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The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

What’s Happening! The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

By Sydney Stone

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is beautifully decorated at Christmas and hosts lovely special events. November 29 and December 1 enjoy the Yuletide Feast there. This Renaissance-themed dinner and show begins at 6 p.m. with wassail by the fireplace. Chef Robert Stricklin leads the Boar’s Head Processional into Dobyns Dining Room for a threecourse dinner. The menu looks amazing, including “King Arthur Baron of Beef” and “Figgy Pudding!” The show is written and choreographed by C of O students in the music and theater department. And on December 8 you won’t want to miss the Chocolate Lover’s Tea, 1-3 p.m. This “high tea” and the Yuletide Feast are both “reservation only” at 417-239-1900 or

We’ve long had much lore and many legends about woodland spirits

here in the Ozarks, and there is a new tale to tell this year. At Titanic Museum Branson, the Fantasy Princess is helping bring the enchanted forest to life, welcoming boys and girls — and children of all ages! — to Ti t a n i c ’s annual Christmas Winter Wo n d e r land. If you’ve never visited the Museum during Christmas, it is a beautiful time of year to enjoy it. The Titanic takes you back in time, recreat-

The Shepherd of the Hills Historical Society Publisher

SHARENA NAUGHER Editor PAT SNADON Contributing Editor PAULA LIVELY Distribution


The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette is published five times per year and is distributed free of charge at state and regional outlets or by mail at an annual subscription rate of $10.00 for five issues. If you have any problems with your paper delivery, please call 417-3321099 or write us at 118 State Drive, Hollister, Missouri 65672. The Shepherd of the Hills Gazettes reserves the right to edit or delete any and/or all objectional wording or decline any advertisements.

Winter 2012/2013  Page 3

ing ocean travel as well as highlighting other aspects of life 100 years ago. During Christmas the holiday lights, Edwardian-style decorations and

costumed merry-makers create an early 1900’s holiday. Be sure it’s on your Christmas list this year!

Here’s something fun and different — November 30 and December 1, Neighbors & Friends of Table Rock Lake host their 12th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes. Tickets are $15; proceeds benefit Stone County and Taney County outreach programs. In 2011 the Tour raised $27,000; over the years it has raised more than $177,000. The Home Tour includes a variety of architectural styles and the Gifts & Glitz Galleria, featuring local crafts, art, jewelry and author book signings. has more information. See WHAT’S HAPPENING, Page 14

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Winter 2012/2013

Andy Williams ... the Music Lives On

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Page 4  Winter 2012/2013

By Linda Burlingame

When Andy Williams died September 25, there was a stunned silence in Branson. Around the world fans and famous friends alike began to grieve. His music is legendary. The impact he had on the entertainment world, and on Branson, is remarkable. Andy’s arrival here took “Christmas in Branson” from a good idea, to making it one of the top holiday destinations in the country. On the world stage his impact was even broader.

I met Andy in 1992, when he opened his beautiful Moon River Theatre here — the only theater ever featured in Architectural Digest. In conversation Andy was warm and witty. On stage he was a perfectionist; his shows have always been a variety of

singers, dancers and specialty acts, and his marvelous Moon River Orchestra.

Many remember his TV shows, and later his 20 years in Branson. There is so much more to this man who was singer and entertainer, husband, father, grandfather, friend. He was a savvy businessman, a passionate art collector. For ten years The Andy Williams Show brought every famous star into our living rooms, as well as some soon-to-be-famous stars, like Elton John, who made his TV debut on Andy’s show. The Osmonds got their start on Andy’s show, working and touring with Andy until the early 70’s. Jay, Merrill and Jimmy Osmond were on stage at Moon River Theatre shortly after Andy’s death. “There would be no ‘Osmond Brothers’ if it weren’t for Andy,” they told the audience.

I visited with them after their show. They were heartsick but regaled me with sweet and funny stories about Andy. Jay told me they began touring with Andy in 1963. Merrill said, “Whenever we appeared at fairs around the country, Andy would have these little Honda bikes. He would take us all for rides. That was such fun!” Merrill smiled, “I have a Harley today because of that.” Jimmy said, “Because of Andy we learned to tap dance, play instruments … ice skate! Andy was our champion.” They said Andy demanded perfection, always telling them, “Whatever you do, make it the best.” Involved in many aspects of

See ANDY, Page 14

King’s Castle Theatre opens The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Winter 2012/2013  Page 5 “formerly known as” Branson Variety Theater Shows thru December 22 ... another new show in 2013!

