In Branson MO, there is no shortage of great entertainment on stage, but did you know that many of those shows are actually family shows? As Branson performers ourselves, we would like to take a moment to share with you some of our favorite Branson Missouri Family shows. We will be looking at the Duttons, the Hughes, the Petersens, the Haygoods, and of course the Presleys. We will also be answering some of the questions submitted by our viewers in our brand new segment, the mail bag.
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Matthew Boyce 0:00
We're introducing you to five brands and performing families you'll want to get to know off and onstage.
C.J. Newsom 0:06
That's right. And also we'll answer some mailbag questions you won't want to miss.
Matthew Boyce 0:11
Hi, I'm Matthew Boyce.
C.J. Newsom 0:13
And I'm CJ Newsom, and welcome to brands as best shows,
Matthew Boyce 0:17
we've been performing in Branson for years. So we're excited to introduce to you five of our favorite performing families.
C.J. Newsom 0:23
That's right. And they're not just amazing onstage, but offstage as well.
Matthew Boyce 0:27
Alright, so let's start with one of my favorites. The Dutton family.
C.J. Newsom 0:29
Ah, yes, great family and my favorite one of my favorites to actually,
Matthew Boyce 0:34
their theater is actually located on the 76th trip. Branson's main thoroughfare, and they've been forming a here in town for 25 years. Wow.
C.J. Newsom 0:43
That's incredible. Yeah. And they do have a very unique style of playing instruments to that landed them on America's Got Talent, and Nickelodeon's America's most musical family.
Matthew Boyce 0:52
Now, did you hear how they got started as musicians? Yes. Didn't involve cows. Well, well, their mom Sheila had heard from some dear friends that kids who worked the hardest as adults came from farms. Her friends say milking the cows every day and working hard as a family helped kids become smart and hardworking adults. Her husband, Dean, on the other hand, was a professor of economics. So he said the farm idea was out the window. Well, instead of milking cows, Sheila thought of playing music, specifically violins. She started them on violin lessons when they were three and five and made sure they practiced every morning. As the kids got older, they embraced instruments Other than that, so as a result, convincing dad to dust off his old guitar. Mom got her first bass lesson when she was 35. And the rest of they say is history.
C.J. Newsom 1:42
That's amazing. That's a great story. And all that hard work is really paid off to in a fantastic Branson show. Here's an example of what you'll hear at the Dutton theater.
That was great. Okay, so here's a question for you. Do you know who owned the theater before them?
Matthew Boyce 2:15
You know, I know is boxcar Willie, but I'm really not too familiar with them.
C.J. Newsom 2:19
Okay, to be fair, you are you're pretty young. So boxcar Willie was the 60th, member of the grand old Opry, and a multiple gold and platinum recording artist. He was known for his unique singing style, and his ability to mimic the sound of a train horn. And he was also known as the world's favorite hobo. He also performed on quite a few shows, he performed on Family Feud, The Gong Show Nashville now and he Hall. And then after spending more than a decade on the road, doing more than 300 shows a year, boxcar and his wife moved to Branson, where they purchased a theater that the Duttons now own and performing.
Matthew Boyce 3:00
Now, they didn't just stop at the theater business. They actually own the Dutton family in right behind their theater.
C.J. Newsom 3:06
Yeah, that's right. And it's really a nice place to stay to. It's right there on the 76th trip with back road access as well. And we put a link in the show description down below. But also
Matthew Boyce 3:16
Abby's tourist trap right next door full of great fudge ice cream and like the name says tourist trap items like brands and T shirts, mugs the like.
C.J. Newsom 3:25
Yeah, that's right. And they didn't stop there either. You can catch them in Mesa, Arizona, in their theater from December through April.
Matthew Boyce 3:33
So you can see them in Branson, Mesa, Arizona, but did you know you can actually see them every day in your living room every week performing?
C.J. Newsom 3:40
Yeah, that's right. You can catch them on RFD TV in their show. The Duttons through the years through their
Matthew Boyce 3:46
show follows the Duttons journey from a young family having fun together in their spare time to one of the country's most beloved entertainment groups.
C.J. Newsom 3:55
Yes. And you didn't catch him Tuesdays and Fridays on RFD TV.
Matthew Boyce 4:00
Some of you might have heard that the Duttons had a small fire on July 13 of this year. No one was at the theater at the time, and no one was hurt. But unfortunately, the smoke damage was extensive. So the show had to close temporarily.
C.J. Newsom 4:12
Yeah. You know, there's one thing I really love about Branston shows and entertainers is the fact that we really care for one another. I know my husband, Chris and I we reached out to the Dentons and many other theaters in town did as well.
