Branson, Missouri, Remains the Live Music Show Capital of the World

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to see quite a few stars in Branson. Most were past their prime but singers I would have given arm and a leg to see when I was a teenager. I saw the late Paul Revere, Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Vee, Brian Hyland and the Beach Boys, to name just a few.

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While Branson still attracts big names, they aren’t as abundant as they used to be, and most don’t perform as regularly as they once did. However, Branson is still the live music show capital of the world, offering more than 100 different shows. Many of today’s regular performers are lesser known or tribute artists. However, the quality of Branson shows remains high, and all are family friendly. On a recent trip to Branson, my husband and I saw three shows, all of which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Clay Cooper’s Country Express at the Clay Cooper Theatre, combines singing, dancing and comedy for a great evening of entertainment. Clay Cooper was born into a musical family and began his professional singing career when he was 14 years old.

Clay CooperThe family tradition is continuing, as the show includes performances by Clay’s wife, Tina, and their sons, Colt and Caden.

Clay and Tina CoopoerOther performers include several singers and dancers, comedian Matt Gumm, and trick roper Johnny Lonestar, who now has an apprentice.

Dancers at Clay Cooper TheatreJohnny LonestarJohnny Lonestars sonEleven-year-old Ezrah Noelle puts on quite a performance, singing some of Shirley Temple’s hits.

Ezrah NoelleDick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, where we saw so many great artists in the past, is now home to Legends in Concert. Each show includes five tribute artists. There is always a Blues Brothers duo and an Elvis, but the remaining three rotate seasonally.

Blues BrothersYoung ElvisOld ElvisOn the night we saw the show, Michael Buble, Marilyn Monroe and George Strait tribute artists were scheduled. However, George Strait was replaced by a Kenny Chesney tribute artist, who had been part of the summer schedule.

While all of the artists were entertaining, Marilyn Monroe was my personal favorite, as she included some comedy in her act, involving a few reluctant audience members.

Marilyn MonroeOn our last evening in Branson we saw Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies at the King’s Castle Theatre. The gentlemen performed part of the show, the ladies another, and they sang some songs together. The selections ranged from traditional Irish songs like Danny Boy, to pop music and even opera. All of the performers had beautiful voices and put on a terrific show.

Unfortunately, they don’t allow photographs at this show, but you can get snippets of their performance on their web site.

You’ll find the schedule of all Branson shows listed on Explore Branson, the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau web site. For the best seats order your tickets a few weeks before your trip. To save a few dollars, wait until you get to Branson and pick up a discount coupon booklet found in many hotel lobbies. Most shows offer a discount of a few dollars with a coupon.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the three shows described above.

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