Category Archives: Branson Shows

Pierce Arrow pierces Branson with laughter and music

Jarrett Dougherty during toaster routine with Bobby Blackburn.

BRANSON, Mo., October 26, 2012 — If you like great comedy and vocals, the hilarious comedy and wonderful vocals of the Pierce Arrow show are for you. It’s hard to imagine laughing any harder or hearing a broader variety of music any better sung than at Pierce Arrow and it’s easy to see why it is one of the hottest shows in Branson.

The first cast member the audience gets to meet is Jarrett Dougherty, the shows comedian and one of the funniest comedians in Branson. Dougherty, with the periodic assistance of his faithful “straight man” Bobby Blackburn, who is also the shows lead guitarist and band director, has the audience in stitches and laughing from the beginning to the end of the show with a variety of comedy routines, artfully woven into the flow of the show with its various vocal and musical elements to provide a constantly evolving entertainment experience filled with laughter and music.

As one sits in the audience listening and watching Dougherty they can almost feel a personal connection with him and his material. Not only is he funny, but he is a master of his craft down to the costuming and his manner of presentation. Whether it’s Edwin the Maintenance Man, Brother Cecil, his rendition of the James Brown hit, “I Feel Good” or one of his other routines, he is simply one funny guy that will have you laughing throughout the whole show. One thing’s for sure, after seeing his “toaster routine” you will never look at your toaster the same again.

Pierce Arrow quartet, Luke Menard, left, Gary Korebia, Scott Fraker and Tim Storms

Pierce Arrow’s vocalists and instrumentalists are a perfect illustration of why Branson, Missouri, is called, by some, “The live music show capital of the world.” The Pierce Arrow band is composed of Bobby Blackburn/band leader, lead guitar; Randy McConnell/bass guitar; Colt Straub/keyboards/mandolin and Michael Jackson/drums. The quality of their instrumentality is demonstrated time and time again as their talent is combined with that of the vocalists, over a wide variety of music to present a truly memorable musical experience.

The quartet “Pierce Arrow is composed of Luke Menard, Gary Korebia, Tim Storms and Scott Fraker. Their opening number “Gonna Have A Party” gets things rolling and sets the tenor that illustrates why Pierce Arrow is one of the hottest quartets in Branson. From among many memorable numbers this writer’s two favorites were their version of the 1983 Statler Brother’s hit “Elizabeth,” featuring Luke Menard, and “Long Lost Friend” featuring Gary Korebia. What a beautiful song, that leaves no doubt about who is the “Long Lost Friend.” The groups acapella “voice band” version of “Down On The Corner, with Bobby Blackburn giving an assist, was another favorite.

The featured female vocalist is Kim Boyce-Koreiba sang a variety of music beautifully. What a blessing her performance of “There Is A God” was. The audience really loved her rendition of “This One’s For The Girls. CeCe Day, a young Branson teenager did a nice job on the Taylor Swift songs “Our Song” and “Mean.”

Pierce Arrow presents two shows a day, an afternoon and evening show. Although each contains the same cast, the music and comedy for each is different. It really makes no difference which show you see, “If you love great singing and music and want to laugh until you hurt don’t miss the Pierce Arrow Show.”

For additional information or tickets for Pierce Arrow or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. BTC can be reached by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Daniel O’Donnell peforming in Branson during Ozark Mountain Christmas

Daniel O'Donnell.

BRANSON, Mo., October 20, 2012 — A collective sigh of relief was breathed by Daniel O’Donnell fans when he said, “We will continue to do our block of shows in Branson Missouri” as he announced he would be cutting back on his touring schedule after his 2011 tours. Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center said, ” Branson audiences and Daniel O’Donnell are an ideal fit. We are so delighted that he will continue to perform in Branson.”

Johnson points out that Daniel O’Donnell show will start its 2012 limited engagement in Branson on November 1. It will run through December 8 with 2:00 PM shows every day of the week except Sunday and Thursday and Friday November 23.

Known in the United States through his many PBC Specials and tour appearances, O’Donnell has been called “Ireland’s most popular ‘easy listening’ entertainer and is immensely popular in Branson. His discography history in the UK is phenomenal with 14 Top 10 Music Videos, 20 “UK chart albums” and his newest music video, “Songs of Faith” topping “the UK music charts.” His Branson shows will feature guest artist Mary Duff as they “bring a little bit of Ireland “to the Ozarks singing a wide variety of cherished Irish and American classics “as well as songs celebrating the Christmas Season.

O’Donnell is known for his charismatic performances and ability to connect personally with his audiences. The story, entitled Daniel O’Donnell illustrates the ‘heart’ that makes Branson so special, published on line on Branson.com/news in November of 2011,” illustrates that his stage persona goes to the genuineness of the man and, helps explain why is so special to his fans.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson suggests that Ozark Mountain Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, O’Donnell is very popular and that it might be advisable to make advance arrangements for tickets not only to see Daniel O’Donnell, but for other Branson shows, attractions and lodging as well. She invites anyone wanting more information or tickets to the Daniel O’Donnell show, other Branson shows, attractions or lodging to call 1-800-785-1550 for assistance. The Branson Tourism Center may also be reached through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

What makes the Duttons show so special?

The Duttons, siblings Jonathan, right, Benjamin, Abigail, Timothy, and Amy with parents Sheila and Dean starting the second half of the show with a little "Motown."

BRANSON, Mo., October 16, 2012 — What is it that makes the Duttons show so special? Is it their singing, their amazing instrumentality, the flow of the show as it seamlessly progresses from one entertaining segment to the next or the familial synergy and energy that permeates everything they do on stage? In this writers opinion, it includes all of that, which in and of itself equals two of the most entertaining hours available on any stage in Branson and “then some;” an intangible that infuses itself into that entertainment to create a truly unique, special and memorable experience that should not be missed.

A clue to that “intangible” comes as the Duttons open their show with a medley including “We Are Family.” Anyone who has ever seen the Duttons perform, whether in Branson; as they progressed to the Finals of the NBC prime time hit, “America’s Got Talent;” in their PBS Specials; on the road or in their winter stomping grounds in Mesa, Arizona, knows just how important family is to them. In the opinion of this writer, it is their innate ability to share themselves and their family with their audience and, even if for only a couple of hours, make the audience not only want to be part of that family, but feel the perception that they are that takes an already great entertainment show and elevates it to a special personal experience.

From a musical variety perspective this show has it all from country and western to classical, Motown, gospel, patriotic and more. With the Duttons show it’s not just what they do, it’s how they do it. Many have heard and seen the “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” performed, but when you see and hear it performed “Dutton style,” as the whole family participates, with each soloing on their favorite instrument, you realize and appreciate just how talented this family is. Bluegrass or classical, it makes no difference. Their “Classical Medley” with Timothy on Guitar for “Capricho,” “Czardus” featuring Judith on the keyboards and Amy on the violin and “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Summer Movement” with Amy on the violin and the rest of the family accompanying her, is simply a joy to hear.

Another thing the Duttons do is vary their method of presentation during each different segment to hold their audiences interest and keep them in a constant state of anticipation. Whether it’s Timothy and Judith singing their beautiful duet “When you Say Nothing at All” with Dean and Sheila dancing to it; Benjamin’s cousin “Julio,” who looks a lot like Benjamin, “horning” in with Jonathan in one of the funniest and unique versions of “Dueling Banjoes” in existence; “Highway Patrol,” featuring Dean with some of his younger grandchildren, Leila, Luke and Damien providing a special “driving touch;” the “Girls Medley,” with “Da do ron ron” featuring Abigail, “It’s My Party” featuring Rachel, “Johnny Angel” featuring Amy or “Lollipop” featuring Jessica, the audience is invested in the show and eagerly waiting to see what comes next.

The Duttons, Benjamin, left, Jessica, Abigail, Jonathan, Amy and Timothy performing their signature Finale.

