BRANSON, Mo. —
It's a mistake I hope never to repeat.
I had big plans to go see George Jones this fall at the Oak Ridge Boys Theatre in Branson. I missed the aging country crooner, known to many simply as "The Possum," on several occasions during the past couple of years. I've been out of town when he played nearby casinos. I even failed to get my act together and make a reservation when he played Branson.
Jones died earlier this year, and I'll never get the chance to hear "No-Show Jones" in person. That's my loss. Jones was country when country wasn't cool. I was, too.
This fall, dozens of country, pop musicians and classic comedians will play one- or two-night gigs at a variety of Branson venues. Bill Cosby and Rich Little will do shows; high-energy singer Neal McCoy -- who I'm told does a killer show -- will perform several dates; and Johnny Mathis returns to Branson for a two-night engagement. Talk about a diverse lineup.
Randy Travis and Clint Black will entertain country music lovers with scores of hits at Andy Williams Moon River Theatre during separate shows. I saw Black in concert almost 20 years ago, and the recent escapades of Travis got my attention. Just Google it.
Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn's younger sister, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan will take the stage as part of RFD-TV Theatre's "Up Close Concert Series."
Music fans who remember the 1960s -- if you say you were there you're lying, I'm told -- will groove to the Happy Together Tour at Moon River Theatre featuring The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Monkees singer Micky Dolenz, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Band and Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders. And rock fans can catch Journey and folk-rock group America this fall in the Ozarks.
I want to see them all.
Just last weekend I missed my chance to see Willie Nelson in Joplin. I'm still a little miffed at Willie. He's ditched me a couple of times in the recent past. I just need to get over it and catch him next time around, assuming there is a next time.
My advice: Don't wait for next time. It may not come around.
Want to go?
For show times, ticket prices and additional concert information, go to the websites listed or call the theater's reservation line.
The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre, 464 State Highway 248, Branson, 417-335-2000, www.oakridgeboystheatre. com:
- Three Dog Night, July, 13
- The Oak Ridge Boys, Sept. 17-19, 24-26; Oct. 8-10, 15- 17, 22-24; Nov. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21.
- America, Sept. 20
- Sawyer Brown, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 23
- Diamond Rio, Oct. 5
- Kenny Rogers, Oct. 11 and Nov. 10
- Bill Cosby, Oct. 12
- Neal McCoy, 3 p.m. shows on Oct. 17, 23, 24, Nov. 21. and 8 p.m. shows on Oct. 3, 4, 31, Nov. 1, 22, Dec. 6, 7
- Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy, Oct. 25
- John Michael Montgomery, Oct. 26
- John Anderson, Nov. 2
- The Charlie Daniels Band, Nov. 8
- Ronnie Milsap and Connie Smith, Nov. 9
- Johnny Mathis, Nov. 15, 16
Andy Williams Moon River Theatre, 2500 W. 76 Country Boulevard, 417-334-4500, www.andywilliams theatre.com:
- Rich Little, Sept. 20, 21
- Lee Greenwood, Sept. 27, 28
- Clint Black, Oct. 4, 5
- Randy Travis, Oct. 11,12
- Happy Together Tour 2013, Oct. 18, 19
Up Close Concert Series at RFD-TV Theatre, 4080 Highway 76, Branson, 417-339-4663, www.upclose concerts.com:
- Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, Oct. 4
- Crystral Gayle, T.G. Sheppard and Janie Fricke, Oct. 11
- Charley Pride, Oct. 25
- Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Oct. 27
- Ronnie McDowell and Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Nov. 3
- Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and The Vouges, Nov. 24
- RFD regulars Marty Stuart, Oct. 18 and Mollie B, Nov. 10
Up Close Concert Series at the Americana Theatre, 2905 West Highway 76, Branson, 417-339-4663, www.upcloseconcerts.com:
- Lynn Anderson, Oct. 19
- David Frizzell and Shelly West, Nov. 2
- John Conlee, Nov. 9
Black Oak Amphitheatre, 1728 East Mo-Highway, Lampe, 417-779-1222, www.blackoakamp.com:
- Journey, Aug. 16.