Gary Lewis, center, and the Playboys will headline a “Super Show” Saturday afternoon at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. They’ll be joined by original Buckingham’s lead singer Dennis Tufano, and LaLa Brooks, original lead singer of The Crystals.

Greetings my Loyal Reader(s), and welcome to the latest edition of the Branson Beat, your home for all the news on the Branson entertainment scene.

As always, feel free to drop me a line at jclark@bransontrilakesnews.com, or send me a message via our Branson Tri-Lakes News Facebook page.

Now, let’s get to it. 

Gary Lewis & the Playboys, more at Bandstand Saturday  

The Up Close Concerts series of shows at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater keeps rolling Saturday afternoon as they welcome Gary Lewis and the Playboys, original lead singer of the Buckinghams Dennis Tufano, and former lead singer of The Crystals LaLa Brooks for a special show.

Gary Lewis & the Playboys, best known for the 1965 No. 1 hit “This Diamond Ring,” is still fronted by original lead singer Lewis, who also happens to be the son of comedian Jerry Lewis.

In 1965 following an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the group snagged seven straight Top 10 singles, with “Count Me In,” “Save Your Heart For Me,” “Everybody Loves a Clown,” “She’s Just My Style,” “Sure Gonna Miss Her” and “Green Grass” all skyrocketing to the top of the charts.

Joining Lewis and the Playboys will be Dennis Tufano, the original voice of the Buckinghams. A Chicago-based group, the Buckinghams tallied a string of five Top 10 hits in the late-sixties including, the No. 1 hit “Kind of A Drag,” as well as “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song,” “Susan,” and “Back In Love Again.”

Rounding out the trio of stars will be Brooks, the original lead singer and voice of the biggest hits of The Crystals, one of the most popular and successful “girl groups” of the 1960s. Brooks joined the group in 1963 at the age of 13, just as they were beginning to work with legendary producer Phil Spector, pioneer of the “Wall of Sound.”

With Spector behind the board and Brooks in front of the mic, the classic singles “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home),” a top 10 hit in both the U.S. and the U.K., and “Then He Kissed Me,” were both recorded and released. 

Showtime is 2 p.m. Saturday. Visit upcloseconcerts.com.

Yakov Smirnoff back Friday for fall run 

Famous Russian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff, who took the United States by storm in the 1980s and became one of the biggest stars in Ozark Mountain Country in the 1990s, will be returning to the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre for a limited run of fall shows beginning Friday, and running through Dec. 7.

Smirnoff is truly one of the funniest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time with, and I’m willing to bet his return to Branson will be one for the books.

For more information, visit yakov.com, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, or call 417-336-3838.

Neal McCoy at the Mansion 

Branson’s Mansion Theatre is gearing up for a busy fall run of shows that kicks off with Neal McCoy returning Friday. 

In addition to the numerous hit songs, including “No Doubt About It,” “Wink,” “The Shake,” “For a Change,” “You Gotta Love That” and “They’re Playin’ Our Song,” McCoy also plays everything else from rock ‘n’ roll to classic big-band-era music.

McCoy is a stellar entertainer, and has an uncanny ability to hold any audience in the palm of his hand. His show is fantastic, and while I haven’t see him perform in a few years, I intend to rectify that this fall.

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