Titanic Violin sells at auction for $1.45 million

Shoji Tabuchi viewing the Titanic Violin while it was on display in Branson.

BRANSON, Mo., October 21, 2013 – The “Titanic Violin,” which was on display at the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction during the month of August and believed to the long lost violin that Titanic’s bandmaster, Wallace Hartley played as the R.M.S. Titanic sank during the early morning hours of April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg, was sold at auction on Oct. 19 for $1.45 million. The amount is a record setting price for a piece of Titanic memorabilia, easily eclipsing its nearest “competitor,” an actual plan of the Titanic used at the admiralty hearings on the sinking in 1912, by a multiple of more than four.

Although there were many skeptics as to the authenticity when its discovery was originally made public in 2006 years of testing and authenticating seems to have carried the day. While the violin was on display at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Craig Sopin, one of the largest private collectors of Titanic artifacts and memorabilia, who was initially one of the violins biggest skeptics was asked if he believed the violin was authentic. He replied, “I am absolutely convinced.” He said that he changed his mind based on his own investigation, the extensive physical testing that has been done on the violin and case and provenance evidence tracing the violin back to the Titanic.

The auction was held at Henry Aldridge and Son in Wiltshire, England who are specialists in auctioning Titanic memorabilia. Prior to the auction it was estimated that the violin would sell in the $322,000 to $488,000 range, but according to reports, after starting out at about $80,000 the bidding quickly rose to the point where, at the end, there were only two telephone bidders going head to head. The name of the victorious bidder was not announced.

In announcing the exclusive United States hosting of the Titanic Violin earlier this year Mary Kellogg, the co-owner of the Titanic Museum Attractions, said “We are so honored that, out of all the places in the United States, our Titanic Museum Attractions in Pigeon Forge and Branson were picked to host this violin and the opportunity to share this historic icon with our guests.” “How fortunate is Branson to have an attraction like the Titanic Museum Attraction with the reputation and ability to provide Branson visitors with the opportunity to get to see such an historic, iconic and valuable piece of history,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.

Branson hosts America’s biggest “Veterans Day” celebration

Branson's Veterans Memorial Garden is just one of the many ways Veterans are honored in Branson on a daily basis.

BRANSON, Mo., October 17, 2013 – “Inherent to the Branson Spirit of God, Family and Country is patriotism and the honoring of Veterans, active duty Armed Forces personnel and their families,” said Tammy Johnson the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Veterans and active duty Military Armed Forces personnel are honored on a daily basis, but even by Branson standards ‘Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week’ is special.’”

She points out that it is the nation’s biggest “Veterans Day” celebration running from November 5th through November 11th each year and features a variety of events and activities honoring Veterans and their service. These events encompass everything from reunions, special shows such as Tony Orlando’s “Yellow Ribbon Salute to Veterans,” to one of the longest running Veterans Day Parades in America as the “80th Annual Veterans Day Parade” taking place in Historic Downtown Branson at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The following list of scheduled events, although subject to change, is current as of October 16, 2013, does not include a myriad of specials and other things that local businesses, shows and attractions are doing, and are sorted by date and time:

November 5

1400 – 1630 Official Opening Ceremony and Welcome to Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week at Clay Cooper Theatre

0900 – 1530 Registration & Souvenir Commemorative Collectors Button Sales at Branson Mill Craft Village

0900 – 1530 “Remembering Our Fallen” The photo display, which includes photos of each Armed Forces Missourian who has fallen in the war against terrorism.

2000 “Special Salute to Veterans,” Showboat Branson Belle

November 6

1230 – 1430 Veterans Spouses Luncheon, Radisson Hotel, RSVP required call 417-230-1178

1400 Special Showing of “Four-star Country Boy,” Keeter Center Royal Oak Forum, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212. A play based on the life of former Assistant Commandant of the United States Marine Corps General Terrence R. Dake as conveyed by the book “The Four Generals of Hard Work U,” by Jerry C. Davis.

1500 – 1700 “Vietnam Veterans Thank You, Reception” with light Hors d’oeuvres, The Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212

November 7

0820 – 1130 Persian Gulf War Veterans Mini Reunion hosted by VVA Chapter 913, Branson, MO at the Golden Corral, 417-230-2278.

1200 – 1700 Vietnam Veterans Mini Reunion, Camden Hotel & Conference Center, 417-230-2278

November 8

0800 2nd Annual Navy Memorial Service, Main Street Lake Cruises Branson Landing, 877-382-6287. Brief welcome at the dock or inside in case if inclement weather, followed by a short cruise and wreath ceremony honoring those departed members of the U. S. Naval Services for their service. After the boat returns to the dock there will be refreshments and fellowship.

0900 Wal-Mart Tribute to Veterans, Wal-Mart Supercenter in Branson Hills, 417-230-2278

1130 – 1330 Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers Luncheon, Landry’s Seafood Restaurant, Fran Davis 417-272-0630

1200 – 1500 Korea War Veterans Mini Reunion, Stone Castle Inn – 3050 Green Mountain Dr. 417-230-2278

1400 Tree Dedication at Veterans Grove, Alumni Center Lawn, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212

1500 – 1700 WWII Mini-Reunion, The Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212

1400 – 1900 4th ID Hospitality Room, Savannah House, 165 Expressway, 902-684-0147

1500 – 1930 Women Veterans Mini Reunion , Golden Corral with social hour, meal and show. Must RSVP 417-230-2278.

November 9

1200 – 1500 Korea War Veterans Mini Reunion, Stone Castle Inn – 3050 Green Mountain Dr. 417-230-2278

1900 U.S. Submarine Veterans Base Candlelight Ceremony, 918-786-8851 hosted by members of the Topeka-Jefferson City U.S. Submarine Veterans Base.

November 11

0700 Flag Raising/Wreath Laying Ceremony, Main Campus Flag Pole, Chapel Lawn, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212

1100 80th Annual Veterans Day Parade, Historic Downtown Branson

1400 Tony Orlando’s “Yellow Ribbon Salute to Veterans”, Welk Theatre, 417-337-7469 This will be Tony’s 20th and final year of presenting this annual free show to Veterans in Branson. Reservations may be made by calling 417-337-7469.

1900 Patriotic Convocation Jones Auditorium in the Nettie Marie Jones Learning Center, College of the Ozarks, 417-690-2212.

For additional information on “Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week,” any of Branson’s shows, attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to  call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Tessa Kate a “hidden” Branson gem

Singer songwriter Tessa Kate performing at Main Street Marina's Paddlewheel.

BRANSON, Mo., October 15, 2013 – Even after having lived in Branson for over 27 years the amount of musical talent in this little town still amazes me. Most will recognize the primary stars in Branson’s shows, but there is hidden talent all over Branson performing other jobs and doing other things waiting for opportunity to knock. It might be your server, a nurse, a high school class mate or, as is the subject of this article, the person selling you a ticket to a Branson attraction such as a sightseeing or dinner cruise aboard one of Main Street Lakes Cruises‘ boats, the river boat replica Lake Queen or the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess.

Some of this talent performs in Branson shows, some want to be in Branson shows and others like singer songwriter Tessa Kate, an “Office Lead” at Main Street Lake Cruises “by day” and a singer songwriter “by night” just want to perfect their craft in a non-show environment, perform somewhere, be themselves and be in a position to take advantage of any career boosting opportunity that presents itself.

During a recent interview, just prior to starting her one person gig at Main Street Marina’s Paddlewheel, a unique floating restaurant and pub just off the Branson Landing Boardwalk, Tessa pointed out that her mother said, “I started singing to the beat of a washing machine before I could talk.” When asked what the primary inspiration was that caused her to develop her talent she said, “Can’t say that I ever developed it. I’ve always loved to sing and don’t remember ever not singing.” She learned to play the guitar when she was about 14 because her dad, although not professionally, played the guitar and sang her whole life and she wanted to learn to play the guitar so she could play with him.

Born in a log cabin in Western Grove, Arkansas in 1988 Tessa has been singing in church and talent shows since she was seven years old, has never worked as a full time professional singer and has always had a “full time” time “day” job, singing and writing songs on a part time basis. She started performing professionally about seven years ago at a coffee shop in Harrison, Arkansas singing songs that she had written and has performed various gigs since then, some with bands and some solo using a mixture of “cover songs” and her own songs.

As an “Office Lead” for Main Street Cruise Lines Tessa sells tickets, helps with customer service and substitutes as a crew member on the boats when needed. When asked how she got the gig at The Paddlewheel she said, “After opening The Paddlewheel here at Main Street Marina they said they wanted to have music entertainment at night so I threw myself out there and told them that I play and sing. Even though the owners and management of Main Street Marina and The Paddlewheel are the same and she knew them she said, “My audition for them was the scariest ‘show’ I ever did. I’d rather play for a hundred people than one on one for someone that I know.”

Obviously, the audition went well because, shortly after our interview she began her performance at The Paddlewheel where she is scheduled to perform for three hours each Thursday evening and for special events. As I sat there and listened to this very special young lady sing the John Denver classic, “Leaving On A Jet Plane” and reflected on our interview I thought, “What a beautiful voice and sweet spirit. She’s the real deal and when ‘opportunity’ comes knocking at her door she’s going to open the door and embrace it.”

Three unique Branson musical moments

The huge Japanese Odaiko Drum from the Taiko Drum ensemble.

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 playing his famous "Mufftar."

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.


SOS – Dancing Queen “hot” Branson Abba 70′s entertainment

Tiffany. Alexander, Jan and Heather performing "Momma Mia."

BRANSON, Mo., September 29, 2013 – After seeing the show Dancing Queen Abbas’s Greatest Hits on September 28, this writer would suggest that those who are Abba fans, like the music of the 70′s or appreciate a colorful, fast moving energetic vocal and dancing production don’t want to miss this show. It features just about every Abba hit, a great collection of other hits and music that many danced to during the 70′s all presented by a talented cast of vocalists and dancers who are a joy to watch and hear as they present one hit song after another in two hours of non-stop, except for intermission, entertainment.

From the opening number, an all cast performance of the Abba hit, Dancing Queen, two things become apparent, the quality of the show’s production and the talent of its vocalist and dancers. The primary vocalists for Dancing Queen are Heather Peterson, Tiffany Sassanella, Jay McManus and Alexander James Webster. The shows dancers are Ollie Barrow, Martin Bennett, Ashley Gadd, Thomas Gray, Aaron Lemoine, Amy Morlang, Charles Redding, Ruth Robertson, Shelley Tees, and Kelly Weigand.

The opening set of the show is a collection of hits from “Momma Mia” and sets the stage for what is to follow. The numbers included, among others, Dancing Queen, Momma Mia, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Take A Chance On Me and Voulez Vous. From the all cast opening number of Dancing Queen to the four vocalists performance of Momma Mia and the performance of Knowing Me Knowing You featuring Heather Peterson in a “duet” with Jay McManus and Alexander James Webster the set dramatically illustrates the vocal and dancing skills and versatility of the cast along with the artful way that their talents would be interwoven throughout the show to provide and enjoyable and memorable entertainment experience.

Dancers and vocalists during "Celebrate."

From one of Abba’s very first hits Waterloo, to one of their last # 1 hits, Winner Takes It All, this show is a virtual cornucopia of Abbas top hits. In addition to the above this includes Abba hits such as Does Your Mother Know, Fernando, SOS, Thank You for the Music and others.

In addition to the Abba hits Dancing Queen also features some of the best music of the 70′s such the Village People’s hits In the Navy and YMCA; the Rose Royce blues song Car Wash; the Bee Gee’s hit How Deep Is Your Love and many more.

Although this writer fully realizes that his choices are subjective he typically mention two or three performances in a show that were his personal favorites. The ” dual duet” performance of How Deep Is Your Love started off by Heather Peterson and Alexander James Webster and later joined by Tiffany Sassanella and Jay McManus beautifully illustrated their vocal talents; In The Navy with Alexander James Webster doing the vocals and the dancers clogging was an exciting and colorful number featuring the skill and versatility of the dancer as they performed one of the many styles of dancing that are so artfully choreographed into the show and, what has to be my absolute favorite, the finale “Mega Mix” featuring all the cast members performing excerpts from the Abba hits that had previously been presented. What a fantastic way to end the show!

Information or tickets on the Dancing Queen Abbas’s Greatest Hits or tickets for any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements is available through the Branson Tourism Center. Please feel free to contact them by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through or through their website http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/.



Material Connection


Mayflower Tours VIP group has unique Branson experience

Mickey Gilley performing private show for Mayflower VIP Group

BRANSON, Mo., September 30, 2013 – After the fun, pleasure and excitement of helping the 150 members of the Mayflower VIP Group have a special and unique Branson experience Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales, Branson Tourism Center said, “It was a joy to be the Branson partner of Mayflower Tours in the planning, implementation and fulfillment of this special VIP group trip. The result was a phenomenal experience for their travelers and one that very few of millions of visitors coming to Branson each year get to have.”

In its day to day operations, BTC’s groups department specializes in helping groups of all sizes and kinds, from student, family and bank travel to churches, military, reunions, meetings or conferences, weddings, travel agents and tour operators, have a great Branson experience. The genesis for the VIP event was when Mayflower Tours, a tour operator operating deluxe escorted holidays, wanted to offer their travelers a special unique escorted VIP tour of Branson and, because of the special relationships that BTC has built up over the years with Branson shows, attractions and lodging facilities, partnered with BTC to make it happen.

How well did it work out? Vicki Martin, a Mayflower Tour Manager, said that, from the time they left the hotel in the morning until they got back at night, each day was a busy, exciting and enjoyable blend of a variety of activities, relaxation and adventure including shows, attractions, boat rides and other things highlighted by a series of special events. She said, “Branson Tourism Center makes this very easy for a tour manager like myself” and pointed out that in a lot of places they go there is minimal assistance, but here, “Branson Tourism Center has it all taken care of for us.”

Mayflower VIP Travelers with Main Street Lake Cruises "Lake Queen."

Martin pointed out that the schedule was full of a variety of things to see and do. One of the many things planned into their varied itinerary was time to relax on Lake Taneycomo at the facilities of Main Street Lake Cruises. While there they took a sightseeing trip on the riverboat replica Lake Queen and enjoyed a special vintage carnival, including games, candy, soda, popcorn etc. at Main Street Lake Cruises’ “Paddlewheel.”

The carnival was just one of the unique special features the Mayflower VIP travelers enjoyed. Among others there was a private meet and greet on the stage of the theatre with Clay Cooper after seeing Clay Cooper’s Country Express with Clay entertaining them at dinner that evening; a personal welcome and introduction to the Titanic Museum Attraction by John Joslyn one of its owners; a private meet and greet with the Oak Ridge Boys after seeing their show; Breakfast with the Brett family prior to seeing the Bretts show; dinner with a member of the Hughes Brothers family at each table prior to seeing their show it; a very exclusive private show from Mickey Gilley along with an up close and personal question and answer period and a private meet and greet with Shoji and Christina Tabuchi after seeing the Shoji Tabuchi show.

Mayflower’s Martin said that many of her travelers have been to Branson multiple times with other groups and never have they had an experience and access to the entertainers like they did on this trip. She said she doesn’t know how they did it but that, “It wouldn’t have happened without [the] Branson Tourism [Center.]”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood, from a BTC perspective, credits the relationship that BTC has with the Branson shows, attractions and other providers it works with and with the hard work and dedication of BTC Group Sales Manager Becky Jewsberry, who personally coordinated the planning of the event with Mayflower as well as its execution in Branson. “Whether it’s 150 or a family reunion of 20, we work hand in hand with each and every group to be an extension of their team,” said Wood. “The BTC Groups Department has a staff of 11 people dedicated to just one thing, helping those having an interest in for bringing a group to Branson to plan and execute an event that will be a successful, memorable and enjoyable experience.”

Wood invites group planners to contact the Branson Tourism Center Groups Department for a quote, information or assistance in planning a group trip to Branson by calling 1-800-268-4014 or through its website, http://www.BransonGroups.com.

Mother Nature puts on a Branson show for Fall

The first blush of 2011's Fall colors as viewed from Point Lookout at the College of the Ozarks.

BRANSON, MO, September 25, 2013 – From that first tint of color to the peaceful drift of cascading leaves falling from the trees, the foliage of the Ozark Mountains in Branson provides a beautiful canvas for one of Branson’s best shows, brought to you by Mother Nature. Foliage color typically comes with warm days and cool nights, according to Greg Cassell, Resources Forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He says the colors peak during the third week in October. And because of Branson’s designation as a “Tree City,” the area has learned to grow while still protecting this important part of the natural landscape.