Some who have seen the show are probably thinking, “You didn’t mention my favorite part of the show, Timothy and Amy’s fiddle duet of ‘Orange Blossom Special,’ the ‘Rock Around the Clock’ number featuring the dancing of Benjamin and his wife Brande or their outstanding Veterans Tribute featuring a touching narration and dancing by Jonathan’s wife Belle, Julio’s comedy etc. They would be absolutely right, but any review describing a show having this much quality entertainment and variety packed into it must be broken into highlights if it is to fit into an article. If someone else were writing the article there would be different highlights and that’s the wonderful thing about the Duttons show.

It is a show that truly has been designed and produced to have highlights for everyone, adults as well as teens and younger children. Each performance is a celebration of family, one of the finest entertainment experiences available in Branson or anywhere else and is a special sharing of their family with yours. It is a wonderful experience that will be remembered long after the curtain comes down.

For additional information or tickets for the Duttons or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. BTC can be reached by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Pierce Arrow cruises into Preferred Event aboard Landing Princess

Cast of Pierce Arrow introducing themselves during cruise, Scott, left, Gary, Luke and Tim

BRANSON, Mo., October 12, 2012 — Branson is noted for the way most of its entertainers and stars like to “meet and greet” and interact with their fans. However, for the 100 passengers aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, on October 9, as part of the “Pierce Arrow Preferred Event” the term was taken to a new level. The Pierce Arrow cast met and posed for pictures with them as they boarded the boat and then went with them for a special exclusive chartered luncheon cruise on beautiful Lake Taneycomo.

As the sleek 100 foot long luxury yacht glided down Lake Taneycomo passengers were treated to a one of a kind view of the natural beauty of the Ozarks, waterfowl, the first blush of Fall foliage color and a view of native Ozark bluffs only available from Lake Taneycomo while enjoying, a scrumptious lunch. As they were finishing their lunch, the members of the “Pierce Arrow Quartet,” Gary Koreiba, Tim Storms, Scott Fraker, and Luke Menard and, one of the funniest men in Branson, the shows comedian Jarrett Dougherty, went from table to table talking with the passengers, giving them autographed pictures of the cast as well as posing for pictures and giving autographs.

Pierce Arrows Scott Fraker, right corner of table, talking with guests.

“Because of our two a day show schedule, we are very selective about the outside events that we do, but when this opportunity from the Branson Tourism Center became available we thought what a great opportunity,” said Doug Kissinger, Pierce Arrow Theatre Box Office Manager, who accompanied the cast on the cruise. “It fit in with our show schedule, and gave us an opportunity to work with one of our primary marketing partners in a win-win situation where the cast will have fun and the people coming to Branson will have a great time with it.” As he looked around the boat observing the interaction between the Pierce Arrow cast members and the passengers Kissinger reflected, “What a fun event and special experience for everyone, cruising Lake Taneycomo, great food, fellowship and what a view!”

Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) said, “Our whole mission is to make sure that Branson visitors, from the beginning stages of planning a visit to Branson to the completion of their trip have a great experience.” She goes on to say, “Because of the wonderful relationship we have with Branson’s attractions, lodging operators and shows, customers of the Branson Tourism Center frequently receive value added benefits that you can’t get anywhere else in Branson, like our ‘Preferred Events.’”

Johnson points out that not only do BTC’s innovative and exclusive ‘Preferred Events’ provide a unique unparalleled opportunity to see a particular Branson star or stars perform in their show, but to meet and interact with them in an exclusive, personal and special way while saving money in the process. Currently, a different “Preferred Event Package” is offered every month including two adult tickets to the Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess lunch cruise and an exclusive Meet & Greet with the cast and stars of the show participating in the particular “Preferred Event.”

She adds, “We are thrilled about the success of the Pierce Arrow Preferred Event and are excited that our next “Preferred Event” is the Shoji Tabuchi Preferred Event which will be held on November 28. Due to the limited availability of the stars involved and the fact that there is only one cruise for each of these exclusive Preferred Events, availability is very limited. Reservations may be made by calling BTC at 1-800-926-5341.

What is Ozark Mountain Christmas?

The center of Silver Dollar City's "Old Time Christmas." It's town square and five story special effects Christmas Tree.

