Greetings loyal reader(s) and welcome to the latest edition of the Branson Beat, your home for all the news on the Branson entertainment scene.As always, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend me on Facebook at facebook.com/joshua.clark.961556.
Now, let’s get to it.
‘Big Names’ in Branson this week
Over the next few weeks, Branson will find itself home to a bevy of “big stars,” and things get kicked off Saturday night with Tanya Tucker, one of country music’s most popular artists of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, performing alongside opening act EmiSunshine at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre.
Tucker’s first single, 1972’s “Delta Dawn,” was a Top 10 hit and her signature song. Her biggest hit tunes include “Love Me Like You Used To” “If It Don’t Come Easy,” “It’s A Little Too Late,” “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field of Stone),” “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” and many more.
The following day, Sunday, country music hitmakers Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee return to the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre for their “Urban Cowboy Reunion Show.”
Gilley’s career has spanned more than 50 years and includes 17 No. 1 hits, including “Room Full of Roses,” “Window Up Above,” “Stand By Me,” “Paradise Tonight,” “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” “Bring it On Home” and more. Gilley was also the owner of the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk,” which was featured in the film “Urban Cowboy,” a box office hit starring John Travolta and Deborah Winger. Gilley also recorded several songs used in the soundtrack.
Lee, Gilley’s “Urban Cowboy” co-star, was responsible for the massively popular “Lookin’ for Love,” which became his signature hit and first Gold Record, spending three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music Singles Chart and reached as high as No. 2 on Billboard’s Pop Music Singles Charts. He followed that with “One In A Million,” “Bet Your Heart On Me,” “The Yellow Rose” and “Cherokee Fiddle.”
Showtimes for the “Urban Cowboy Reunion Show” is 8 p.m. Sunday and Mondays, and 3 p.m. Tuesdays.
For more, visit gilleys.com.
Monday, the Starlite Theatre will kick off its fall edition of “Larry’s Country Diner Live,” a stage show presentation of the popular RFD-TV show that draws more than 1.5 million viewers every week.
The shows will feature Larry Black and his cast of regulars including Keith Bilbrey, Sheriff Jimmy Capps, Renae the waitress and Nadine the avid church lady, as well as special musical guests T. Graham Brown on Monday, the “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent Tuesday, Gene Watson Wednesday, former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune Thursday, and The Isaacs wrapping things up Friday.
These shows always sell out, and they’re a whole lot of fun.
For more information and tickets, visit starlitetheatre.com.
Looking ahead a little bit, next Friday, Sept. 22, Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap, the man responsible for 40 No. 1 hits, will take the stage with CMA and ACM winner David Frizzell at the Welk Resort Theatre.
Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bill Medley and partner Bucky Heard bring the Righteous Brothers to the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre. Medley and Heard have been headlining Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas for the past two years. This is the first Righteous Brothers show in Branson.
I saw the show last year in Las Vegas, and I was completely blown away. I can’t wait for my Loyal Reader(s) to experience this righteousness in person.
Dennis Quaid & the Sharks in November
The month of November just got a whole lot more interesting in the eyes of yours truly as actor, director, producer, entertainer and front man Dennis Quaid , along with his band, the Sharks, recently announced they’d be performing at the Mansion Theatre this fall.
Quaid and the Sharks have been bringing their style of “rock ‘n’ roll country soul” music to the masses since 2000, after he was a guest member in the Harry Dean Stanton Band. Quaid was soon approached by one of the band’s members to start up their own band. Quaid, who had not done music in quite some time, agreed to the idea, and soon after Dennis Quaid and the Sharks were born.
Since then, the band has gone around playing live shows in many L.A. clubs, as well as various other clubs across the country. They perform many original songs, as well as cover tunes like Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.” Quaid performed this song, as well as many other Lewis tunes, in the 1989 film of the same name.
Not only is “Great Balls of Fire” one of my favorite movies of all time, Quaid’s performance ranks as one of my personal favorites in cinema history, along with Jeff Bridges as “The Dude” and John Goodman as “Walter” in “The Big Lebowski,” George Clooney as “Ulysses McGill” in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and Harrison Ford as “Indiana Jones.”
Quaid is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, joining Jamie James, Tom Slick, Ken Stange, and Tom Walsh.
According to the release, Dennis Quaid and The Sharks is the first of the Mansion Theatre’s Actor Musician Series, which will feature more exciting Actors with a musical side in 2018.
Tickets for Dennis Quaid and The Sharks go on sale Monday, Sept.18 at 9 a.m. Reservations may be made by phone at 417-335-2000 or online at TheMansionTheatre.com