Episode 108 – Branson, MO

Matt is in town for a special project

Branson, Missouri was once a mecca for world-famous live entertainment. Nestled away in the beautiful rugged Ozarks in Southwest Missouri, it once attracted millions of visitors each year with shows covering every genre and variety.

Throughout the 80’s into 00’s, stars such as Mickey Gilley, Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark, Glen Campbell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis and others called Branson home. By the mid-90’s, the city boasted more than one hundred performances each day, allowing stars to make millions of dollars by headlining residencies at their own theaters on a strip much like Las Vegas. Branson was seen as a great alternative to touring while still performing regularly.

By 2015, Branson’s theater shows became less attractive with many high profile and longtime entertainers leaving town. In 2014, Jim Stafford’s iconic theater was under new ownership but retained his name. However, a new demographic and change in the touring industry has forever altered the landscape of the city that was once flourishing with high profile celebrities. Many of Branson’s iconic theaters, including Stafford’s, are being demolished to pave the way for new attractions, but some musicians are still finding success, such as Mickey Gilley.

Matt Bailey is in town working on a special project, and is catching some shows. In this guestless episode, Matt talks about seeing Gilley and Johnny Lee, two of country’s most prominent singers who gained famed during the Urban Cowboy movement in the 80’s. We also discuss Branson’s impact on the industry and tease Matt’s project.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com
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