By Paul Bonnette
For over two decades, Todd Herendeen has been a staple of the Panama City Beach entertainment scene. He’s performed at Gulf World Marine Park, Holiday Inn Resort, Boardwalk Beach Resort, Days Inn, and The Breakers. Known for his high energy, toe-tapping music, residents and guests alike flock to the Todd Herendeen Theater for his tribute to the legends of Rock and Country show. Having worked with some of music’s biggest stars such as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, John Michael Montgomery, Daryl Singletary, Trick Pony, Gretchen Wilson, and many more, Todd brings Branson-style entertainment to Panama City Beach.
Todd Herendeen is no stranger to the stage. Having performed from Las Vegas to Nashville, Todd has opened for national acts such as Foreigner, The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and B.B. King. This career in performance wasn’t an obvious outcome during his childhood years in the Midwest.
“I grew up in Northeast Indiana, a little town called Garrett, Indiana,” Herendeen explains. “I was more into sports, although I liked music but in Indiana, you’re a basketball player. When I got out of high school, I went to Trade School and it was there that I got the musical start. In the shop, we had our radio on the oldies channel and [would] sing along to all the artists. Some of the guys started to say that I sounded a lot like Elvis. So they entered me into a little talent contest. I had never [sung] for anybody so I decided I would do it as a comedy routine [as if] Elvis had never died and had faked his death… I ended up winning the talent contest.”
It was on the stage that Todd realized he had a passion for performing. After winning second place at an Elvis competition in Springfield, Illinois, Todd qualified to compete at the Images of Elvis World Competition in Elvis’s hometown of Memphis. Todd also went on to compete in an Elvis competition for TV personality Dick Clark. According to Todd, it was there that he received advice that would change his career.
“I went and did a competition for Dick Clark and finished second in Dick Clark’s competition. He hired me to be part of a show he had. He was actually the one who encouraged me to find my other voices that I had. He told me ‘You’ll have a lot of fun with Elvis and have a great hobby, but if you find the other voices, you will have a career.’ That’s when I started developing the Johnny Cash voice and Roy Orbison and Neil Diamond.”
After perfecting his talent, Todd then got the call that would eventually make him a Bay County resident.
“In 2002, I got a phone call from the owners of Gulf World Marine Park. I still lived in Northeast Indiana, and I had never even heard of Panama City Beach. In March of 2002, my wife, Angel, and I drove down to Panama City Beach and interviewed with the owners. It was supposed to be an 8-week deal. Then the next year they wanted to do it longer and so in 2004, we relocated to Panama City Beach and that’s how we got out start in PCB.”
Two decades later, Todd has found success by recording a #1 hit on the Indie World Country Music Chart with “My Name is America” while continuing to tour across the country including appearances at Graceland in Memphis.
Despite a full schedule of touring, Todd and his Follow that Dream (FTD) Band still enjoy welcoming visitors and residents alike to the Todd Herendeen Theater for a night of fun, food, and great music. For more information and tickets to the show visit www.toddherendeentheatre.com.