Willy Claflin

"Accompanied by his faithful sidekick Maynard Moose, Willy Claflin has brought his unhinged comedy and musical surprises to stages across the country and beyond, from California to Cape Clear Ireland." National Storytelling Festival

Willy Claflin grew up on Lake Winnipesauke in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He spent his introverted childhood day dreaming and wandering through the woods, listening to his father's bedtime stories, and worrying about the wolf under his bed. During high school he extroverted himself into a guitar-playing rock and roll singer, given to high jinks. He also learned hundreds of folk songs.

Studying American and French Literature at Harvard University (1961 to 1966), Willy made time for performing music and comedy in the Boston-Cambridge folk music scene. He was known for "kicking the stuffing out of museum pieces." (Boston Phoenix). He spent a year abroad in Paris, then a post-graduate year in Scotland, where he joined the Edinburgh Folk Song Society and collected a cappella ballads.

By the late 1960's, Willy had turned to teaching and discovered his talent for creative curriculum design. As a classroom teacher during the 1970's, he developed his major puppet characters: Maynard Moose, Boring Beaver, Socklops, and Gorf (Master Flyswatter Percussionist).

Willy returned to performing in the 1980's, bringing a wealth of stories and puppet monologues to his repertoire of traditional and original songs. In 1981, he was invited to the Hawaii House of Representatives to present a storytelling program. The House honored him with a Special Resolution for his contributions to family entertainment. Since 1982 Willy has continued to write and collect stories as he criss-crosses the country, Maine to Hawaii, as a storytelling performer and teacher.

Read more about Willy Claflin at his webpage

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