Matthew Boyce 4:24
Yes. And Yakov actually had some great time slots available for them. And he jokingly said that he really thought Vladimir Putin was responsible for the fire at the Duttons. So as the least he could do to invite them to his theater. He wanted to help out. Hopefully they will be back at their theater soon for sure by the start of their 2023 season here in town.
C.J. Newsom 4:44
Wow. You know, so the debt does have four brothers and sisters performing on stage with all their parents and kids. And you would think that would be the biggest performing family and I thought it would be but can't forget about the huge family. So they really do have a big fan. Emily onstage Yeah, yeah, there are over 50 amazing singers and dancers musicians on stage every day. It's a lot of family it really? Yeah. Now that's not how they got started you right?
Matthew Boyce 5:12
Yeah, I actually do know part of this. So they started in Branson, Silver Dollar City, the theme park here in town. Yeah, right.
C.J. Newsom 5:19
Yeah, that's right. I remember seeing them out there. They were really one of my favorite acts out there.
Matthew Boyce 5:24
So as I know from that, I guess, after they were asked to perform as special guests at the theme park, one of the five brothers said, if we're going to be performing as a performance group, we just might as well do this for our full time profession and go for it. Yeah. So they sold the family business. It was a fence company that timed out in Utah. That took a big leap.
C.J. Newsom 5:42
Yeah, that's right. And after a bid at Silver Dollar City, they purchased the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater right across the street from the Dutton theater. Now, you do know who Roy Clark is, right? Yes, absolutely. Okay. Now, Roy Clark wasn't the only performer in his theater. He would also bring in stars Mel Tillis, Mickey Gilley, Glen Campbell and Jim Stafford. In fact, that's how a bunch of them ended up landing and brands.
Matthew Boyce 6:08
I guess you could say that the Hughes Theatre is a bit of Branson history that
C.J. Newsom 6:11
Yeah, that's right. And the Hughes family has continued in the tradition of bringing great shows to that stage. They've produced shows that will appeal to any audience member
Matthew Boyce 6:22
you right they have their main show, the huge music show which covers really it all from pop, rock, r&b, country, classical, Broadway, Great Patriotic, and even gospel music. Here's a clip of what you'll see at the Houston gents.
Unknown Speaker 6:34
This is the moment you waited for. construction in the dark, you sweat soaking through the flow buried in your bones as a Knick that you can't ignore taking your breath, stealing your mind. And all that was real,
Unknown Speaker 6:53
is left behind. So bad it is coming for your running edge. It's only this moment. Okay. Welcome to your fever dream camps. You're
C.J. Newsom 7:03
getting close. Yes, that's right. Me and my family. We went to go see the show last year and it was a bunch of fun. It really is neat seeing all those performers on stage at once. And the guys are super talented. You won't want to miss them. You know,
Matthew Boyce 7:16
they have the Hughes brothers country and barbecue. This theater is so cool, because you can see a great show and eat before the show starts right there. This show is a perfect example. Great barbecue. Good old country western music backed by a live band, you'll have a blast watching
C.J. Newsom 7:29
it. Yeah, that's right. My my kids were so insistent, they really kept asking to see the Revive show that I'm so glad we did. The show is produced by the brothers but really focuses on the talent of the Hughes kids and they really are very talented.
Matthew Boyce 7:43
And their other shows only available November in December. And that, of course is the Hughes Christmas show which has been voted the best Christmas show over 14 times.
C.J. Newsom 7:52
And what fun they I mean, this is a lot of fun. And fact they always have a new baby Jesus to play in their production. So it's
Matthew Boyce 8:00
not we would like to take a moment and recognize our sponsoring theater, the Americana theater right in the heart of the 76 strip. I want to tell you quickly about some other great family shows we have here in the building. You know I love talking about awesome 80s Because, you know it's something brand new to Branson, something different, you know, demographics are changing all the time here in town. We're getting younger families, younger people and awesome 80s is great. It's music that never dies. Great artists Michael Jackson, Madonna, you Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, you know hits from all those great bands journey. Oh my gosh, you know, we hear these songs every single
C.J. Newsom 8:35
day when it reaches multiple generations two, that's what I like about absolutely the high energy
Matthew Boyce 8:38
dance show lights, video screens going the whole time. It's nonstop energy for two hours. Awesome. 80s right here at the Americana theater. But I also have to talk about a great family friendly show your show CJ Newsom is classic country and comedy. I could
C.J. Newsom 8:54
be a little partial but a great classic comeback by an amazing band. Yeah. And then we've got the fantastic mix of just great classics that you know, and then also a whole bunch of comedy mixed in because you need a laugh with 10 Time comedian of the year Terry Wayne Sanders doing what he does best and bring a smile to people's faces.
