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. 

Melody Hart with Family & Friends next Sunday at Grand Country

Father’s Day at Grand Country Music Hall will see one of the coolest shows of the summer as Melody Hart and her family, Wayne, Garrett and Dillon Massengale, will take the stage for a special “one time only” presentation of “Melody Hart with Family & Friends.”

“Tammy and Tonya, the ladies who do ‘Ozarks Country’ and Ozarks Gospel’ took Sunday off because Tammy is on a mission trip, so the theater at Grand Country was available,” Wayne Massengale said. “Melody and I have been sort of dabbling with doing some road work, and since we don’t have a bus or huge sound system, we’ve been doing shows close to home.

“What’s better than being able to perform your road show at home.”

Hart, who is one of the most popular, and most awarded entertainers in Branson, got in the business when she was a youngster, and eventually took a summer job at Dogpatch U. S. A. before making her way to Branson in 1989. She soon joined the Plummer Family, and almost overnight, she “was working everywhere.”

She eventually came to the attention of Grand Country producer extraordinaire Mike Patrick, who jumped at the chance to hire Melody for the “Down Home Country Show.” Hart also headlines the weekly radio and TV show “Branson Country USA,” and was also a part of the “Raiding the Country Vault” cast for many seasons.

Joining Hart will be her husband, the ridiculously awesome fiddler Wayne Massengale. Originally from Harrison, Arkansas, Massengale has been playing shows in Branson since 1981, spending 10 years with the award-winning “Country Tonite” show, and was also a part of “Clay Cooper’s Country Express Show.” Over the years, he’s been awarded Branson Fiddler of the Year five times, has won the Arkansas State Championship, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association (SPBGMA) Most Promising Fiddler award.

He has also shared the stage with the likes of Roy Clark for five years playing the Grand Ole Opry, “Nashville Now,” “Hee Haw,” and with the legendary Tanya Tucker. 

The band will feature their sons Garrett and Dillon. Garrett recently graduated high school, and is already taking the stage as a part of several Branson productions. Dillon, who is still in high school, has already been featured on “Branson Country USA,” and is gaining quite the following.

“Dillon Massengale is going to be in the house, singing and playing a little bass during the family segment of the show,” Massengale said. “And yes, he does have a fan club, but he said he wished to have more women members (laughs).”

In addition to the family, the Massengales have assembled a pretty awesome lineup for the band, including Dino Strunk on guitar, John Lance on bass and vocals, Robbie Springfield on steel guitar, as well as  special guest Lisa Childress.

“She had a record deal in the late 80s and was even nominated as Newcomer of the Year by the Country Music Awards,” Massengale said. “She’s not a stranger to Branson either because she used to be part of ‘The Presleys” and ‘Ozark Country Jubilee’ in the 80s. 

“She’s also bringing her daughter, Addie Jarvis, and her husband, Brett Jarvis, and they’re going to be a part of segment to help us out.“ 

Massengale said they’re also working on another special guest, hopefully to be announced next week.

As far as what folks can expect to hear, Hart said it would be a little bit of everything.

“We’ve got country, bluegrass, gospel and western swing,” she said.

“No bells, no smoke, no smoke bombs, no smoke screens or whatever,” Massengale added. “We’re just going to punch you in the face with real classic music and have a great, fun-filled day.”

Tickets are available at the Grand Country Music Hall box office, or by calling 417-335-2484.

SDC’s Star-Spangled Summer starts Saturday

The only thing more awesome than alliteration is Silver Dollar City, and Saturday morning, one of my favorite yearly festivals, Star-Spangled Summer, kicks off at the 1880s theme park.

With 2019 being “The Year of Shows & Festivals,” new productions and entertainment will join the summer lineup, capped by an all-new, Broadway-style, million-dollar production show, “Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure.”  Also featured are “America’s Got Talent” standouts “Kid Magic,” featuring the world’s youngest professional magician Kadan Bart Rockett and his sister, Brooklyn.

Silver Dollar City will also host the new Dance Explosion, where the park’s clogging teams will join the likes of stomp, tap and other varieties of dance disciplines with live-performance troupes visiting throughout the summer. Additional summer performance includes an award-winning comedian and juggler, bluegrass band Southern Raised and all-new Saloon and Echo Hollow shows.

In addition to all that, the park will continue to highlight its more than 40 rides and attractions, including last year’s sensation, the Time Traveler, a  $26 million, record-breaking coaster billed as the “world’s fastest, steepest and tallest complete-circuit spinning roller coaster.” Also still calling the park home is the groundbreaking wood coaster Outlaw Run, voted Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide and featured in Guinness World Records 2015 for Steepest Drop, the still-launching PowderKeg and the multi-looping roller coaster WildFire, the timeless Fire in the Hole, an authentic steam train and themed ride areas such as Fireman’s Landing with 10 family attractions.

Look for a full story and plenty of photos in next week’s Branson Tri-Lakes News, as well as Branson Live. 

Ozark Mountain Music Day 

June 28 at Shepherd of the Hills  

The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Adventure Park will be the site of Ozark Mountain Music Day, hosted by the Ozark Mountain Music Association.

This “day of traditional music” will kick off at noon June 28. Folks are encouraged to bring their instruments, as well as their lawn chairs, to jam with local musicians. Local performers, vendors, shops and concessions will also be on hand.

There will also be an “Old Time & Bluegrass Show,” featuring the Ozark Mountain Music Association Kids Southern Strings Bluegrass Band, as well as the Missouri Boat Ride, a personal favorite, who are reuniting for a “one-time” event. 

The concert show runs from 6-9 p.m. at the amphitheater.

The cost of this event is $5, which covers all day admission to the park.

Visit ozarkmountainmusicassociation.com, or call 417-631-2442.

Mario & Moroko at Black Oak Grill

I wanted to end this week’s Beat by letting my Loyal Reader(s) know one of my favorite local performers, Johnny Moroko, will be teaming with entertainer Mario Fauren for acoustic music at the Black Oak Grill at Branson Landing, beginning Tuesday.

According to Moroko, who gained popularity with his Mick Jagger tribute, Fauren & Moroko will perform songs “from the 1940’s to the 2010’s.” Moroko also said Tuesdays are “local entertainment night,” which means the happy hour menu is in effect.

I’m interested to check these cats out. They’ll perform at 7 p.m. each Tuesday night at the Black Oak Grill.

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