“We had a pretty wet spring this year,” said Tammy Johnson, Director of Operations for Branson Tourism Center, “meaning the colors should be a visual delight for our visitors.” One of our visitor’s most common questions is, “What’s the best way to see the foliage?” Johnson responds that there really is no best way; fall beauty is simply there at just about every turn. With that said, Johnson suggests that your list of things not to miss should be topped by the “unique panoramic” view found from the deck of the Lake Queen, a historic paddlewheel boat operated by Main Street Lake Cruises. Using “up close” and “panoramic” together to describe this stunning view of the Ozark Mountains seems contradictory, but in the case of the Lake Queen, it’s the perfect way to describe the experience.

The Lake Queen cruises Lake Taneycomo, a long and narrow impoundment of the White River, with shorelines much closer together than what can be found on Table Rock Lake. A typical sightseeing cruise on the Lake Queen provides an up-close chance to view Branson’s abundant wildlife in its natural environment. The majestic bald eagle, the great blue heron, a variety of smaller birds, and deer are a common sight along the lake’s shoreline. You can enjoy the wildlife and panoramic vistas only found from your vantage point on the water. As the foliage changes color, these vistas turn into a magnificent canvas of nature’s painting.

As seen from the bow of the Lake Queen, one can only imagine what this scene will look like over the next month as the foliage changes color.

Another unique fall view comes from the lofty heights of the 230-foot-tall Inspiration Tower located atop Inspiration Point, one of the highest points in southwest Missouri. Found at Shepherd of the Hills homestead, the tower provides an unparalleled panoramic view of the Ozarks’ foliage from a different perspective. Glass elevators transport guests up the enclosed observation deck from which, on a clear day, hundreds of square miles of foliage can be viewed as far as 90 miles away, presenting a spectacular view unmatched anywhere. Enjoy the view while leisurely strolling along the deck, or take a more thrilling sightseeing approach by zipping down from the tower on the Vigilante Ziprider. A quick trip in a comfy seat, hitting speeds up to 45 mph, and met at the bottom by a shuttle that will take you on a meandering trip through the beautiful Shepherd of the Hills’ grounds, returning you to the tower.

There are a number of scenic lookouts that provide a superb birds-eye view of the Ozarks’ fall foliage. These include lookouts on State Route 165, about a mile south of its intersection with State Route 265; the Table Rock Dam overlook, located on the south end of Table Rock Dan, across the road from the Dewey Short Visitors Center, and the Henning Conservation Area lookout located about a mile west of the junction of State Route 76 and State Route 376 on the north side of the road. There are also scenic lookouts only minutes away in several of the small communities surrounding Branson.

Another excellent panoramic view is provided at Point Lookout on the campus of College of the Ozarks. Located atop a bluff overlooking Lake Taneycomo, it provides a unique vista of both Branson’s fall foliage and the narrow winding lake; a simply breathtaking sight. While at the College, you might plan to eat at the Keeter Center, famous for their massive Sunday brunch that features food raised or grown on campus. Include a visit to Edwards Grist Mill and one of the area’s best kept secrets, the Ralph Foster Museum, affectionately known as the Smithsonian of the Ozarks. The museum is home to one of the only remaining Beverly Hillbillies’ trucks featured on the beloved television show.

Branson Tourism Center’s Tammy Johnson will also tell you that a great way to see wide-ranging views of Branson’s fall foliage is aboard the Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake, or on the Branson Scenic Railway, a real old-fashioned steam engine train.

Legendary double dose of Elvis with Buddy, Whitney, Johnny & Blues Brothers

Dean Z performing during a recent performance of Legends in Concert.

BRANSON, Mo., September 25, 2013 – The new Fall schedule for Legends in Concert, the “World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show,” will feature tributes to Buddy Holly, Whitney Houston, Johnny Cash and The Blues Brothers™ as well as, a double-dose of Elvis. Running through October 31 it will include, for the first time ever in a single Legends in Concert production, two tributes to “The King” with each representing a different period in the his career.

Both of the Elvis tributes will be presented by tribute artists who have won the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. The show will open with the 1950s “Rockabilly” years presented by Dean Z, the reigning 2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist and a resident member of the Branson Legends in Concert cast. Bill Cherry, the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist will be the closing act of the show and highlight “the King’s concert years performing such hits as ‘Suspicious Minds,’ ‘Burning Love’ and ‘American Trilogy.’”

In a recent review of this show this writer wrote, “Legends in Concert would be great entertainment with just the mini concerts of its ‘superstar’ impersonators. With the addition of colorful costuming, the band and dancers all seamlessly choreographed into the performances of these superstars the show becomes an outstanding entertainment production and experience.

