Friday, March 15, 2013

A very special, but kind of bitter sweet show

We're down to our last 2 days in Branson.  My wonderful hubby, Mr. C has packed this week full of surprises and fun, but I had kind of planned to just sit back and relax a bit.  I appreciate the effort he went to to provide us a fun filled week.  He knows how much I love music and shows.

This next show was held at the Baldknobbers Theatre and they were all dressed up for Christmas, too:

November 4th we went to the Baldnobbers Theatre to see a very special performance.  How many people reading this know who Roy Clark is?  We went to a special show Celebrating 60 years of Picking and Grinning with Roy Clark.
This was a very special show, as I don't think we'll be seeing him perform much longer.  He had to sit through most of his show and when he did want to get up for a special song, it took most of his entire band to help him get to his feet and stay there.  Roy Clark was born in 1933, so he was 79 years old at this performance.

His band members were so incredibly solicitous of him though, they watched over him like a precious child; making sure he had water or throat lozenges when he needed them, helping him remember which songs were supposed to be played when etc.  He is aware of his failing memory and made many jokes about it, like who changed the order of the songs, and referring to the list apparently taped to the floor at his feet that he couldn't even see it.  He still performed his heart out and it was lovely.

His band members or family as he called them:  

Some of his songs had to be a bit bitter sweet for him though, such as:

Yesterday when I was young

The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame.
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I'd always built to last on weak and shifting sand.
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
And only now I see how the years ran away.

Yesterday when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all.

--- Instrumental ---
Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do.
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died.
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue.
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday when I was young...

More lyrics:

He saved the best for last, though.  His band members got him to his feet and he played the Orange Blossom Special against his fiddle player and he sure can still fiddle with the best.  His fingers just flew.

We came away feeling a bit melancholy at how age can slip up on all of us and yet feeling blessed to have seen this concert and enjoyed the fun and music of Roy Clark, in person.

I'd almost like to end this blog post here, as I feel it's a good place to end, but the next and final act don't really need a full blog post of their own.

So I'll continue with Monday, November 5, when we went to a Four Seasons and Beach Boys Tribute.  Apparently they don't want anyone doing any advertising or reviewing for them, as they do not allow you to take pictures at all at that theatre.  Or, perhaps they don't want people to see pictures that might lead them to understand that the 12 Tenors are also the Beach Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  I managed to find a couple very poor pictures by freezing frames of a You Tube video of this show.

How did we feel about this show?  The music was good, the singing was good, but we didn't really expect a variety show with a title like:  The Greatest Hits of the Four Seasons and Beach Boys.  We expected a tribute show as we usually see with the appropriate number of performers doing the appropriate songs and music.  The variety show type of performance is very distracting to us, too much busyness and confusion.  So instead of coming away with a relaxed attitude and mind of "that was great, sounded just like them", we came away feeling frazzled and not relaxed at all.  I would imagine the 12 Tenors have great voices, as they're the same guys, but expect their show to be totally distracted by the dancing around and costume changes also.  To say the least, we were disappointed.  For someone expecting this type of show, it would probably be considered a great show.

So, I am now caught up, at least as regards our last trip.  There may be a couple more posts  hidden in my memory from the past 4 months, but other than having extra family living with us, it was just normal family stuff, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Lots of love and hugs and happiness, but not much claying or anything else as the energy went to the family's needs and wants.   I can tell you though, I sure am starting to feel my age.  I may not be quite a senior citizen yet, but it's not far off and I just don't have the energy or patience I had when I was 30.  I understand why "children are given to young people", LOL.

All's well that ends well, though.  Our Daughter, B, and her family got transferred to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana in February, so they are all moved and settled in.  Our Son, N, and his family are still happily in Madison, Wisconsin (at least happy for the most part, they're awfully tired of winter and are having trouble adjusting to the long term cold, LOL).  So Mr. C and I have back our quiet, calm almost retired schedule.  I'm back to doing some clay work and have a very special Polymer Clay Caning workshop/retreat the second week of April, which I'm really looking forward to.

We'll also be heading out for a month long adventure to the Gulf Coast of Texas in April.  We've never visited the Gulf Coast of Texas and we're really looking forward to it.  Texas is such a big state, perhaps the next year we'll take in Big Bend and Hill Country.

So, so long for now, I'll be back when I have some news.  Thanks for joining me.  Smiles, Sue C

November, 2013. I'm catching up???

We are still in Branson, MO for the first week of November.  As we've traveled back and forth between the campground and stores, shows, and restaurants, we've seen a couple cute things.  The first one I photographed just for my daughter, B, as I told her about it and she thought it was funny/cute.

We quite often pass a sandwich shop with an interesting name:

I took this as we were driving, darn pole got in the way.  Anyway, it's Jayne Dough (Jane Doe) Sandwiches and it struck our funny bones.

We also like the sign at the exit to our campground that reads:

So, now, on to our report of our fun filled, busy trip to Branson.

We are now in November, which is when the Christmas season starts in Branson.  The Christmas shows start, the decorations go up (including the drive through Holiday Light Show).  We skipped on that, somehow with the leaves still on the trees (in fact, I kept trying to get pictures of the lovely fall color, but the photos just weren't cooperating):  and the weather just jacket weather, it just didn't interest us.  

This tree was right outside our 5th wheel: 

 I also kept trying to get some pictures of the roads to show the grand kids how hilly it is in Branson, "up the hill and down the hill, up the hill and down the hill" but that was hard to capture, also.

Our campground is even getting into the spirit already:


There is a reason I'm telling you about Christmas starting on November 1, and that involves the next show we went to see.

On Friday, November 2, we went to see the Oak Ridge Boys at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre, naturally.
We have seen the Oak Ridge Boys many, many times, in convert, in Branson, and other places.  They always put on a great show and I love their music and the musicians themselves.  They are true entertainers.