Matthew Boyce 9:13
If you guys haven't seen Terry yet. We actually have an episode previous to this one if you want to scroll back, haven't seen it yet. Terry Sanders we did a great interview with him long form interview go up there and check it out. You really don't want to miss that one. And also something different this year to Elvis story of a king if you saw the Elvis movie in theaters this past year. We go through the full life story of Elvis Yeah, we don't miss a beat. We talked about all his high points from the 50s all the way through the 70s. So if you're an Elvis fan, or if you want to learn more about him, we would love to have you come out and check out Elvis. Check out all the shows here at the Americana theater. I think there's not a not a bad show in the room. Especially all of our satellites. They they're all family friendly. I think you'll enjoy every single one. Now we want you to come back and check out all the shows here at the Americana theater. So if you go on to our website to order tickets, you can type in the promo code BBs. To repeat it for grandson's best shows BBs go on there, you'll actually get 50% off your tickets to come see any of our shows here. That's right, the Americana.
C.J. Newsom 10:08
That's right. So if our audience isn't looking for the big productions, Matthew, what show would you suggest?
Matthew Boyce 10:14
Definitely the Petersons. There are like they're performing in the little operating theatre, which is located in the IMAX entertainment complex. Many people don't realize how unique the IMAX complex IMAX complex is. In addition to shops, restaurants, movies, there's a hidden gem called The Little Opry theater 200 seats, right in the back great concert venue.
C.J. Newsom 10:34
Absolutely. That's right. That was actually the first stage that I really performed on back in 2000. Really, it's a wonderful place to see an up close and personal show. And that's what
Matthew Boyce 10:43
the Petersons deliver on each time they hit the stage that are bluegrass and gospel group you won't want to miss. Here's a great clip of them right
Unknown Speaker 10:49
here. This is the Petersons a family bluegrass band performing live and onstage. Growing up with their dad in the military. They started playing bluegrass to keep them close as a family and fell in love with the music. Now you can see them in person performing traditional bluegrass standards, gospel favorites and their own original songs. The sibling humor will have audiences laughing and feeling just like a part of the family. Visit Peterson band.com For more information, the Petersons Branson's bluegrass show.
C.J. Newsom 11:20
I just love their music. You know, it really is the heart of the Ozark Mountains. So, you know, Matt, do you know why the Petersons started to play bluegrass? Right? Oh, tell me tell me all about it. Yeah, so their dad was in the Air Force. And they moved around a lot, you know, and their travels around the country gave them a chance to see some of the different historical sights. And while they were at the Gettysburg Battlefield, there was a bluegrass festival going on. And their mom grew up listening to bluegrass, and their dad was a huge fan of it as well. And that festival really changed our lives or dad just sat around with the family. And he wanted to, he decided that he he didn't want to sit around watching TV or playing video games with the family. But he wanted to play music with the family. And so that's what he did. He bought Ellen, a banjo. Right after that festival also.
Matthew Boyce 12:14
Yeah, bluegrass caused me to it's such a great staple here in town. I think it's something this show is fantastic. If you like bluegrass and gospel, I really think that you know, this is the one for you to go check out. Absolutely.
C.J. Newsom 12:23
And the family is just as nice as they can be. Many people discovered them on YouTube. And then we put a link in our show notes as well as some that can definitely be put on your musty list.
Matthew Boyce 12:36
No isn't one of the Petersons married to a member of the family are about to talk about now.
C.J. Newsom 12:40
Yeah. So Ellen Peterson is married to Michael Haygood. But I'm not going to miss the opportunity to talk to you about the amazing proposal that happened. Great. Okay. So, Ellen and Michael had been dating since 2016. And after three years, Michael decided that it was time to propose and classic Michael Haygood fashion, as you're gonna see here pretty soon. He went all out. And so the proposal was a complete surprise to Ellen. Okay, Michael is a certified pilot and he told her that they were going to be flying down to meet her dad and uncle for dinner, down in Arkansas, at Gaskins White River resort. Okay, so this was one of their favorite spots, kind of sentimental to the whole Pierson family, in fact, because that's where their parents went on their first date. Also, the Peterson kids were young when their dad would also fly them down to eat ice cream and watch planes take off and land on them on the grass runway. So I mean, it's really just hugely sentimental. Now, Michael's brother, Patrick helped with the proposal surprise, and by pretending to kind of steal their plane away to lure Elon out to the perfect spot in the middle of the runway. And there you have it. That's where Michael got down on one knee and asked Elon to marry him. And no surprise, she said, Yes.
