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Road Trippin' - Branson

Full of music, southern history and cultureâ?¦ itâ??s no surprise that Branson is one of the top tourist destinations in Missouri.

Branson, Missouri is nicknamed the â??Live Entertainment Capital of the Worldâ??. But how did this Ozark Mountain town become so popular for its music?

It all started with the Mabe family, who called themselves the Baldknobbers. In 1959, the Baldknobbers first started playing in Branson and in 1968 they opened their own theater. Almost 50 years later, theyâ??re still playing.

â??So then the Presleys came over here and purchased some property on [Highway] 76 and built a theater successfully,â?? said Sandy Wilkinson, Manager of the Branson Centennial Museum. â??So the Mabesâ?| came and built right across the street from the Presleys.â??

Theaters continued to pop up all over Branson. Fast forward to the late 1980s and early 1990s â?? thatâ??s when the city really started to grow. Entertainers like Andy Williams and Tony Orlando flocked to the cityâ?| but why did they choose little olâ?? Branson?

â??You can go perform, you can do what you love to do,â?? said Wilkinson. â??And then when the showâ??s over, you can get in the car, you can go home, you can have supper with your wife, you can do anything.â??

â??They found out they liked living here, because they were treated as people,â?? said Branson Centennial Museum Curator Jean Babcock.

Now, more than 80 live shows run every day from morning to night in over 30 area theaters. The entertainers take pride in performing for people of all ages.

â??Gospel, country, veterans and family - itâ??s just wonderful,â?? said Wilkinson.

Full of music, southern history and cultureâ?| itâ??s no surprise that Branson is one of the top tourist destinations in Missouri.

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