BRANSON, Mo., October 9, 2012 –  “A common question for us at this time of the year is, ‘What is Ozark Mountain Christmas?’” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She answers, “It’s a combination of things adding up to a unique Branson area wide celebration of the true spirit of a traditional American Christmas that has been celebrated for over two decades.”

From Historic Downtown Branson and Branson Landing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo on the east to Branson’s most popular paid attraction Silver Dollar City on the west, Ozark Mountain Christmas is a world class celebration of the Christmas Season. With millions upon millions of beautiful colored lights, drive through lighting displays and everything from a spectacular five story high special effects musical Christmas Tree; reindeer; Santa Claus and a “Fantasy Princess,” to Branson’s shows, attractions, shopping and other activities taking on the festive look and feel of the season, it is a unique holiday celebration unlike anything anywhere.

If that was all there was that would be plenty, but that’s not all there is. Ozark Mountain Christmas has its roots in a community that will be holding its “64th Annual Adoration Parade and Nativity Lighting Ceremony” in Historic Downtown Branson on December 2, as it gathers together to celebrate the reason for the season and honors the birth of the child for whom Christmas is named, Jesus Christ. While appreciating and respecting those who celebrate other holidays associated with that time of the year such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others, Ozark Mountain Christmas is a special place for those who appreciate the traditional American Christmas and the real “reason for the season.”

A centerpiece of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s world class festival, An Old Time Christmas, running from November 3 through December 30, and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top theme park Christmas celebrations. The 1880s-style theme park is transformed into a glowing Christmas spectacular with a twice nightly 100,000 light Holiday Light Parade; over four million sparkling lights throughout the park; one-of-a-kind handmade gifts made and showcased by Silver Dollar City’s demonstrating craftsmen; foods of the season and special shows including the Broadway style production of an original musical adaptation of “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” and new this year, the debut of an adaptation of “It’s A Wonderful Life!” an original production with a cast of 14 strong which was produced exclusively for Silver Dollar City.

Ozark Mountain Christmas features two major drive through lighting displays, the Branson Area Festival of Lights and The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights. The “Branson Area Festival of Lights” is a one mile trip through more than 175 sparkling displays, many of which are animated. It is conveniently located a few blocks from the heart of the Branson Strip. The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights is a two and a half mile journey through millions of Christmas lights, hundreds of gorgeous displays, holiday music, and animated scenes most of which have been integrated into the natural terrain of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. It is one of the most unique and memorable drive through lighting experiences most people will ever experience and also includes a “trip to Inspiration Tower where guests can ride glass elevators up 230 feet for a “Santa’s eye view” of the lights from above.”

One of the many spectacular numbers in the 2011 "Andy Williams Christmas Show."

And what would the place that many call the “Live music show capital of the world” be like at Christmas, or any other time of the year, without its live shows. There is a wide selection of Christmas Shows that are only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, which involved Mr. Williams “in all phases of the show including production, its music and the selection of the acts that [would] be in the show,” prior to his passing; Lennon Sisters Christmas Show Johnny Mathis Christmas Show, Tony Orlando Christmas, A Christmas Snow, Christmas in Hollywood, Christmas on the Trail, Mollie B Christmas Show, Sanders Family Christmas, The Bellamy Brothers Tropical Christmas, and others.

In addition most of Branson’s regular season shows also perform Christmas shows which are typically a combination of the best of their regular season show and Christmas and are as unique as the show themselves. This includes some of Branson’s most popular shows such as Shoji Tabuchi, SIX, Pierce Arrow, Haygoods, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Dixie Stampede, Duttons, George Dyer, Hamner and Barber Variety Show, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Yakov Smirnoff, Duttons, Hughes Brothers, Rankin Brothers, Baldknobbers, Haygoods, Doug Gabriel, Grand Jubilee and many others. Other shows such as Acrobats of China, Joseph and Legends of Kung Fu, although not having a specific Christmas segment, are spectacular and add to the fun and excitement that is a part of Ozark Mountain Christmas.

Click here for a complete list of Branson Shows including information, pictures, videos, schedules, pricing and ticketing or call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550.

