This weekend’s edition of “Branson Country USA,” set for 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Country Music Hall, will feature the 2019 Branson Edition of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest winner Radney “Little E” Pennington. In addition to being a longtime Branson performer, Pennington recently wrapped a run headlining “Legends n Concert” in Las Vegas.
Pennington, a Branson native, has been performing in the area for 16 years, taking the stage for the first time at the age of 2 alongside country music star Mickey Gilley. From there, he continued to channel his “inner Elvis,” and became the youngest person to record at the birthplace of rock and roll, Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 5.
He has captured both the title of 2015 and 2016 Ultimate Teenage Elvis Tribute Artist during the Branson Elvis Festival, hosted by “Legends In Concert” and Elvis Presley Enterprises. He also won the non-pro division of the “Elvis Explosion” in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, in September of 2015.
Even though Pennington made a name for himself in the Elvis Tribute Artist world, he also began performing country and rock and roll from the 1950s and 60s, especially the tunes of Buddy Holly.
“You know, Buddy’s music influenced everybody,” he said. “From Elvis to the Rolling Stones and everybody between.”
Earlier this year, Pennington won the Branson leg of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and will compete in the next round in Memphis, Tennessee, during “Elvis Week” in the middle of August.
Pennington also performs several nights a week at Cakes & Creams.
“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 longtime male vocalist of “The Baldknobbers” Gene Dove, followed by Nashville French Creole country singer Dennis Stroughmatt July 19, Jerry Presley from “Elvos 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.