By Linda Burlingame

On February 29, 2012, the “Leap Day” tornado that whirled through Branson wreaked extensive damage on Branson Variety Theater. So much damage the entire theater has been renovated, restored, rebuilt, redecorated … and renamed. King’s Castle Theatre opened October 30, 2012, with three shows.

The Twelve Irish Tenors are favorites in Branson. These clever, handsome lads are exceptionally talented, extremely personable and possess a charming stage presence. Combine their talent and winning ways with a great variety of music, and you have a

hit. From Irish classics to Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, the Beatles, from opera to pop, it’s music for

everyone. (I think you’ll especially enjoy the way they introduce themselves!) The staging is excellent, too, and the show moves well. Jay shows off some fancy footwork … and a new hairdo!

The Tenors get into the spirit of Christmas, donning scarves and Christmas vests and sharing much-loved holiday music. Any season, this show is a crowd pleaser. The Tenors open February 21 for the 2013 season. Christmas in Hollywood … in this excellent fun-filled show Santa and his Hollywood elves produce a marvelous retrospective of our favorite Christmas

See KING’S CASTLE, Page 15

The Starlite Theatre

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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By Linda Burlingame

A Christmas Snow returns to The Starlite through December 8. The Texas Tenors will add Christmas cheer to their show ‘til December 2. Two new shows for Christmas at The Starlite are from Larry’s Country Diner and Country’s Family Reunion — Joey & Rory’s Farmhouse Christmas and Bellamy Brothers Tropical Christmas. Select dates for those shows are through December 23.

The Bellamy Brothers are renowned. Hits like Let Your Love Flow and If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body are known by everyone. Howard and David grew up in Florida, where their father played country music, their sister played rock 'n' roll, and they also liked the calypso music of the nearby Caribbean islands. That variety of music became essential

... how many Christmas shows?!

when they started playing in bands with different styles of music for different audiences. David Bellamy wrote our own Jim Stafford's hit, Spiders and Snakes. The rest, as they say, is history. Their Tropical Christmas is a delightful, fun-filled show, a treat for Branson audiences this year. Joey & Rory’s Farmhouse Christmas was originally filmed on a set built in their barn. It was featured last year on RFD-TV. They are re-creating the show for Branson audiences at the Starlite. The duo hosts a weekly variety show on RFD-TV. It’s filmed on their Pottsville, Tenn., farm and community, including their family-owned Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse. It’s the Joey & Rory Show.

A Christmas Snow is a captivating story of lives changed forever during a Christmas snowstorm. The Tracy Trost production, based on a novel by Jim Stovall, is laced with themes of loss, forgiveness and redemption

… and Christmas love. Muse Watson, “Mike Franks” on the CBS drams NCIS, again has the lead role of “Sam.” Diane Barber plays the female lead. Diane has an impressive resume of work and is married to Jim Barber who is with Hamner Barber Theatre here. Audiences love this live stage show, with its excellent storyline, unexpected twists and poignant ending. In 2011 the cast often received a standing ovation.

The Texas Tenors have quickly become Branson favorites. The three were friends but only put their show together to be on America’s Got Talent®. They really are “tenors,” as comfortable on stage in an opera or with a symphony as they are on the stage at the Starlite. JC Fisher, John Hagen and Marcus Collins have very different voices, which gives them a unique style. John does their arranging and it’s outstanding. They have an extensive touring schedule when not performing here in Branson. Be sure The Starlite is on your Christmas list!

Around Town this Winter

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

By Linda Burlingame

If you are planning a visit to Branson during the winter months, or perhaps passing through on your way to a warmer climate, you’ll find good food, good shopping and good entertainment — all year long.

Quilts & Quilts Fabric Shoppe is open all year, now in its new location on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway near IMAX. Winter might be a good time to start on that quilt you’ve always talked about making! Quilts & Quilts is the perfect place to shop for wonderful quilts, hundreds of other sewing projects, and many gift ideas.