Matthew Boyce 14:07
Wow. So now is Elon going to join the Hey goods now or
C.J. Newsom 14:10
not? Yeah, they probably get this question all the time. Now. She's not leaving your family band, nor is she joining the Hey, good, but they're joining families, of course, but not shows.
Matthew Boyce 14:20
Well, I guess this is a perfect segue into the Haygood family now, they're currently performing at the clay Cooper Theatre on the 76th trip right across from the Titanic Museum. But that's not where they started.
C.J. Newsom 14:30
No, no, much like the US they started out at Silver Dollar City. Whereas the Hughes brothers were pretty established musicians when they started out at Silver. Let's just say that the hay goods were pretty much just getting their beginning. So in 1993, the family moved to Branson, Missouri and began performing shows daily at Silver Dollar City. And for eight years the family grew up at the theme park I mean performing six shows a day, six days a week while taking music lessons, dance lessons and completing their schoolwork as well. And then really, they grew a huge following at Silver Dollar City. And so back in 2001 day good brothers decided it was time to take a giant leap and, and open their own show on the Branson strip. And they will tell you how hard it was to make that transition. Everyone sees their crowds today and things so they had it so easy. Well, when they first opened at Music City Center, they were playing the 2030 maybe even 50 people to start with and now understand they'd been used to full capacity crowds at Silver Dollar City too, and, and they now they were playing to handfuls and couldn't even get a steady while they couldn't get a steady paycheck from a theme park. So luckily they stuck with it and they began to rebuild their crowd. Over time and and now most of their shows sell out.
Matthew Boyce 15:56
You will definitely want to see the Hagen's their show is known for its special effects, amazing choreography and overwhelming production. There's wonderful show to see right here in Branson, Missouri. Here's a clip of what you'll experience at the Show.
C.J. Newsom 17:11
Now last but not least on some of our favorite family shows is the Presley's talk about
Matthew Boyce 17:16
Branson history now, from my understanding they started by playing in caves.
C.J. Newsom 17:23
Yeah, you know, that was very popular back in the day before there was air conditioning, right. So the cave stayed really nice and cool during the hot summer nights. And then naturally, it had a great sound to it too. So it was a no brainer since the Ozark hills were just covered in caves.
Matthew Boyce 17:40
But eventually they outgrew the caves and purchased a bit of property right outside of Branson. Now, CJ, did you ever hear how they chose the land that now is the heart of the 72nd strip? No, actually no. So while Rumor has it that they would sit in their truck and count cars that pass by different areas and this particular part of the strip of basketball had the most cars.
C.J. Newsom 17:59
Okay, really, that's interesting.
Matthew Boyce 18:01
They weren't sure it was going to make it. So instead of building the theater, like a traditional theater with this a slip towards the stage, they actually built it completely flat. That way if the cilia didn't take off, they could rent out the space as actually indoor boat storage.
C.J. Newsom 18:17
Good for Branson that they were right. They were a success. And what is so great about their show is a true it's a true Branson show, as the singers a live band. And of course, most importantly, the comedians. And these aren't just any comedians, they are dyed in the wool hillbillies. I mean, Brant, when Branson got started, hillbillies are extremely popular. And you even had shows like The Beverly Hillbillies. So it was a great idea and it still is today.
Matthew Boyce 18:45
Well, the Presley family is a show to see and here's what you will see and hear when you visit the Presley theater. A bunch of Smurfs
Unknown Speaker 19:29
in those blue coats.
C.J. Newsom 19:36
Wow. So that is five great shows that you can see in Branson, the data's the hues, the Petersons, the Haygood and the Presley's and we've just scratched the surface. Now I
Matthew Boyce 19:46
understand we have a few questions from the mailbag today. Yeah, that's
C.J. Newsom 19:50
right. We have a Jeffrey from Santa Barbara. So he's asking Matthew what? What do people mean here? There's No Business Like Show Business.
Matthew Boyce 20:02
Okay, so I would say No Business Like Show Business so good and bad. I think you can take away from this. The good. I think you see a lot of great stories coming out of the theater and coming out of people you meet. And the experience, you get to feel the lights and feel the energy from the crowds and you know, you're touching someone every time you walk on this stage. But just in the fair share of good, you know, show business has its reputation for having some bad moments to you. You meet some of the wrong people get wrapped up in the wrong with the wrong situations, the wrong crowds. And, you know, you really can go down the wrong path and people in entertainment can be pretty psyched, but in Branson, I feel like a lot of that kind of fades away. I have met so many great people since coming to Branson, some of my best friends, some great performers, some great fans that are now I consider my family. So really in my eyes, there really is no Business Like Show Business because you can't have a job. Meet a new family, some great friends all in a day's work. You know, right here. It's incredible really is No Business Like Show Business. Now CJ looks at you got a question from Sarah from Marshfield. Ask how can I learn to yodel?
