Up Close Concerts is bringing yet another “big name” to the Welk Resort Theatre in October when singer/songwriter Phil Vassar takes the Branson stage for the first time ever with special opening attraction Billy Yates. 

“Phil’s success as both a worldwide star performer and prominent songwriter makes him a rare and powerful combination in the music industry,” Up Close Concerts Owner and Promoter Bob Cannella said. “On October 4, he’ll be performing all of his incredible hit songs and will definitely keep you entertained all night. Plus, we are going to crank up the hit music another notch with a gentleman who knows how to write a No. 1 song, Billy Yates. 

“Billy will be performing an acoustic set prior to Phil and his band taking the stage. This will be a fun night.”

Vassar, a Virgina native, was attending classes at James Madison University, and after taking up the piano, he eventually found work as a club singer. He decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, but found little success during his first publishing contract.

His songwriting career would soon blossom after landing a publishing contract with EMI. The hits came fast and included “Little Red Rodeo” for Collin Raye, “Right on the Money” for Alan Jackson, “For a Little While” for Tim McGraw, and Jo Dee Messina’s massive hits “Bye Bye” and “I’m Alright.” 

In 1998, Vassar signed his own record deal with Arista, and was named ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1999. Vassar continues to churn out hits, but these were his own, and resulted in another ASCAP Songwriter of the Year trophy, as well as ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist and sold-out shows across the country. 

His debut single “Carlene” reached the Top 5, but it was his next song, “Just Another Day in Paradise,” that became his first No. 1 hit as a singer. Shortly after that song peaked, McGraw topped the charts with “My Next Thirty Years,” which Vassar co-wrote.

His self-titled debut album eventually went Gold and spawned three more singles with the No. 9 hit “Six-Pack Summer,” the No. 16 hit “Rose Bouquet,” and “That’s When I Love You,” which featured backing vocals by Messina, which hit No. 3. 

Over the past 20 years, Vassar and his tunes have been a fixture on the charts. Other Top 10 hits include “American Child,” “Last Day of My Life,” “Love is a Beautiful Thing,” and the No. 1 hit “In a Real Love.”

According to his submitted bio, Vasser also “taps into his audiences via social media for song requests throughout his more than 135 shows a year.” 

For more information on Phil Vassar, visit PhilVassar.com and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Joining Vassar is Yates, an award-winning and Grammy-nominated songwriter himself, who has penned more than 2,000 songs, some of which have been recorded by the likes of George Strait, George Jones, Kenny Chesney, and more. 

He also co-wrote the George Jones classics, “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” and the Grammy-award winning, “Choices.”

In addition to his success stateside, Yates has also toured Europe extensively, where his traditional style of country music has created thousands of fans who attend his sold-out concerts in about every European nation. 

He was recently named the European CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, has tallied 10 No. 1 singles on the European charts.

As a record producer, Yates completed producing the critically acclaimed “Music In My Heart” CD for Charley Pride last year, and is currently producing a duets project on the iconic country legend that includes vocal collaborations with artists such as Vince Gill, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker and more.

He’s been a Branson headliner for the past four years, and currently headlines “Billy Yates’ Hit Songwriters in the Round.”

“Vassar has achieved worldwide success as both a major star performer and songwriter,” Cannella said. “That combination is very rare in the music business, especially in today’s ‘bro country’ era of music. Phil is the real deal, and ... with another great songwriter, Billy Yates, there will be no shortage of hit songs on October 4 at Welk Resort Theatre.”

Tickets are available by calling 417-337-7469, or at upcloseconcerts.com.

The Up Close Concerts slate of shows continues Saturday night at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater with Billy Dean & Darryl Worley, followed by Tommy James and the Shondells at the Welk Resort Theatre May 25.

Visit upcloseconcerts.com for a full lineup of shows.

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