The Shoppes at Branson Meadows and the Tanger Outlet Center are open, of course. IMAX is open for shopping, shows, food and fun. By the way, many of your favorite shows have New Year’s celebrations, and some include dinner. Give them a call! Inspiration Tower at The Shepherd of the

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Hills is great any season. Get a birds eye view of the Ozarks from 230 feet up! And what’s nicer on a cold winter evening than a wonderful meal at one of Branson’s many great restaurants. Dobyns Dining Room at The Keeter Center on the campus of College of the Ozarks is always a delicious choice and their Sunday Brunch is renowned. The rooms and suites there are amazing; each has a fireplace. How

cozy that would be this winter!

Big Cedar Lodge is absolutely gorgeous during

See AROUND TOWN, Page 19

The Duttons Deliver!

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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By Linda Burlingame

“Dutton Family Theater” says it all. The theater is run by the Duttons, the show stars the Duttons and is produced and directed by the Duttons. They run the lights and sound, do the

advertising, sell the fudge — tons of it actually — do the choreography and musical arrangements. You get the idea. The Duttons are talented, creative and hardworking. It’s a successful effort. The Duttons have one of Branson’s favorite shows. And there

are enough third generation Duttons — 24 as we go to press — we can be assured of a Dutton theater for a long time to come! The show is fast-paced, a certain

crowd pleaser. On NBC’s America’s Got Talent® Simon Cowell said, “I loved it! I absolutely loved it!” The Duttons were finalists.

See DUTTONS, Page 21

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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L o c a t e d 2 m i l e s s o u t h o f B r a n s o n o n H w y 6 5 . R e s e r v a t i o n s 4 1 7 - 2 3 9 - 1 9 0 0 o r k e e t e r c e n t e r. e d u

Hughes Brothers Christmas Show

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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By Linda Burlingame

Marty, Jason, Ryan, Adam, and Andy — the Hughes Brothers — create a totally new production for Ozark Mountain Christmas. The Hughes Brothers and their families bring you an old-fashioned Christmas wonderland filled with all the season’s best music, some fun festive surprises, and treasured family traditions.

See HUGHES, Page 14

Watson— Starring Muse m NCIS fro Mike Franks

November 1 – December 8

A Farmhouse Christmas

November 1 – December 2


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JJoey+Rory oey y+Rory +R

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December 18-23

Call for Tickets!


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KIDS FREE Call for Details

Christmas at Moon River The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Linda Burlingame

2012 marks the 21st anniversary for the Andy Williams Christmas Show in Branson. The world started celebrating Christmas with Andy in 1963, when his first TV Christmas show aired. When his TV series ended in 1971, NBC signed him for three more Christmas specials. Then he “took the show on the road,” appearing around the country and around the world. “Christmas is my middle name,” Andy told me once. The “show must go on,” as they say, but now it goes on without Andy. A n d y loved producing his shows and he produced this year’s Christmas show. His shows have always featured guest entertainers and production numbers, and of course, his Moon River Orchestra. This year’s cast includes the world’s favorite singing impressionist, Bob Anderson. Praised by Andy, Tony Bennett, the late Johnny Carson and many others, Bob really is amazingly talented. Also on stage, the always wonderful “Lennon Brothers with Gail Lennon;” Mike Cathcart — Andy said, “Mike is the best singer I know.” Mike is the son of Peggy Lennon and the late Dick Cathcart.

Pasha and Ailona are familiar to the Moon River Stage; they are beautiful adagio dancers and also quick change artists. Andy used to quip, “I watch that just off stage every night. I don’t know how they do it. It must be some kind of trick.” It’s a big cast this year. Also performing are Cat’s Pajamas, a great vocal band; Dean Church, “world’s fastest fiddler;” American Idol® Finalist Katie Stevens; Allen Asbury, who sang with the Gaither Family; eight dancers, a 24-member choir, and the Moon

River Orchestra.

This year the show features a moving tribute to “Mr. Christmas.” He became famous for his colorful Christmas sweaters. I asked him once how many he had. He just smiled and said, “A lot.” The Lennon Sisters Christmas Show … and remembering Andy

Christmas with the Lennon Sisters has the 2 p.m. matinee slot at Moon River Theatre. “America’s Sweethearts” give audiences favorite Christmas music and a sweet journey down memory lane, and this year a special tribute to their beloved friend Andy Williams.

