Jolly Man stories is the experience of amazing songs and whimsical stories shared through the skillful art and antics of Ray Mendenhall. The Jolly Man tradition comes from African and Jamaican roots and refers to one who is a traveling singer and storyteller.
As a pastor for forty years, Ray shared the stories of faith weekly in worship as well as in camps, conferences and workshops. He used his own personal stories and the stories of others extensively in his preaching and teaching. In 1999, Ray entered the larger world of storytelling as performance art and he has been telling stories professionally in a variety of settings ever since.
Ray has won story competitions, story slams and the Bold-Faced Liar’s contest in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He has won state-wide awards for his solo musical performances. Ray mixes song and story at times in his telling and plays a variety of musical instruments including the guitar, his preferred instrument.
Ray loves all kinds of stories from traditional tales to international stories, tall tales to homegrown humor. His music includes folk songs to campfire ditties, fun songs to original compositions. He brings energy, exuberance, passion and excitement to his songs and stories.
Ray has told stories to all ages from preschool to senior citizens as well as intergenerational groups. He has taught storytelling in numerous settings. He particularly likes to work with children and family audiences.
Whatever your storytelling need, Ray Mendenhall is ready and willing to fill your bill.
Minimal Technical Requirements
Stage Dimensions: 7 feet x 6 feet
Audio: adequate sound system with single microphone on stand
Lighting: adequate lighting for the performer to be easily seen by audience