Story by Richard Freihofer, Editor and Publisher
What’s a show got that draws enough crowds to keep it going for a ridiculous fifty long years?
ure, it’s got what it says it’s got—country music and side- splitting comedy, but obviously something more is going on here—and it must have been going on pretty much ever since those four brothers of the family Mabe rst got the notion to put on a show. Unbelievably, that was back in 1959, when Eisenhower was president, Elvis was in the army and Johnny Horton’s Battle of New Orleans was on the radio! S
Bald Knobbers – Gangs of masked horseman who back in the 1880s, gathered on treeless hills in the Branson area and rode by night rendering vigilante-style justice.
Members of the Mabes: Left to right, Denton, Joy Bilyeu-Steele, Brent, Brandon, Patty and Tim
Photo by Jim Lersch
50th Anniversary Events
Special events will be held during the Baldknobbers show throughout the 2009 season. Visit the Baldknobbers website for event updates! www.Baldknobbers.com
and bring forth their own children—they’ve witnessed the Baldknobber family’s joys and sorrows through the decades, both cast members and audiences drawing strength from each other during their life’s journey.
e show’s two hours of country music and comedy come
fast and furious and is nothing less than brilliant. It’s an eye opening revelation to discover that America’s most talented performers aren’t the ones the media presents—instead we
nd them here—performances honed to a perfection that can
only come from satisfying audiences day after day for over half a century. at being said, the freshness and professionalism doesn’t come from experience alone. One of the Mabe family values is to make each performance the best show the audience has ever seen. e result—an audience in the hands of masters such as these is literally played like a ddle.
e show moves smooth and seamlessly, presenting us a
diversity of treats with all the energy and pizzazz of a premiere
performance. It may have hit “the big ve-oh”—but by no means is this is a timeworn museum piece! It kicks like a calf busting out of the stall! We get bluegrass breakdowns, hot licks and boot- scootin’ country—sweet mountain harmonies from a trio of pretty ladies, we get cowboy crooners and power anthems. We get a full blown Gospel quartet, razor sharp comedy in the guise of hillbilly half-wits, we get moving tributes to our veterans and The Mabe Family’s 50-Year Phenomenon Now here we are fty years later and counting. Branson has over 100 other shows to choose from and the crowds are still ocking to e Baldknobbers amboree six nights a week, nine months out of the year! Incredible! founding fathers in a rousing, time-traveling sing-along! It’s an emotional high for many who have loved this show and kept in touch with it through the years, returning again and again like old friends in for a visit to share a few laughs and be inspired anew. ey’ve watched children in the show grow to adulthood suddenly a chorus of fresh new voices chime in, followed quick by an array of nineteen amped up pickers and players. Up goes the curtain and we are met by a dazzling display of swirling lights, sparkling costumes, singers, players and smiling faces. e Baldknobbers 2009 have taken the stage to join their is ftieth anniversary year the show opens with an old timey lm of the original Baldknobbers performing that bluegrass standard “Rollin’ in my Sweet Babys’ Arms.” Soon the audience is clapping along to the Baldknobbers beat when Continued on page 26
Branson Church Getaway Planner
Spring / Summer 2009