I talked with the Sisters while they were still in rehearsals for this year’s show. Kathy Lennon reminisced about their long history with Andy. They appeared on his TV show for the first time in 1960. After his TV show went off the air, Andy continued performing. He invited the Lennon Sisters to “open” for him. But Kathy Lennon told me that after their father died, they had retired. They had been successful on the Lawrence Welk Show, with their own TV show … “We had our star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

But Andy encouraged them. “You need to get on the road.” So they did, touring with him and opening his show in venues like Tahoe and Vegas. Kathy went on to say, “We had so much fun with Andy. And sitting in rehearsal listening to him sing was like a private concert by the greatest singer in the world.” They loved singing five-part harmony with Andy. And he took good care of them. See MOON RIVER, Page 19

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The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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What’s Happening

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

The selection of Christmas shows in Branson is extraordinary. The Duttons, Hughes Brothers, Hamner Barber Show and Dixie Stampede are family favorites. Jim Stafford celebrates the “reason for the season” and puts a humorous twist on all that’s wonderful and fun about Christmas. Santa stays very busy in Branson during Christmas. So many shows, so little time!

Debby Boone celebrates the season with the Gatlin Brothers at The Mansion. She has an all new show this


entertainment, Andy’s Barnaby Records (named after his dog Barnaby!) released music like Jimmy Buffett’s first album and some Ray Stevens songs, including Guitarzan and Ahab the Arab. But performing was what he loved most. When his TV show ended after 10 years, Andy continued performing all over the world. For many years, the Lennon Sisters opened for him. And 2012 is the second year for Christmas with the Lennon Sisters at Moon River Theatre.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year… that is one of Andy’s “trade-

The five Hughes Brothers and their wives have 33 kids, which makes for a fun, energetic family show. (Just imagine the backstage excitement!) And audiences love the show that’s full of holiday antics and Christmas cheer. The brothers share hysterical Christmas wishes as well as Mama Hughes’s traditional Swedish cookies with the audience. Dozen of little Hughes kiddos decorate the stage; there’s never a dull moment. Family harmonies, good instrumentals and dance numbers, love, laughter, and all the sights and sounds of Christmas, including a live nativity scene — this unique holiday special glows with Brotherly Love.

Continued from Page 3

year. I saw her when she was on stage with her dad Pat Boone at Moon River Theatre this fall.

Branson celebrates Christmas without Andy Williams this year. But “Mr. Christmas” would want us to keep enjoying The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The Andy Williams Christmas Show and the other shows at Moon River run through December 12 this year. And plans are already underway for the 2013 Andy Williams Christmas Show. We love you, Andy, and oh how we miss you.

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mark” songs. Christmas was his favorite time of year. Until just before his death, Andy was working on his Christmas show. He would say, “The show must go on.” And it does. The Andy Williams Christmas Show and the other shows at the theater run thru December 12 this year. Moon River Theatre opens in April for the 2013 season.

It seems hard right now to think of Branson without Andy. Thank you for the music, Andy, thank you for everything. We’ll carry on and do the very best we can. God bless!

Continued from Page 10

You’ll see Santa (the Brothers’ dad steps in for this role) in a whole new light as he explains the symbols of Christmas in a very touching way. It’s everything you want to feel at Christmas. Join in the fun and make it part of your Branson Christmas tradition … and ask about dinner with the show!

The Hughes Brothers Christmas Show is on stage thru December 30 and it celebrates New Year’s with a December 31st show at Hughes Brother Theatre. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

King’s Castle The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Winter 2012/2013  Page 15 Continued from Page 5

movies. Song and dance take you back to the heyday of movie making and bring to life legendary films like the White Christmas. It’s a “magical sleigh ride� in a winter wonderland. Hooray for Hollywood opens March 1, 2013. It’s a dazzling journey through movie musicals of the past 50 years.

