Many people visit Branson for the stunning lake views, the shows, the shopping, and the gorgeous Ozark Hills that the area is known for. The Baldknobbers Jamboree Show actually took their name from a nickname of these hills: the treeless tops of these abundant hills are referred to as ‘bald knobs’. According to an introduction presented at the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show, there was originally a vigilante group titled the Baldknobbers in the Branson area, and the Mabe family who founded the show, took the name to identify themselves as performers in the Ozark wilderness.
The Mabe family began the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show in 1959 (and if you have a hard time with math, note that this family show has been performed for over 50 years)! Over the years they’ve moved from their more rustic setting to the beautiful Baldknobbers Country Music Theatre. The theatre is located centrally on highaway 76 and sits adjacent to the Motor Inn and the Baldknobbers Restaurant, establishments that are affiliated with the show. Special packages and features are available that offer combination lodging, dining, and show specials all related to the Baldknobbers.
The show itself is representative of Branson history in more ways than one. As mentioned earlier, the name of the show relates both to the vigilante group located in the area, as well as the treeless tops that characterize the Ozark Hills. The Mabe family themselves are also historically significant; a collection of objects from the original show were donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History last year. The Mabe’s tagline their show with the phrase “the show that started it all”. Certainly their grassroots-beginning playing washboards and banjos on the lakeshore over fifty years ago for tourists and locals alike is justification enough for this motto.
Similar to its humble beginnings, the show still relies on clean comedy, impressive instrumentals, and the cooperation of a family for its success. Hargus Marcel and Droopy Drawers Jr. are facets of this historical show and make knee-slap-inducing appearances throughout the show. The two hilarious characters have been passed down from generation to generation in the Mabe family, providing fun, family-friendly comedy for decades. Children and adults alike will laugh out loud at the larger than life antics of these two characters. It is evident that the comedy comes straight from the heart; Hargus and Droopy interact with a lively cast of vocalists and instrumentalists to create a genuinely humorous act that represents the history of the area.
In addition to the funny skits interspersed throughout the show, there are a plethora of high-caliber musical performances that also represent the musical talent that Branson has to offer. A mix of old-time gospel music, classic bluegrass songs, and contemporary country tunes are sung both by incredible soloists and by the group together to provide incredible music entertainment. Songs such as “Little Rock”, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”, ”Made In America”, and “Fiddle In The Band” provide versatile opportunities for the audience to sit back, enjoy, and sing along to. Each branch of the military is also honored with a rousing rendition of all military songs, and any service members in the audience are thanked throughout the performance. In addition to a respect for the armed service members, the show also features a gospel music segment. The range of music performed throughout the show will appeal to any audience member. Mixed with the humor of Hargus and Droopy, and the collaboration of a talented family and cast, you can’t go wrong if you go see this show.