Mickey Gilley Theatre

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

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Mickey Gilley's Theatre is in Branson, Missouri. While in Branson, we stayed at the Branson KOA campground.

Mickey Gilley was famous for a number of top ten country hits. He and a partner had a famous Pasadena, Texas (just outside Houston) nightspot called Gilley's. The nightclub was toughted as the world's largest Honkey Tonk. We think Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, Texas which was built after Gilley's was larger. Gilley's and Mickey Gilley were catapulted into American popular culture in the early 1980's with the popular John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy. The movie was shot on location at Gilley's nightclub.

For some people, Linda included, the movie Urban Cowboy was a turning point in their music and dancing. Disco was waning and country music was on the up and up. Linda visited both Gilley's in Pasadena and Billy Bob's in Fort Worth.

Before the lawsuits took their toll, many of the country western nightclubs had mechanical bulls like the one on display (shown below right) in the lobby of Mickey Gilley's Theatre.

Since we stayed at the Branson KOA and bought our tickets through the Branson KOA, we were able use the KOA shuttle (shown below left). They picked us up in the campground, dropped us off in front of Mickey Gilley's Theatre, picked us up after the show, and dropped us back in the campground. This is truely the best way to get to the shows. The traffic in and around Branson is awful.

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There is plenty of parking around the Mickey Gilley Theatre if you are so inclined to drive yourself. There are three shows a day in the Theatre. The morning show is Dalena Ditto. She does a variety show. The matinee is Les Brown's Band of Renown. Les Brown's band does Big Band style music. In the evening is Mickey Gilley's show.

I guess you could say that Mickey Gilley only does one show per day.

Since they allow still cameras in the theatre, I was able to get some pictures of the performance. The don't allow video cameras or audio recorders.

Below left is Mickey Gilley himself. His band is called the Urban Cowboys. He calls the women backup singlers the Urbanets. The horn players (left hand side of the stage) are called the Hornets.

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Above left - one of the female backup singers belts out a couple of Patsy Cline songs.

Above right - Joey Riley is a musician and a comic. I've heard Joey Riley perform with Jeff Foxworhy. Joey is truely funny. I felt like Joey really makes Mickey Gilley's show fun. He adds some spice to what could be a rather bland show. Joey also performs daily at the Branson Mall.

Below - Intermission.

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Right - I keep trying to get Linda in pictures with the flash. She has an uncanny ability to close her eyes right before the flash.

Below left - Mickey Gilley sings with the band.

Below right - Mickey Gilley accompanies on the piano.

 

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Copyright © 2004 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved