This weekend’s edition of “Branson Country USA,” set for 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Country Music Hall, will feature longtime local favorite Gene Dove, who was a member of the “Baldknobber’s Jamboree” for more than 30 years.
Dove was a local picker when he joined the “Baldknobbers” show as a bass player and singer in 1977.
“I was young and figured that I’d stay for a few years and then move on to Nashville or Bakersfield,” Dove said. “This was going to be my stepping stone.”
When the Mabe brothers, who began the show in 1959, decided to bring on their second generation of performers, Dove handed his bass duties over to Brent Mabe. Soon after, Dove was the emcee, as well as a featured vocalist.
“It was such a good job, and it was year-round, so I began to think this may be the place I need to stay,” Dove said. “So that’s what I did. I stayed and stayed and stayed and stayed.”
He stayed so long, in fact, that he became a fixture in the show.
“I have been a featured vocalist, as well as an emcee for the majority of the past 28 years,” he said. “I have loved every bit of it.”
A Vietnam veteran, Dove helps each year during Veterans Homecoming Week in November, and sometimes performs around the area with his group, Gene Dove & Old Friends.
“Branson Country USA” is a weekly radio and TV show, featuring Patrick and Haage as hosts, as well as the New South Quartet, David Ragan, Jon Drockelman, Mark McCauley, Luke Menard, female vocalists Jackie Brown and Melody Hart, and the Grand Band, known locally as the “Rhinestone Mafia,” which features steel guitarist Gene Mulvaney, keyboard player Michael W. Davis, bassist Larry Allred, drummer Rob Blackburn, guitarist Chad Cathell and fiddler Wayne Massengale.
Showtime is 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Country Music Hall.
Next week’s “Branson Country USA” guests will see Nashville French Creole country singer Dennis Stroughmatt July 19, Jerry Presley from “Elvis Live” at the God & Country Theatres July 26, then Randy Plummer from “The Plummer Family Country Music Show,” as well as the “Sons of Britches” Aug. 2.
Showtime is 10:30 p.m. Friday. Visit grandcountry.com for more.