Many of Branson’s attractions have special activities for Ozark Mountain Christmas. A partial list includes the Polar Express operated by Branson Scenic Railways from November 8 through December 22;” Titanic Christmas and Winter Celebration at the Titanic Museum Attraction from November 1 through December 31,including, new this year, “The Fantasy Princess,” from Thanksgiving Weekend to December 31st,Wednesday through Sunday and “White Flight” at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest November 1 through January 15.

Branson is a virtual Christmas shoppers dream. “From the shops at Branson Landing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo to handcrafted items by the craftsmen and artists at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, two major outlet malls, the shops of Historic Downtown Branson and specialty shops galore throughout Branson, Branson Christmas shopping sparkles as brightly as its Christmas lights.

A highlight of Ozark Mountain Christmas will be the 64th Annual Adoration Parade and Nativity Lighting Ceremony on December 2. The lighting ceremony will be conducted near the intersection of Commercial and Main Streets in Historic Downtown Branson at 5:00 p.m. However, when the switch is flipped it will light the giant 30 foot tall figures of a Nativity Scene located on top of Mount Branson on the opposite side of Lake Taneycomo overlooking Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson. The lighting ceremony is followed by one of the few, if not the only, noncommercial, lighted nighttime parades in the United States devoted to the theme of “Keeping Christ In Christmas.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson says, “If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What has happened to Christmas?’ a visit to Branson during Ozark Mountain Christmas just might answer that question. She also reminds everyone that it is one of the busiest times of the year in Branson and advises advance reservations for shows and lodging.

For additional information on Ozark Mountain Christmas or for tickets or information for any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/

Legends in Concert tribute to “The Voice,” Whitney Houston

Jazmine as Whitney Houston

BRANSON, Mo., October 5, 2012 — Whitney Houston was often referred to as “The Voice” because of the beauty, power and range of her voice. At the time of her untimely death in February of this year, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, she was the most awarded female singer of all time having received, among others, six Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards and six People’s Choice Awards.

Starting November 1, “The world’s greatest tribute show, Legends in Concert, will have celebrity impersonator “Jazmine” performing her tribute to Whitney Houston. “We are very excited to have Jazmine return to the stage here at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater this winter in Branson. Her tribute to Whitney Houston will give you chills as you experience ‘The Voice’ as never before,” said Tiffany Powers, Marketing Director for Legends in Concert.

After a successful career in Europe, “Jazmine” came to the United States and “made her debut to the Latin-American community by participating in the TV show, ‘Sueños De Fama”’ where she sang in eight episodes in the show airing on Telemundo worldwide. She appeared “on the WB network TV-show ‘PopStars’ and “made her first appearance as a ‘Whitney Houston’ impersonator on ‘Your Big Break’, a Dick Clark Productions / Buena Vista Television production, which aired nationwide from November 2000 thru August 2001. For the past 9 years,  has been performing as a Whitney Houston Tribute Artist in venues around the world.”

The foundation of the Legends in Concert show is celebrity impersonators recreating legendary superstar performers. Each recreation is a wonderful artistic performance incorporating the voice, mannerisms and looks of the star being recreated which is fabulous in and of itself. When combined with the shows dancers, support vocalists, live band and great production, costuming and choreography, the result is a spectacular one of a kind entertainment experience. In addition to “Whitney Houston” the show will also feature recreations of “Liberace,” “George Strait, “Elvis” and the “Blues Brothers.”

Tiffany Isnard, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center said, “Legends in Concert is a prime example of the quality and diversity of the live entertainment that Branson offers on a daily basis.” For additional information or tickets for the Legends in Concert Show or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

“Believe” extraordinary Branson entertainment experience that is SIX

SIX, Jak, left, Owen, Kevin, Barry, Lynn and Curtis

BRANSON, Mo., October 1, 2012 — The advertising for one of Branson’s most popular shows, SIX, says, “You won’t believe what comes out of their mouths! Drums, bass, instruments and unbeatable harmonies–and that’s just in the first thirty seconds!” Appropriately, the very first number of the show, “Don’t Stop Believin,” recorded by the Rock Band Journey in 1981, complete with the instrumental sound, but without the physical instruments, dramatically illustrates the unbelievable uniqueness of this show.

