It all depends on the venue and atmosphere, though. When I am doing an acoustic beach party, I get a lot of requests for me to sing Jimmy Buffet.
DN: Do you ever cover Lynyrd Skynyrd or Led Zeppelin?
Moony: I have in the past, but my band and I are not a rock band. Therefore those kind of requests are very rare. When those outrageous requests do come up, we simply say — when the microphone is off — we will play anything for $100 tip.
DN: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Moony: Pretty much doing the same thing I’m doing now. I’m not trying to become a rock star and make a record. If all I ever did was sit on the beach and play guitar for the rest of my life that would be fine with me.