The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

May 4, 2012

TV show expands audience for Haygoods

BRANSON Mo. — Dee Ann Morgan follows The Haygoods on Facebook.

“Look at those guys, they are so talented,” the 47-year-old Minnesota resident said following a recent Branson performance. “It’s good music, and they smile at you.”

Mary Broth, 56, of Champaign, Ill., hadn’t been to Branson -- or a Haygoods show -- in more than five years. She loved them back then and now keeps up with the family’s musical antics by watching their weekly show, “Adventures of the Haygoods,” on RFD-TV (Rural Free Delivery Television). She said she feels a personal connection with the performing family, and she likes the musical variety they feature in their stage show.

“I love them,” she said. “I came back because they are gracious and humble. I love the ’50s and ’60s (music), but I think it appeals to all ages. My daughter and grandson would like this show.”

And, she added: “Those boys are not hard on the eyes.”

Rural reception

“Adventures of The Haygoods,” a 30-minute, weekly televised chronicle featuring the Haygood family’s Ozark outings, spotlights the five brothers and Catherine, the sole Haygood sister.

In February, The Haygoods opened their 20th season in Branson at the RFD-TV Theatre and are updating their live show for summer 2012. The current show features the siblings singing, dancing and playing dozens of musical instruments. The show’s musical line-up includes new and classic country favorites, pop and rock standards and several love songs.

Timothy Haygood said fun and variety are the secrets to The Haygoods’ success on stage and on the air.

“We have crazy fun adventures around the Ozarks mountains, playing outside and doing all kinds of fun stuff,” said Haygood, a senior sibling who produces and performs in both shows. “We explore the mountains, play music and explore Branson with our fun and energetic twist on life.”

The Haygoods produced 13 “Adventures” in 2011 and are currently in reruns on RFD. A new season will debut in September.

Haygood said he and his family are encouraged by the show’s reception in rural America, RFD’s target demographic, garnering more than a quarter of a million weekly viewers. He said the national and international exposure  from RFD has been beneficial for the group.

“There’s no question that RFD’s given us more exposure than we could have ever gotten doing our normal show,” he said.Ê“They’ve opened us up to a much larger audience than we’ve ever had access to. It has worked really well. We have modernized our show even more after moving to the RFD theater. It’s also helped that the sound and lighting here is really top notch.”

Broader exposure has led, he said, to a more diverse audience at their shows.

“We are seeing an entirely new audience base at our show,” he said.Ê“I think this is the youngest audience that we have ever experienced. Our growth this year is mostly student and youth groups and people under the age of 65. For a long time our show was too energetic for back in years past.”

Then, he added, things changed.

“All of a sudden things started shifting,” he said. “We were always on the leading edge of the super high energy modern production elements and modern music, while still honoring the Branson tradition. It’s finally swung our way and that’s why we are getting such large crowds at the show. The format of the show is made for a modern audience.”

To keep up with the rapidly changing tastes of Branson audiences, the Haygoods regularly add new song and dance numbers to the show’s set list.

“We’re building an entirely new show,” he said. “We’ve got six or seven new numbers so far and were going all the way to 15 or 20 new numbers that will be in the show by the end of June. Were working around the clock to update (the show) with new effects and numbers and were really working hard and loving every minute of it.”

Want to watch?

Launched in December, 2000, RFD-TV is carried on Dish Network, DirecTV and other satellite and cable television networks.

Want to go?

Go to www.rfdtvthetheatre.com or call 41-332-2344 for Haygoods show dates and ticket information.

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