Named in 1881 after Rueben Branson, the proprietor of The Branson General Store, Branson has always been a mecca a music and entertainment. You just might not know about it! Now renowned as the Entertainment Capital of the World, Branson’s first musical endeavors were rather simplistic as the local residents congregated to sing, dance and create music wherever and whenever was convenient.
Tourists in the area were drawn to the entertainment and it was one of the main reasons they kept returning to Branson. Hence, their reputation for outstanding musical ventures commenced.
It’s not like they needed a license to perform, but the four Mabe brothers started performing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo in 1959. More than fifty years later, Branson’s first official show still brings the best in country, gospel and folk music to the city’s visitors.
And the Baldknobbers deserve credit for one other Branson musical landmark: the first theater. When its doors opened in 1963, the facility had been transformed from an old skating rink and only sat 600 guests. By 1968, the Baldknobbers, who throughout the course of history have involved more than three generations of family in their shows, transferred their operation to their current location on Highway 76 when their close friends, the Presley family, constructed the first theater in the location the previous year and invited them to perform there.
When Did Entertainers Begin Bringing Their Act To Branson?
That would be when Roy Clark, the former host of Hee Haw and one of the most famous country musicians in the history of the genre, began showing other stars all the positive aspects of performing in Branson. Once they started to perform, they relished the excitement of Branson’s towns and fell in love with the hospitality, in addition to the natural beauty of the area. Business began to build from there!
Today Branson is just as family friendly as Disneyworld or any other family vacation destination. In fact, it should top the list just from the sheer variety of family activities that are available to visitors. Think about it, even their first music act was a family affair! That is what Branson is known for and to this day Shepard of the Hills and Silver Dollar City incorporate music in their extremely popular family events.
What Branson is Today
With more than 70 unique music and variety extravaganzas, Branson can also boast about its shows, attractions & theme parks, golf courses, go-cart tracks, museums, train rides, fishing trips and shopping. The city hosts more than 6 million tourists each year and provides accommodations with its more than 25,000 lodging rooms. The local restaurants seat a minimum of 30,000 people and the theaters contain 75,000 seats. Not bad for a town with only 6,500 residents.
In fact, Uncle Rube, as Rueben Branson was called, would be pretty darn proud to see what has become of the town that bears his name. So on behalf of all the residents of Branson, we extend an invitation to come enjoy everything we have to offer. To quote a line from Harold Bell Wright’s book, The Shepard of the Hills, “When God made these here hills, he shore did some of his best work.” Don’t you want to catch a glimpse of it with your own eyes? Branson Ticket & Travel or BT&T is part of Brnason history being family-owned and in business since 1989. If you need help while visiting Branson, give us a call at 1-800-432-4202.