BRANSON, Mo., October 9, 2013 – “Branson is not referred to as the ‘The live music show capital of the world’ without reason,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Branson offers a quality and variety of music shows and live entertainment that is unrivaled at any other travel destination anywhere near its size,” she added.
She points out that within many of Branson’s outstanding shows there are acts or performances that cannot be experienced anywhere else and add a unique “special” musical something to an already great entertainment experience. Three such moments can be found in Branson’s longest running shows the Shoji Tabuchi Show, Presleys’ Country Jubilee and The Doug Gabriel Show.
A recent review of the Shoji Tabuchi Show, written by this writer said, “There’s a reason the Shoji Tabuchi Show is going into his 25th season of performing in Branson. Simply put, it’s because Shoji Tabuchi is a master at his craft, loves what he does, relates to his audience not only on a musical, but personal level, surrounds himself with some of the best musicians, singers and dancers in Branson and stars in a unique, colorful and exciting one of kind entertainment production.”
Although Shoji’s renowned violin and fiddle talent is legendary and a major element of his outstanding show, the “unique and special” musical moment relates to the playing of the Japanese “Taiko Drums” that, from the battlefield to defining geographic boundaries, have a special significance in Japanese history, culture and tradition. Featuring an ensemble of Taiko Drums from the large hand carved “Odaiko” to the smaller “Shime” drums this performance is one of the most unique musical performances most will ever see and hear.
Of the three, Presleys’ Country Jubilee has been in Branson the longest and was the first show to locate on the famed “Branson Strip” doing so in 1967 when Highway 76 was “nothing, but a ” curvy two lane stretch of black top.” It has been performing continuously in Branson ever since with its mixture of music and action comedy making it one of the most popular shows in Branson.
At that first show in 1967, a very young Steve Presley sat on a “makeshift stool crafted from a large hunk of firewood and a plywood scrap” playing a snare drum. This very night, an older Steve Presley will be playing the drums for Presleys’ Country Jubilee, as he has done continuously since that nigh setting a new Branson performance record every night he plays and enabling his audience to silently become part of a passing unique and special musical moment during each performance of this wonderful legendary show. Ok, so it’s not a musical moment, but it is special, because Steve’s older brother Gary, more commonly known as “Herkimer,” has been performing comedy in the show since that first performance and shares the performance record with his brother.
Doug Gabriel, the star of Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show has been a staple on the Branson show scene since 1985. For years he opened for many of the major stars, including Roy Clark himself, at the Roy Clark Celebrity theatre and in 1994, he and his wife Cheryl, also an accomplished vocalist, started their own show. They are celebrating their 27th year in Branson and 19th year of their own show this year.
Doug Gabriel’s voice and instrumental talent are a joy to hear and experience. His performance of “Malaguena” on the acoustic guitar is spectacular, but it is his performance on the “Mufftar” that adds “a unique ‘special’ musical something to an already great entertainment experience.” The “Mufftar” is a unique instrument made from the muffler of a 1969 Ford Thunderbird muffler by Doug’s dad when Doug first decided he wanted to play the guitar as a child. Doug still plays the original “Mufftar” in each show providing his audiences with a unique musical experience they will not hear anywhere else or soon forget.
For additional information on these shows or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling, toll free, 1-800-785-1550.