From humble beginnings in Daishoji, Ishikawa, Japan, Shoji Tabuchi began learning to play the violin at age 7, per his mother's wishes, under the Suzuki Method. During his college years
in the mid 1960s, he learns that Roy Acuff, of Grand Ole Opry fame, is performing in Osaka, Shoji attends the concert and is honored to go back stage and meet the "King of Country Music." Acuff's music inspires him to pursue
country/bluegrass music. While in college, he formed a band called The Bluegrass Ramblers, which led to them winning a national contest in Japan. With just his violin and $500, he set off for America! Now performing his
28th Season in Branson, the "King of Branson," continues to draw crowds of loyal fans from around the globe! Seeing Shoji's theatre at night, and upon entering, brings to mind a Vegas theatre, draped in neon, sparkle,
Fun Trivia: Some people joke that having an indoor bathroom is high class in the Ozarks, but Shoji's bathrooms are a special feature for visitors. Named one of America's Top 10 Best Bathrooms for numerous years, and featured on the Travel Channel's "Extreme Bathrooms." The Ladies' Powder Room features 1890's Empire Period decor, fresh orchids, onyx sinks, stained glass, and crystal chandeliers. The Gentlemen's Lounge include a mahogany billiard table, and black lion-head sinks from Italy.
The Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre (formerly the Moon River Theatre) is one of Branson's premier performance centers,
featuring star power from all over! Completed in 1992, the Moon River theatre was the first theatre ever featured in Architectural Digest. The exterior has elements that were fabricated from a section of rock formations found
along Missouri's Highway 65, and the landscaping is richly engulfed with waterfalls, koi-filled ponds, ferns, and trees that are native to the Ozarks allowing it to "blend in" with its surroundings. The inside of the theatre incorporates
Trees and plants are seen throughout the theatre's three lobbies. Oak floors are accompanied by African ribbon-striped mahogany walls that are filled with pictures of the Andy Williams Television Show. When it first opened, it was unique
because Andy's show was the first non-country act to open in the then mostly-country music town. It was said he was discouraged by many back home in California from making such a bold move, but that was what he wanted. Other non-country
entertainers like Bobby Vinton, Tony Orlando, Wayne Newton, and the Osmond Brothers soon followed. Carrying on the tradition of the late and much-loved singer of popular music, Andy Williams, famous sibling acts - The Lennons and
The Osmonds - headline one of Bransons hottest holiday happenings Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza!
Fun TV Trivia: Mr. Williams and his theater were featured on three episodes of the soap opera As the World Turns in July 2007 where several characters went to Branson for a concert of "Gwen Munson" held in the Moon River Theatre. The Simpsons featured Williams at his Moon River Theater in an episode titled "Bart on the Road". Nelson Muntz is an Andy Williams fan, and in the episode he forces the gang to make a detour to Branson so he could see his idol. He is reduced to tears as Williams performs "Moon River" during the second encore.