Monday, October 18, 2010

Ray Stevens Returns to Branson

Ray Stevens is has had people laughing for over 50 years and last Friday night was no different.  One of the first theater owners in Branson, Ray returned for a 6-week engagement at the Welk Resort Theater.  He will wrap up his performances on October 23, so if you are in the Branson area this show is a must see! 

I have seen shows where I laughed till I cried, and others that made my jaw hurt, and sometimes I've laughed till my ribs hurt, but never have I left with my mascara running AND my jaw locked in screaming laughter mode AND holding my aching ribs!  Ray performed new parodies, the golden oldies and sang his classics like "Misty" and "Everyone Is Beautiful".  The real treat was the story-telling, a staple of his live show, that isn't on his CDs.  He can take you to a punch line that you never saw coming!

Here are some of the photos I took at the show:

 Remember "Guitarzan""
..... and Jane?
 .... uh, Jane?? 
 Remember the prankster calling "Margaret"?   
 Remember when Ethel saw "The Streak"?
And so much more!

At 71 years old, and a survivor of prostate cancer, Ray is tireless.  One of his band members, half Ray's age, was telling us that he wears them out with his energy! 

The show was a full two hours of performance followed by a rare appearance afterwards to sign autographs.  We stood in line for just under an hour and worth every minute to get the shot below --- of Ray! not me!

Most of all, Ray Stevens is a man who loves his country --- with his whole being!  And he is not afraid to express it.  I will say this, if you are a liberal you will feel a bit bruised during the first half of the show.  But pull up your red, white, and blue panties and stick around --- love of country is a universal feeling, as is laughter.  For more of Ray's special brand of patriotism be sure to get his latest project "We the People", available at . 

Thank you for stopping by.  If you haven't been to Branson lately, what are you waiting for??  This isn't your grandparents' Branson!

God bless America -- and Ray Stevens!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Awaiting Autumn In Branson

This video "Forever Autumn" by Justin Hayward. has beautiful pictures of this incredible time of year.  Here in Branson we anxiously await the fall colors, hoping for the brilliance only nature can create.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Hummingbird Inn Bed and Breakfast --- AND Romantic Weddings

Once you turn off Hwy 160 onto Hampton Road, you quickly find yourself on a winding country road, canopied by a forest of trees so thick it is often difficult to see the sky. Nearly completely hidden by these trees is an old milking shed near a watering hole visited by all sorts of wildlife. Then you come to a three-tined fork in the road; taking the middle tine straight ahead brings you to a view not unlike hundreds in the Branson Ozarks. The trees part to reveal a breathtaking panorama of tree covered hills, accented by the Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower. Perched on a high ridge overlooking the hills north of Branson is The Hummingbird Inn Bed and Breakfast.

When you are guests at the Inn, whether for a day or a week, for a vacation or for a family reunion, for a wedding or an anniversary, you are treated like royalty by your hosts Ron and Sherry. Luxurious suites, delicious home-made breakfasts, as well as dinners available made-to-order, gardens, country air, and down-home hospitality are just a few of the amenities that will have you promising to return soon!

If you are looking for the perfect place for a perfect wedding, The Hummingbird Inn will make your special day, well --- perfect! Wedding ceremonies are performed in the gazebo, in the garden, in front of the fireplace, under the grape-covered arbor, in the country barn, or in the meadow under a flowered trellis. Everything you need for an intimate wedding party for 2 to 40 can be provided.

It is my honor and pleasure to be the wedding photographer at the Inn. We have so much fun getting to know the bride and groom as well as their guests. To see some of the wedding photos you can visit Hampton Road Photography or The Hummingbird Inn website. For a wedding photographer the Hummingbird Inn is a paradise. For that matter, it's a paradise for guests, too!

For you next --- or first --- visit to Branson Ron and Sherry are ready to welcome you to their B&B for a different point of view of Branson!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Boys Are Back --- The Oak Ridge Boys, That Is!

For someone who loves live shows like I do, living in Branson, Missouri is like living in a candy store!  So many great shows!  Some of the biggest names in entertainment!  Theaters that give you the feeling you are right on stage with the entertainers! 

One of the biggest theaters is The Oak Ridge Boys Theater, so named because that is the home away from home for none other than The Oak Ridge Boys.  They have been a favorite of mine for decades and have been harmonizing for even more decades than that!  When I have the chance to see their show, well, I'm there!  In October 2009 I saw their all new show named for their latest CD, "The Boys Are Back".  With a hot new CD, an eye-popping stage set, and energized vocals taking them to yet higher levels of fantastic, the "Boys" are definitely back!  Then in November 2009 I went back to see their Christmas show, complete with Santa Claus, and enjoyed contemporary and gospel Christmas music as well as a selection of new hits and golden oldies. 

All of their shows are completely family-oriented, for everyone from 9 months to 90 years.  Make that 93, as was one of the audience members last week.  Yep, I went to the show again last week!  They are back on tour now and will return to Branson the end of May.  While they tour all summer we will be counting the days until they return in the fall.  If you are coming to Branson, and I hope you are, check out their tour schedule at It's a show you will never forget!

Another great thing about the shows in Branson is taking pictures.  Unlike most of the concerts we attend in arenas and coliseums, cameras are allowed, and even welcomed, in all of the shows.  As a photographer, I often watch the shows through my camera.  Hey, with a 270mm zoom lens it's a great view!  Last week I got ALOT of great shots and I'd like to share just a few with you here..........

Joe Bonsall

Richard Sterban

Duane Allen

William Lee Golden

The "jumbotron" screen at the back of the stage is amazing!

Very recognizable silhouette against the full moon.

Patriotism is right up there with gospel for the Boys

.......... so is having alot of fun!

Richard's deep bass voice rumbles the rafters!

William Lee's talents are as diverse as the hats he wears on stage.

Duane's heart is in every song.

Their respect and admiration for each other is carried in every number.

The crowd was as rockin' as the band and didn't want the Boys to leave... even after two full hours!

Catch the Oak Ridge Boys' show wherever you can, but I hope to see you here in Branson, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Silver Dollar City to be featured on Undercover Boss

Silver Dollar City to be featured on Undercover Boss on Sunday, March 28 8:00 pm Central. 

One of the most popular attractions in Branson, and definitely my favorite place to go, is Silver Dollar City.  With its own unique Ozark style and friendliness it is impossible not to have a great time, whether you visit one time or dozens of times! 

The park is in continuous transformation with new rides and features.  There are six festivals during the season:
World Fest
Blue Grass and BBQ
Kids' Fest
Southern Gospel Picnic
National Harvest Festival
An Old Time Christmas

So anytime you come you'll have a grand time!  That's why I have a season pass, so I can go to all the festivals any time and as many times as I want to!  Not to mention, it is a photographer's and crafter's paradise!

All through 2010 SDC it celebrating its 50th Birthday!  Wow!  My sister will be 50 this year (sorry, Patty).  But if you are going to be 50 in 2010, or if you are celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary SDC has a terrific deal for you:  FREE admission all through the season!

Do come to Branson for a weekend or a week ---- or longer!  You'll never run out of things to do.  There is something for everyone in the family!