You hardly ever see this guy with his hat off, let alone no glasses.

However, I must admit, aside from my liking of the Oak Ridge Boys, the part of their show I truly get a kick out of is two of their band members.  They get into their music so much and are such a joy to watch and listen to and the Oak Ridge Boys recognize their talent and quite often show case one or both of them:

I often find I have more pictures of these two guys at the end of the night than any of the "Boys" themselves.

So, you're probably wondering where Christmas fits into this scene?

For the second half of the Oak Ridge Boys show, they told us they were supposed to be starting their Christmas show for Branson that day.  They had been out touring and hadn't managed to get the Christmas spirit yet, so they decided to use our audience to practice on.

So here is some of the scenery they are going to use for their Christmas show (well, by now, it's long over, so I guess it should be past tense, but I'm writing as if I'm there now, so you get the idea).

 It was so funny.  There were many little glitches, they used written sheets of music for the lyrics and still sometimes lost their spot and forgot the words.
So ends the Oak Ridge Boys Concert for November 2nd, 2012.

Saturday, November 3rd, we returned to The God and Country Theatre to see a tribute show; Alabama Revisited.

The God and Country Theatre was also in the Christmas Spirit:

For the Alabama Revisted show, there were 2 guys singing along with their band and were they fantastic.  If I had had my eyes shut or never seen Alabama on video, I would not have known it was not Randy Owens and Alabama in person.

The singers didn't introduce themselves until halfway through the show, but I mentioned to Mr. C that they had to be related, they had the same nose and hairline.  It turns out they were brothers.

Here are a few more photos showing how much these guys obviously enjoy their music and show and even each other.

Their Band members:

Our Branson trip was quickly coming to an end.  We only had two days left with one very special show and one unknown show to go.

Please join me tomorrow for the special performance:

Smiles, Sue C

Fun in Branson

Oh boy, oh boy, did we have fun in Branson.  We also had a fantastic Campground to stay at:  America's Best Campground, shown as ABC Campground.  This campground is a short way (very short way) to the Northeast of Branson itself.  You do not have to drive through that awful main street of Branson to get there.  It was fantastic from that viewpoint.  We've driven through that mess on Rt 76 with our Big Sky before and it's a nightmare.  In the past the campground we stayed at was very small with tight roads and turns, but it was on Lake Taneycomo (used to be the White River), which we liked.  ABC may not be on the river, but it made up for it in all other ways.

All different sizes of pull thru sites, up to 75 ft long.  The sites were level, easy in and out, full hook-up, WI-FI, everything we wanted.  In season, they have a pool, they have other entertainment, a meeting room, a car and RV wash and more.  To top it all off, they were extremely nice, friendly, and helpful.

So, what did we do while we were in Branson.  Mr. C had our week completely packed with fun shows to see.  We started off with a Wednesday, October 31st, afternoon with Paul Harris and the Cleverlys at the White House Theatre.  Unfortunately, the theatre was pretty dark and it was hard to get decent pictures.
This was a fun filled show of music and comedy.  We didn't have a clue what to expect but we got our money's worth.  It started off with a lots of jokes and great stories by Paul Harris and his band.   He introduced himself and his band members by name telling a bit about each one.

He told some pretty funny stories that had us all in stitches and he also sang pretty well, LOL.

Then when they were ready to take an intermission, Paul Harris excitedly told the audience that we were so fortunate, we were in luck because the Cleverlys had just gotten back into town and they were going to join us for the second half.  So, we settled back in our seats waiting for the Cleverlys:
He proceeded to introduce the Cleverlys most of whom were obviously the same guys that had been on before, but their names had all been changed and they were all related like any hick back woods family.  The only one we were not 100% sure of was the lead Cleverly.

Apparently, the drummer had a brand new outfit, possibly for Halloween, as it was October 31st, though, as he really took a lot of ribbing over his striped suit.

The base player was fantastic, he was a little bitty guy, but boy could he play and he pounded those strings for all he was worth and really got into it.  When he came back for the second half, his 10 gallon? hat was a real hit as it kind of made up for his size, LOL.  His little toddler son was in the audience dressed as a Pirate Sock Monkey.  He was incredibly cute.

Yes, by now you've probably figured out that the lead Cleverly is also Paul Harris, but he really had us going for awhile, we just weren't real sure, his voice changed and everything.

We were not quite as thrilled with the second half of the performance, though, as the music was not familiar to us and it was so fast paced it was hard to figure out what they were even singing.   We aren't yet "Senior Citizens" but if our ears couldn't keep up, I wonder how the rest of the audience (who were obviously quite a bit older than we were) were able to understand or keep up with it.

It was still a fun afternoon and well worth the laughs.

Thursday, November 1st, we went to the God and Theatre  to see the Statler Brothers Revisited.  The Statler Brothers and Oakridge Boys are 2 of my all time favorite groups and I love Barbershop music.
This was a very good show, but had a few not so great parts.  The history of the Statler Brothers was fantastic, the MC job was great, and the music was good.  I was a tiny bit disapointed in the voices.  The older man, while he originally actually sang with both the Statlers and the Oakridge Boys is losing the fullness of his voice and he's obviously slowing down a bit.  When the lead sang lead, he was great, but he often sang outside his range and got very nasally at that time, which is a personal pet peeve of mine.
After the intermission, when the group came back with a short segment from the Statler Brothers show paying tribute to Lester "Roadhog" Moran and his backup band, the Cadillac Cowboys, it was pure slap-stick funny.

All in all, it was a good show, just not quite as true to sound as many other tributes we've heard over the years.

That wraps it up for October.

Happy Halloween, even if I am several months late and lots of dollars short.

Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow.  Smiles, Sue C