C.J. Newsom 21:15
Matthew Boyce 21:16
that's a loaded question. It
C.J. Newsom 21:17
certainly is. Yeah. You know, I don't know, per se how you can learn to yodel. But I can tell you how I learned to yodel. And that's really, through mimicry. I mean, I've always thought of myself as kind of a Mocking Bird. Whenever I would hear a song Come on the radio, I would try and emulate that probably similar to, you know, your imitators and Tribute Artists, basically. But I would always try and mimic that sound. And really, with with practice, and no social life, I was able to accomplish the yodeling effect, actually, at first, it sounded a little awkward. But my mother, my folks kept in encouraging me that I was on the on the right track, because I didn't quite know what I was doing at first. So I would just say a lot of support from your family. And, and lots of practice and lots of weird what we don't, what we have now is the internet. And I tell you, you know, there's a whole lot of people you can learn from on the internet just by listening and, and practicing. So that's my advice. Yeah. Let's see, we have a Spencer from Rhode Island who asked, Should I go to college and learn how to perform in shows? Or should I just do it? Okay.
Matthew Boyce 22:37
This is a very loaded question, Spencer, I'm gonna tell you about it. So I went to college for two years. It was in a four year program, two years in, I decided that I wanted to learn in the field. And I just booked a touring show when I was 18. So from 18 to 20, I was taking classes while trying to maintain my touring schedule. And it was hard for me. And I felt like I was learning more on the road than what I was really doing in my classroom. So I made the difficult decision to break away from college. Now at the time, I didn't know if that was the best choice for me or not. I really had no clue it could have been here nor there. But I just started working. I took every gig I could said yes. I said yes. I said yes, I learned everything I could. And then when I got the call about Branson, I decided that I should jump on the opportunity did a one off show here in town and learned that I love to Branson moves down about a month later, I got a job here at the Americana theater. And I've been here ever since. And I wouldn't replace the opportunities that I've you know, I wouldn't trade them for the world. I really learned a lot. So I would say if you have the opportunity to work in the field, do or do some kind of trade program within performing or music, I would totally go for that. If you want to go the college route, and you have the means to and you have a family that is totally willing and supportive, or wants to help you pay or you have great means to have a great scholarship. I mean, take the free vacation, buddy, go do it. Go learn it, go do it. But at the end of the day, for me, I'm I'm really hands on. I think just going out and doing it was my best way. But everyone's different. You have to really ask yourself what you want to do. So that's my short answer. I guess what I think you should do. Yeah,
C.J. Newsom 24:31
that's a good answer.
Matthew Boyce 24:32
Let me see we got we got another one or two this is Katie girl 2010. asked how do you balance your onstage career with your home life? Now you don't allow?
C.J. Newsom 24:44
Yes. These are some tough questions. Yeah. It can I would agree with your answer actually. Yeah, sometimes you don't I mean, you know, it's hard. As you continue in show business you do start to analyze what are your priorities, you know, and if you've got, you've got a husband, you've got children, you got family in your life, I would say that that's always your priority. You know, as fun as entertainment is, it's still work, it's still it's still your job. So I would say, just try and make sure to keep that your focus. Because, you know, as every woman and housewife knows, there will always be plenty of work to be doing, you know, you're never going to be completely caught up. So try not to let that drive you crazy. But you know, also have a very supportive family around and that helps, helps with a load. I think that helps a lot, you know, so rely on your family to help you out with that as well.
Matthew Boyce 25:51
Yeah, it's confusing at times, you know, you never really know and sometimes you get wrapped up as busy times of the year, busy shows busy seasons, and you know, sometimes you're spending long, long days at the theater, especially, you know, people like us, Chris and Jeff are Vauxhall's manager. We're here all the time all summer long. So when it gets far slower times, we really embrace our times just spend it with family, but it's definitely hard to juggle a lot of so that's a good question. Yeah, that's a really good question. Now, we had a conversation, we had a conversation with a world famous magician, Rick Thomas, you will not want to miss. Click the link to watch that amazing interview. Also, make sure to subscribe and go to our website Branson's best shows.com To find the latest show information and a brand new theater directory. So you can make sure you are contacting the theater directly when purchasing your tickets. But until next time, I'm Matthew Boyce. I'm CJ Newsome, and we will continue to bring you Branson's best shows. We'll see you next time guys.