Professional entertainer Theodore “Ted” McCready first discovered music while shadowing his band music director father, singing in the church choir with his mother and strumming his first guitar chords during lessons from a school nun. Starting with playing piano at age 5, he picked up music naturally. The St. Louis native is now known as one of the best performers of live music for all occasions.
He says there’s something blissful about the tremendous energy surging back and forth at live music engagements, which ends up being a gift between musicians and friendly fans.
“Stuff from Pop had a huge influence on me. I owe all of my feel and how I approach my music to him,” he says, noting that his polished jazz musician father taught music for the Lindbergh School District, and was hand-selected for the U.S. Air Force Band.
Ted grew up watching his father play saxophone in various clubs, absorbing the ebb and flow of musical performances. With his mother being the church organist and choir director, he also got the chance to find his voice.
“I’ve always loved music; it’s always been my main choice,” he says.
By the time Ted turned 16 years old, he started performing in clubs, talent shows, private engagements and concerts. He also made records, taped radio commercials and was on TV, including a performance on “Star Search” in 1989.
He then signed with two independent record labels and worked with other musicians around the world. Musical groups in which he has played include:
- Alright Now, a tribute to Paul Rodgers of Bad Company/Free/The Firm.
- Big Love, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac.
- Mantia & McCready, a musical duo with Rocky Mantia performing popular hits from the 1960s through today’s tunes.
- Dawn & Ted, a musical duo with singer/guitarist/keyboardist Dawn Turlington, performing hit songs from popular dance music from the 1960s through contemporary music.
- McCready Brothers, who play mainstream pop.
“I love what I do, and the feeling I get with an audience,” he says. “The St. Louis music scene has been incredibly supportive. But I still miss the live music ops that we used to have at Laclede’s Landing.”
With a well-rounded musical background such as Ted’s, his cell phone playlist may surprise some. During live performances, he sings anything from Stevie Wonder, Queen and Santana to Bruno Mars, Supertramp and The Drifters. However, his current top listen list still includes: Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Paul Rodgers and George Michael.
Ted says those four performers have been his ultimate go-to mentors for molding his sound.
After returning to St. Louis about five years ago from living in California and dealing with depression and drug addictions, Ted said he returned full time to music.
“What I went through was terrible, but it helped me become a better person today,” he says. “Everything’s been mushrooming since returning, and I’ve worked really hard at clean living. I’m happily back in the game!”
Catch “Teddy” performing live music at local and regional spots such as EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery, Parkside Grille, Mellow Mushroom, Bartolino’s South, Chandler Hill Vineyards, Sam’s Steakhouse, Wine Country Gardens, The Boathouse, Grafton Winery, Trainwreck Saloon and Mount Pleasant Winery.