SIX is the exception to the general rule that says, “What you see is what you get.” What you see and hear is the Knudsen brothers singing amazing vocals. What you will “get” and hear, in addition to that singing, is instrumental accompaniment, but what you will not see is any band providing that accompaniment because there is none. Incredibly, every instrumental and vocal sound heard during the show comes out of the mouths of SIX. No gimmicks, smoke, mirror or gadgets, just the pure sound and talent of SIX. It is a truly amazing experience..

In order of age SIX is composed of Barry, Kevin, Lynn, Jak, Owen and Curtis. Each is an extremely talented vocalist in their own right, but when they sing together, whether it’s the “Beach Boys” medley with their unique “instrumental accompaniment” or their closing acapella gospel set, the beauty and power of their familial harmonies are just a joy to hear.

SIX during Beach Boys Medley

The show features a variety of music covering genres from rock and roll to pop, traditional and gospel. This writers favorite segments were the “Franke Valli, Four Seasons medley, Lynn’s impersonations highlighted by his “Frank Sinatra” singing “My Way” and their closing acapella gospel set including the “Lord’s Prayer,” “How Great Though Art” and “Be Still, My Soul.” What an absoulutely powerful and beautiful way to end a fabulous entertainment experience.

If all there was in the SIX show was what they did with their voices, that would be a great show, but it isn’t. The show is filled with a humor and personality that the audience just loves. It is consistently and seamlessly worked in throughout the show making the audience an enthusiastic element of the show. Jak is one funny guy and the way that they all “play” off each other is simply hilarious.

The lighting, sound and special effects; use of the side videos and colorful costuming make an already unique and exciting show even more so. Nowhere is that more so than during the “Movie” segment where the musical sounds of their voices is replaced by horses, chariots, car chase scenes and more. The video tribute to their mother, who died too early from Cancer, featuring the song “Love Times Ten” written and sung by Lynn is as touching as it is beautiful.

The real success of this show however, is not simply in its uniqueness, but in the passion, enthusiasm and excitement that SIX brings to the stage and infuses into its audience. For additional information or tickets for SIX please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling toll free 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Voice called a “National Treasure” silenced as Andy Williams passes

Andy Williams, during his last stage performance doing what he loved to do, sing and entertain. The performance was during the 2011 Andy Williams Christmas Show, with the cast of "Oh What A Night," right after announcing he was battling Bladder Cancer

BRANSON, Mo., September 26, 2012 — “We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Andy Williams,” said Lianne Milton, co-owner of the Branson Tourism Center. “The voice, called by President Ronald Regan ‘a National Treasure,’ is silent, but its memory and impact on the hearts of those who heard it will live on for generations,” she continued.

In reflecting on Andy’s career in Branson, Milton points out that when he came to Branson in 1992 he came not for the short term as simply an entertainer, but for the long term as a neighbor and member of our community. Prior to his opening in Branson, he published an ad in a local paper saying, “Andy Loves Branson.” They weren’t just words. For the past 20 years, from his Branson performance schedule and his magnificent theatre to his many active efforts in promoting Branson, the stars he has brought to Branson, buying a home and living in Branson as well as his active participation in a host of charitable and community events, he has consistently shown just how much he cared about Branson.

“Last night, Branson physically lost not only one of its premier entertainers, but a true friend and neighbor. What Branson did not lose, and will cherish forever however, is the blessing of the 20 years ‘we’ shared together and that out of all the places in this country where he could have chosen to build The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre and share his talents that he chose Branson, Missouri,” Milton concluded.

A reason why Branson is a special place that should not be taken for granted

One of the spectacular sets in Sight and Sound's spectacular "Joseph."

BRANSON, Mo., September 22, 2012 – “Working with people like Vicki and James Green adds special meaning to what we do,” said, Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “Making a trip to Branson so special for our customers that they will want to say, ‘Branson was the greatest experience that I’ve had in a long time,’ is our passion,” she added.

