Country music singer Mel Tillis will perform more than 30 times in Branson this year at the Clay Cooper Theatre, it was announced late last week.
Best-known for his chart-topping hits “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “I Ain’t Never,” “Heart Healer” and “Good Woman Blues,” the 1976 Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year is scheduled for a total of 35 shows starting Sept. 6 and running through December.
Tillis performed just a handful of dates in Branson last year — all of them in November and all at the 2,600-seat Tri-Lakes Center. This season will mark the first time Tillis has partnered with fellow country singer Clay Cooper, the owner of the theater that bears his name.
“I think it will add a lot of excitement,” said Pat Veach, Cooper’s sales and marketing director. “It’s another legend of country music coming to the Clay Cooper Theatre.”
Cooper will have quite the revamped lineup this season, for those of you who are keeping track. Besides Tillis’ fall performances, the venue will boast the additions of the Rankin Brothers and the perennial Branson favorite “Red, Hot & Blue.”
Returning in 2012 is “Buckets N Boards,” starring Gareth Sever and Matthew Levingston, and the theater’s headlining show, “Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express.”
“I think (Tillis) is another great addition to Clay Cooper’s fantastic lineup for 2012,” Veach said.
She said Tillis will perform in the 2 p.m. matinee slot. She said the theater has not yet finalized all of his dates, but is now taking reservations.
‘Thorn’ comes to Tri-Lakes
Another nationwide stage production is adding Branson to its tour dates this year.
“The Thorn,” a live, dramatic adaptation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as recounted in the New Testament, is scheduled to appear at the Tri-Lakes Center about a dozen times in early June.
According to the show’s website, http://www.thethorn.net" target="_blank">thethorn.net, Thorn Productions is a nonprofit organization “committed to telling the story of the cross,” with “The Thorn” being its primary vehicle.
The site went on to say the show started in 1997 as an illustrated sermon for high school students and has become an international touring production that was seen by more than 100,000 people last year alone.
Adult ticket prices are $35, tax included, and children 0-12 are $10, tax included.
New concert announced
A one-night only show you’ll find at the Tri-Lakes Center this year was also just recently announced.
Country stars T.G. Sheppard, Johnny Rodriguez, Razzy Bailey and Jeannie Seely will take the stage Nov. 23 for a show that’s being presented by Up Close Concerts.
No Grammy for Beatles band
Liverpool Legends, the Branson-based Beatles tribute band, did not take home their first Grammy Award Sunday.
A project the band had collaborated on with Louise Harrison, the real-life sister of George Harrison one of the founders of Liverpool Legends, had garnered a nomination for Best Spoken Word Album.
In an interview last week, band producer and member Marty Scott told me they were facing some stiff competition in the category — namely, Betty White, Tina Fey and Val Kilmer — and weren’t really expecting to win.
“We just want to have some fun and enjoy the experience,” he said.
In the end, White was the winner, which Scott had predicted.
Don’t let it get you down, boys. After all, there’s always next year.