A couple of weeks ago, my Mother and I had the time to travel out to Missouri to visit my daughter and celebrate her 30th birthday. Before I left on our trek, I was able to secure tickets for all of us to see Branson's Famous Baldknobbers. None of us had ever been to the show even though I used to live in Branson, MO and my daughter currently does. All of us thought it would be fun to see a show to end the first night of Natasha turning 30.
As it happened, it was also the first week that Branson kicks off its Christmas season of holiday shows. That meant we were going to be privy to The Baldknobbers special Christmas show, a double whoo-hoo for us! It turned out, the first half of their live show is from their regular season and the second half features their Christmas special.
Not knowing exactly who the "baldknobbers" were, I, being a history buff, had to do a little research. I found out that in the history of the area, the "baldknobbers" were essentially a vigilante group who opposed the lawlessness of the area after the Civil War.
Knowing this and the fact we were in the middle of southwestern Missouri, my Mom, daughter, and I were not quite sure what to expect.
Country music? No doubt!
Hillbilly humor? More than likely.
Great show? Remained to be seen.
Bob Leftridge, the pre-show entertainer
The show began with a pre-show by Bob Leftridge entertaining for approximately 45 minutes. His southern Missouri drawl and hillbilly humor left all of us in the audience tickled until our funny bones about fell off. In between his humorous tales, he was strumming a tune or even a few notes to warm us up for the main show of the night and to introduce The Baldknobbers whom we had come to see.
The Mabe family originally entertained people on Lake Taneycomo but moved to the Branson strip in the early 60's providing several generations of Mabe's keeping The Baldknobber's show alive.
The Mabe family have been entertaining for 50 plus years with humor and music. They are considered one of the first and oldest family entertainers in the area.
first half show
second half-Christmas show
"What a surprise!" my Mother exclaimed.
My Mother swooning! See that grin?
She turned to me and my daughter right after one of the Mabe's had just sung directly to her. I think my Mother would have been okay if he sat on her lap. (snickers) She said we were jealous. Maybe we were. Hey!
In truth, all of us were floored by the musical talent that was being presented before us. With contemporary country music, old-time gospel and familiar Christmas tunes the show completely wowed us!
The same member of the group that made my Mother grin, sang a version of Garth Brook's, "Friends In Low Places" that was simply outstanding. Even my daughter tapped her foot and sang along. Amazing!
Mike Ito, fiddle player extraordinaire
The show also featured the band at times including Mike Ito, the meanest fiddle player I have ever heard or seen. He too sang a Christmas song in Spanish which delighted us all. However, his feature in the first half of the show of, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was incredible.
Then there was the piano player who played a version of "Amazing Grace" so flawlessly that it made my head spin. His hands flew across the piano as if they were on fire.
If all that was not enough, in between sets, a comedy duo came out that kept us in stitches. Their sketches were well times and downright funny! Even a very old Elvis was "raised" from the grave to sing none other than "Blue Christmas."
I cannot say enough about this family of talented people. I encourage you to go see and hear them as I have done. You won't be disappointed and will have as much fun as my daughter, my Mom, and I all did! I am going again as soon as I can.
Thanks, Baldknobbers! ~Michelle aka Naila Moon
...For my readers...
Don't miss your chance to see "the show that started it all", Branson's Famous Baldknobbers!
Baldknobbers' Christmas Vacation Receive $3.00 OFF each ADULT TICKET or $5.00 OFF our FAMILY PASS - Receive $3.00 OFF each ADULT TICKET or $5.00 OFF our FAMILY PASS when you mention "Baldknobbers' Christmas Vacation" when making your reservation. Not valid with any other offer or discount.