After the Greens first trip to Branson in 13 years, Vicki Green sent an email to Branson Tourism Center about their Branson trip and how much it meant to them. As BTC responded, by phone and email, with Vicki, it became apparent that her heartwarming story of courage and hope and its relationship to her trip to Branson should remind all of us what a special place Branson is and why we should not take either it or tomorrow for granted.

In her initial email she said, “Thank you all so much for making our vacation come true… Our vacation was just wonderful. The best time that I have had in years. I did not want to come home.

Dixie Stampede was awesome – the best show in Branson. I had never rode a train, so riding the ‘[Branson] Scenic Railroad’ train was so relaxing and the scenery was so beautiful. The show Joseph was great and we had the best seats in the house — 3 rows from the Tip Top, but we could see everything so well.  The ‘Waltzing Waters’ were so beautiful… The [Hollywood] Wax Museum was great… We went to the ‘Old Fashion Photos’ and dressed up as a Western Bride and Groom. That was so much fun.

“‘Baldknobbers’ and ‘Plantation’ are great places to eat. I got to go into the shops on the strip. My husband and I walked down the strip holding hands like a newlywed couple – after 36 years of marriage. I guess it was a second honeymoon for us…I can’t wait to come there again. There is still plenty to do.

“It had been 13 years since we had been there. Don’t want to wait that long again. Thanks to everyone. It was a perfect trip – it couldn’t have been better. The hotel [Dutton Inn] was wonderful…”

After receiving the original email, Lesley Davis, a Manager with BTC called to thank her for taking the time to share her Branson experience and for the kind things she had to say about the service she received from BTC. During that conversation Lesley discovered something else about why that trip was so special to the Greens, but let’s let the words of Vicki herself, from a second email she sent after the phone call, share that with us.

“Thank you so much for your call to me today. I felt so honored that you had taken from your time to just talk to one person out of thousands that probably come through there. I didn’t really expect to get a reply to that e-mail. I assumed someone would read it, then delete it and it’d be trash….

“I think Branson was very special to us because it had been a long time since we’d had a vacation. I was diagnosed with cancer in October 2007. A lot of surgeries and chemotherapy kept me down. I was barely able to get in a car, much less take a trip. Maybe a lot of people take Branson for granted. They go and know that in a few months they will go again, so it’s not as special.

“It was so good to be there and enjoy so many things and feel good to do them. I had prayed hard for God to bless me and he did a miracle with me. The problems that I was having I didn’t have while I was there. God has been so good to me. I am cancer free. I just had my 6 month check up. My Oncologist is going to do a Bone Scan. A little concern about bone pain I am having… God is able to take care of it…

“Branson was the greatest experience that I’ve had in a long time.”

We at the Branson Tourism center would simply say, “Thank you Vicki, not only for coming to Branson and giving us the honor of working with you to plan the trip, but for sharing your personal experience with us.” It is a reminder for those of us privileged to live and work in Branson not to take what surrounds us every day for granted and of the need to make sure that every trip to Branson for every customer is “special” enough so that they would want to echo your words, “Branson was the greatest experience that I’ve had in a long time.”

Branson celebrates Christmas with the “Andy Williams Christmas Show”

BRANSON, Mo., September 8, 2012 — Lynn Meredith, General Manager, of the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre said that “the Andy Williams Christmas Show in Branson this year will be even bigger and more spectacular. Andy Williams has been involved in all phases of his 21st Christmas show in Branson, including production, its music and the selection of the acts that will be in the show. Andy’s participation in the show will be determined by the progress of his recuperation.

“The full production show has spectacular sets, dancers, a full orchestra, lots of variety acts and   the beautiful music and sounds of Christmas all presented in the spectacularly decorated Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. It will feature new performers, as well as the most popular acts from last year’s show, such as the adagio dance team and quick change artists, ‘Pasha and Aliona.’ Additional acts will be announced soon.

“The Andy Williams Christmas Show will perform from November 1 through December 12, 2012.” For additional information or tickets for the Andy Williams Christmas Show or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.