“Legends in Concert is to tribute shows what the Indianapolis 500 is to auto racing… It is the perfect illustration of why Legends in Concert has been around for 30 years and has millions of fans.”

For tickets or additional information on Legends in Concert or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s 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 calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.



Material Connection

Daniel O’Donnell brings festive international show to Branson starting Nov. 1

Daniel O'Donnell.

BRANSON, Mo., September 24, 2013 – “What an honor it is for Branson that that Daniel O’Donnell choose to keep it as one of the cities on his reduced road tour,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The fact that he will be performing at the beautiful Andy Williams Moon River Theatre is not only the fulfillment of one of O’Donnell’s early Branson wishes, but adds a special dynamic to the total entertainment experience provided by the Daniel O’Donnell Show,” she continued.

At the October 2012 press conference, when it was announced that he would be at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre starting in 2013, O’Donnell related a story about his his first visit to Branson in the mid 90s, when he and his manager came to Branson to investigate the possibility of him doing shows in Branson. While on that visit they went to many theaters and saw a lot of great shows. One of those was Andy Williams in concert at the Moon River Theatre after which he said to his manager, “Maybe one day I’ll get to do shows in that theatre.”

Starting November 1 and running through December 7 that’s exactly what will be happening as O’Donnell presents his festive International show in the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. Incorporating his charismatic and engaging style, he will present a blend of traditional Irish ballads, country favorites, and traditional gospel with an Irish twist that shows why he has sold millions of records and has been “a household name across Ireland and Great Britain for decade.” Appearing with O’Donnell will be guest star Mary Duff, one of Irelands’ top female vocalists.

In the United States O’Donnell has stared in several Public Broadcasting Network Specials  as well as  charting 18 albums in the Top 20 of Billboard’s World Music Album Chart.  In 2011, O’Donnell became the first artist to have an album in the UK charts for 25 consecutive weeks.

For additional information for the Daniel O’Donnell Show or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s 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 calling 1-800-785-1550.



Material Connection


A “grand” Branson lodging experience

Grand Plaza Hotel

BRANSON, Mo., September 21, 2013 – “Even in Branson, with all its shows, attractions, shopping and everything else there is to do an old travelers axiom applies,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The choice of lodging has a tremendous impact on the overall quality of the travel experience. Our customers, both individuals and groups, have been very impressed with the lodging and services provided by the Grand Plaza Hotel.”

The 200 room suite hotel is a great choice for visitors coming to Branson because of its location, value, family friendly amenities and the variety of accommodations it offers. It is a perfect illustration of the term “location, location, location.” Located about a block north of the famed “Branson Strip,” The Grand Plaza Hotel provides the best of both worlds, the quiet of not being directly on the strip and quick access to the strip when desired. It is also has easy access to Branson’s alternate colored routes to help avoid the traffic congestion on Highway 76. This can be extremely helpful coming into or leaving Branson, going to Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing and many other places.

One of Branson’s largest and most popular discount factory outlet malls Tanger Outlets is located within walking distance. The Kings Palace, home of some of Branson’s most popular shows including the Twelve Irish Tenors, New Jersey Nights and Christmas in Hollywood is also within easy walking distance.

Grand Plaza's indoor pool.

The Grand Plaza is completely nonsmoking and offers a wide choice of accommodations. With its “Standard Queen Room,” with two queen sized beds, “Family Units” having two bedrooms and bathrooms and “Honey Moon/ Executive Suites” with a separate closed off sitting areas, the Grand Plaza can meet just about every lodging need. The hotels amenities include a game room, indoor pool, sauna, fitness room and hot tub. In addition, the hotel offers a full hot buffet breakfast every morning including cereal, fruit, waffles, breads, rolls, eggs, ham or sausage, and biscuits and gravy.

Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales, Branson Tourism Center said, “We love the location and the overall experience our groups receive at the Grand Plaza.” She points out that that the Grand Plaza has a number of different sized meeting rooms from those big enough to accommodate a group of 175 to those for smaller groups or breakout rooms. Group leaders or planners can reach Woods by calling 1-800-268-4014 or through the Branson Tourism Center’s Groups website www.BransonGroups.com.

Johnson points out that the Grand Plaza Hotel is a great blend of value, luxury, amenities and location and will enhance anyone’s Branson experience. For more information about the Grand Plaza Hotel please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.