The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 8, 2012

Family prefers to peform traditional gospel

BRANSON, Mo. — Max and Janine Bacon and their family have performed on Sundays for more than 23 years.

“Every Sunday on stage is like a family reunion,” Max said. “It’s been a good opportunity to get the family together each week. They are all busy with the grandkids and their sports, but we know we are going to see each other once a week.”

Max and Janine, who anchor the Bacon family’s shows, perform weekly at Grand Country Music Hall with their three sons and two daughters. They perform old-time gospel music and traditional Ozarks country music classics on stage.

On Sundays at 2 p.m., the family focuses attention on their “Gospel Jubilee,” a tribute to hymn-based evangelical gospel music. At 7 p.m., the family turns their attention to country classics during “Ozarks Mountain Jubilee,” focusing on the genre’s best-known hits and artists, old and new.  

During the two decades of their family’s shows, it’s never been a full-time gig. The family’s entertainment engagements have been a sideline.

“It’s not a full-time income, and we are not under the gun to maximize profits,” said Max, a former circuit judge and congressional candidate. “It stays fresh because of that. Sometimes when you do the same thing day in and day out, you lose the enthusiasm.”

Max is a retired Greene County circuit judge who once lost a bid to become the representative for the 7th Congressional District.

“I have a great fondness for the people of Joplin,” he said, laughing. “I ran for U.S. Congress in 1988 and lost to Mel Hancock. The Joplin Globe was the only newspaper in Southwest Missouri that endorsed me.”

Janine is a former Springfield school teacher and son, Doug, the couple’s oldest, is a lawyer. The younger male siblings, Brad and Greg, are school teachers.

“It’s just a privilege to be with my children each week,” Janine said. “People come through and say, ‘You have done such a good job with your kids.’ I didn’t do anything. The Lord did that for me. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s just a fun to spread the word.”

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