The Official Tribute to the Music of The Four Seasons and The Beach Boys was scheduled to open earlier this year but the tornado changed all that. It’s open now thru December 22. Both legendary groups have sold millions of records and have long lists of hit songs. Beach Boys hits include Good Vibrations, California Girls, Barbara Ann ‌ everyone sings along. The Four Seasons songs are just as familiar, tunes like Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry. Tribute opens again for the 2013 season on February 14. With spirited singers and dancers, the stage at King’s Castle is full of extraordinary talent, beautiful costumes and lots of excitement.

New in 2013: Dancing Queen! This show was announced just as we went to press, don’t have many details yet. Music from the 70’s and Abba music, of course! Shows at King’s Castle are always well produced and feature talented performers. Stay tuned.


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The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

• Show and Attraction Guide •

SHOW/ATTRACTION LOCATION #1 Hits of the 60’s 3 Redneck Tenors A Brady Lunch with Greg Brady A Christmas Snow Acrobats of China Amazing Pets Andy Williams Christmas Show Barbara Fairchild Show & Diner Branson Country USA Branson Scenic Railway, Inc. Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours Brett Family Singers Buck Trent Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Cassandre’ The Voice of An Angel Cat’s Pajamas Christmas in Hollywood Christmas on the Trail Dinner Show Chubby Checker Circle B Chuckwagon Dinner Show Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express Comedy Jamboree Dalena Ditto Variety Show Dancing Queen Debby Boone & Gatlin Bro. Xmas Diamond Image - Neil Diamond Tribute Dixie Stampede Doug Gabriel Show Down Home Country Dutton Family Show George Dyer Hamner Barber Variety Show Haygoods Hollywood Wax Museum Hooray for Hollywood Hughes Brothers Christmas IMAX Entertainment Complex Inspiration Tower IT Jim Stafford Joey Riley Comedy & Music Review Joseph Joseph Hall’s Elvis Tribute Kirby VanBurch Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Legend of Kung Fu

Caravelle Theatre New Americana Theatre Yakov Smirnoff Theatre Starlite Theatre New Shanghai Theatre Grand Country Music Hall Moon River Theatre Golden Corral Grand Country Music Hall Old Downtown Branson Wolfe Creek Station Dick Clark Bandstand RFD-TV The Theatre Butterfly Palace New Americana Theatre Moon River Theatre King’s Castle Theatre The Shepherd of the Hills ICON Theatre Branson Central Theatre Clay Cooper Theatre Grand Country Music Hall Hamner Barber Theatre King’s Castle Theatre The Mansion Theatre Jim Stafford Theatre Dixie Stampede Music City Centre Grand Country Music Hall Dutton Family Theater Dutton Family Theater Hamner Barber Theatre RFD-TV The Theatre Hollywood Entertainment Complex King’s Castle Theatre Hughes Brothers Theatre IMAX Entertainment Complex The Shepherd of the Hills Hughes Brothers Theatre Jim Stafford Theatre Music City Centre Sight & Sound Theatre New Americana Theatre Kirby VanBurch Theatre The Mansion Theatre White House Theatre


417-339-1960 417-334-4500 417-336-3838 417-337-9333 417-336-8888 417-335-2484 417-334-4500 417-336-6297 417-335-2484 417-334-6110 417-561-2500 417-336-4222 417-332-2282 417-332-2231 417-339-4663 417-334-4500 417-334-2500 417-334-4191 417-336-4266 417-334-4528 417-337-7123 417-335-2484 417-334-4363 417-334-2500 417-239-1333 417-335-8080 417-336-3000 800-954-8554 417-335-2484 417-332-2772 417-332-2772 417-334-4363 417-332-2282 417-337-8277 417-334-2500 417-334-0076 417-335-3533 417-334-4191 417-334-0076 417-335-8080 800-954-8554 800-377-1277 417-339-4663 417-337-7140 417-239-1333 417-335-2396

Winter 2012/2013  Page 17


Legends in Concert Lennon Cathcart Show Lennon Sisters Christmas Show Little Opry Theatre Mickey Gilley New South Gospel Oak Ridge Boys Oh What a Night Ozark Mountain Jubilee Paul Harris & The Cleverly’s Pierce Arrow Presleys’ Country Jubilee Price is Right LIVE, The Ralph Foster Museum Rankin Brothers Red Hot & Blue Ride the Ducks Ripley’s Believe It or Not Roy Rogers Jr. Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour Shepherd of the Hills Old Mill Theatre Outdoor Drama Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights Shoji Tabuchi Showboat Branson Belle Silver Dollar City SIX Sons of the Pioneers Dinner Show Sunday Gospel Jubilee Texas Tenors The Rat Pack - Live and Swingin’ Titanic Museum Attraction Todd Oliver & His Talking Dogs Tom Mullica Tribute to Red Skelton Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas Twelve Irish Tenors Veterans Memorial Museum Vigilante Extreme ZipRider White Water World Famous Platters Review World’s Largest Toy Museum Yakov Smirnoff Yakov’s Dinner Adventure


Dick Clark Bandstand ICON Theatre Moon River Theatre IMAX Entertainment Complex Mickey Gilley Theatre Grand Country Music Hall Oak Ridge Boys Theatre Moon River Theatre Grand Country Music Hall White House Theatre Pierce Arrow Theatre Presleys’ Theatre Welk Resort Theatre College of the Ozarks Clay Cooper Theatre Clay Cooper Theatre Ride the Ducks Ripley’s RFD-TV The Theatre The Shepherd of the Hills

417-339-3003 417-336-4266 417-334-4500 417-335-3533 417-334-3210 417-335-2484 417-239-1333 417-334-4500 417-335-2484 417-335-2396 417-336-8742 417-334-4874 800-505-9355 417-690-3407 417-337-7123 417-337-7123 417-334-3825 417-337-5300 417-332-2282 417-334-4191

The Shepherd of the Hills


The Shepherd of the Hills Shoji Tabuchi Theatre White River Landing Silver Dollar City Mickey Gilley Theatre Pavilion - Shepherd of the Hills Grand Country Music Hall Starlite Theatre ICON Theatre Titanic New Americana Theatre The Mansion Theatre Welk Resort King’s Castle Theatre Veterans Memorial Museum The Shepherd of the Hills White Water ICON Theatre World’s Largest Toy Museum Yakov Smirnoff Theatre Yakov Smirnoff Theatre

417-334-4191 417-334-7469 417-338-8174 417-336-7180 417-334-3210 417-334-4191 417-335-2484 417-337-9333 417-334-4266 417-334-9500 417-339-4663 417-239-1333 417-377-7469 417-334-2500 417-336-2300 417-334-4191 417-339-6806 417-334-4266 417-332-1499 417-336-3838 417-336-3838

Call 1-800-523-7589 for tickets today!

Little Pete’s Page

Page 18  Winter 2012/2013

Christmas Trivia

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Moon River

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Kathy laughed, remembering when Andy asked them to work Christmas in Tahoe. “We told him, we don’t work Christmas. We want to be home with our families.” But Andy said, “Bring the family.” Now, remember, there are eleven Lennon sisters and brothers. Well, it all led to a very long, intricate Sahara contract that included trees in every room

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and “a house for Mom.” In fact, the kids were often around. Kathy remembers, “I taught all the kids to swim in the pool at Caesar’s Palace!”

It was during these years, too, that younger sister Mimi started singing with them. Janet says, “Mimi would fill in when one of us was pregnant. Or

Around Town

the holidays. There are several delightful dining options and they’re open all year. It’s lovely for a drive out to enjoy a meal. Dining at Chateau on the Lake offers savory dining choices with a view of Table Rock Lake. Maybe a visit to Spa Chateau should also be on your “things to do in Branson this winter” list!

I love a good snowstorm but we really do not get much snow or extremely cold weather. That means a lot of winter

days are perfect for golf or fishing. The award-winning championship golf courses in Branson include names like Palmer, Nicklaus, Fazio … even Missouri’s own Payne Stewart. If you are casting for a trophy, Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake offer some of the finest fishing anywhere. Come to think of it, golf and fishing are very similar — no matter the weather, you’ll find someone out there giving it a go!

sick. Or both!” Mimi laughs, “Whoever was out, I’d have to learn her part … and wear her dress.” After DeeDee and Peggy retired, Mimi “officially” became one of the Lennon Sisters.

Andy encouraged them to move to Branson several years ago when the Welk Theatre opened. “You must come

Continued from Page 7

Branson’s official Web site has lots of good information about Branson’s “Five Seasons,” including Hot Winter Fun.

News just in: one of my favorite shows, Magnificent Seven, will be appearing at the God and Country Theatre in 2013. I think it has always been a good show, with excellent talent and a good variety of music and dance. Shows start April 2. Stay tuned … and enjoy your Branson visit, any time of the year!

Continued from Page 14

to Branson,” he told them. They did, and “the rest is history.” Now, Janet’s three young granddaughters make appearances in their show. They are not only darling little girls but also talented entertainers. I know you’ll love Christmas with the Lennon Sisters! The Cat’s Pajamas vocal band has the 10am slot through December 12th - high energy, fun and a good variety of music.

I can’t close without tipping my hat to my favorite spot. The Moon River Grill is a wonderful and entertaining choice for lunch or dinner or a late night bite after the show. Mike Cathcart provides beautiful, classic tunes at the red baby grand during dinner. This year there is also late night entertainment featuring a variety of guest musicians. Enjoy some Christmas time at Moon River. As Andy’s signature song says, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Merry Christmas, Andy, and thanks for the memories.

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The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette


The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

The Christmas show is a blend of the best of their regular season show and delightful Christmas music, production numbers (all those little elves in Santa’s pack!) and lots of fun.

The show offers a good variety of music, from Eagles music (love it!) and rock ‘n’ roll to country hits to Broadway, gospel and classic music. The singing and dancing is impressive, and you’ll be amazed when they play just about every instrument. They have been playing, especially the violin, since they were very young. The instrumentals are excellent. The family is “fun,” audiences enjoy their antics and quick-witted commentary. With all those little ones, there can be humorous surprises, too! Serious music shows off their talent; crazy and fun segments reveal a lively sense of humor.

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The younger grandchildren make appearances as chimney sweeps, penguins, policemen, jailbirds and more! The production numbers are imaginative, well produced and executed.

Tim and Judith’s two daughters are the oldest grandchildren. Jessica is 15 now, quite poised and has a beautiful voice. She joins in some of the “grownup” numbers. Her sister Rachel is 12 and following right along; Rachel is “chief babysitter” backstage. (BIG job!) Web site has nice bios of all the family, including Julio, Ben’s identical cousin. (That’s a whole other, very funny, story!!) You can enjoy their wonderful Christmas show here thru December 6. Then they head for their winter home in Mesa, Ariz., where shows resume December 15. Their 2013 season in Branson begins April 6.

Gary E. LeMaster ...

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

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Branson lost a treasured member of it’s community September, Gary LeMaster.

He died on Sunday, September 29, 2012, at his home in Branson.

Gary was born on September 20, 1942, in Ashland, Kentucky, the son of James Gideon and Sibyl Marie Salyers LeMaster. He had been a resident of Branson since 1986.

Gary LeMaster has spent his lifetime in music starting at the age of 3,

Happy Trails to you, until we meet again

then later performed in national charting rock n’ roll bands and subsequently landed in Las Vegas in 1969 where he performed with his own band until becoming the Entertainment Director at Sam’s Town in 1980. When visiting his father-in-law and Pioneer member Sunny Spencer in 1986, the possibility of filling in for Roy Lanham was suggested to Gary and ultimately resulted in Gary becoming an official member later that same year. Now Gary’s 30 year longevity in The Sons of the Pioneers surpasses many of the former members.

Gary’s tenor voice is used both on harmony and solos. His lead guitar provides the key intros and turnarounds which create an artistic landscape for each song. He's recognized everywhere he goes as one of the country's very best guitarists. Each performance is sprinkled with Gary’s humor and antics. Dale Warren once said, “Gary can do so many things in so many ways. I don’t know what we would do without him.”

Gary has great respect for the

music and heritage of the Pioneers. He has spent years researching the group's classic songs and developing arrangements for the current group. Gary recently penned “Pioneer Heaven” a re-write of the classic Tex Ritter “Hillbilly Heaven” but in his version paying homage to key past members of the Pioneers. The Shepherd of the Hills Family salutes you Gary LeMaster …. You are greatly missed.

The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette

Winter 2012/2013  Page 23

Shepherd of the Hills Gazette | Winter 2012  

Christmas Magic is Alive and Well at the Trail of Lights at The Shepherd fot the Hills