Branson performers and a bluegrass band will provide entertainment for the 11th annual Kings Prairie benefit concert on Saturday, Aug. 14 at the historic Kings Prairie school, now used as a community building.
"This is going to be the best show we've ever had," said Al Brumley, concert organizer.
The annual event provides financial support for the community building. Thanks to an anonymous donation, a modern well has now been dug for the facility. Restrooms will be built behind the cook shack to permanently improve the building's resources. Funds raised will go toward restroom construction, making the historic school building handicapped accessible and future maintenance.
Lisa Layne, who offers one of the best tribute concerts to Patsy Cline, will headline the evening of music. Layne, from Tyler, Texas, began performing in Branson as part of the Jim Owen Morning Show in 2005. She has presented her own country show at the God and Country Theatre since 2007 and also performed at the San Antonio Rose Show in San Antonio, Texas, in 2008 and 2009.
Layne sings over a four octave range and has recorded since 1986. She has done her Patsy Cline tribute concert since 1989 and bears a striking resemblance to the late country singer. Layne is one of three women sanctioned by the Patsy Cline Foundation to portray Cline.
A second Branson show will be presented by Ermal and Paula Cravens Williamson. Their "John Wayne and America's Yodeling Sweetheart Show" also comes from the God and Country Theatre. Ermal bears a striking resemblance to movie star John Wayne and has an extended routine recreating the voice, mannerisms and memories of the film actor.
Paula Williamson has a long career as a yodeling Western music performer. She has worked with Dale Evans, Reba McIntire and Lucille Ball. She has recorded six compact discs and has a special routine, complete with costume, that salutes Dale Evans.
The Last Resort bluegrass band will also perform. The six-man ensemble has 50 years of combined experience making music. Mandolin player Chris Johnson was raised near Diamond and now lives near Tipton Ford. Bass player Gary Harrall provides lead vocals and also comes from the Diamond area.
Both banjo player Daniel Shilling and guitar playing lead vocalist David Johnson come from the Oak Grove community, south of Joplin. Dobro player Joe Smith lives in Lamar. Fiddle player Jon Harden played for 15 years at the Kountry Kuzins Jamboree in Grove, Okla.
Brumley is the son of gospel music legend Albert E. Brumley. He will serve as master of ceremonies and present several numbers throughout the show. Each year Brumley leads a sing-along of his father's biggest hit, "I'll Fly Away," as the finale.
Concessions will be available beginning at 5 p.m. on the grounds. The regular menu of barbecue beef sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos and beverages will be expanded this year. A wide selection from 40 homemade pies will again be available. Picnic tables will be set up on the grounds.
Handicapped parking will be available near the concert area. Additional parking will be to the west of the school. Burton and Sons will be providing golf carts to bring concert goers to the grounds. Monett Rural Fire Association volunteers provide assistance.
The concert starts at 6 p.m. Donations will be accepted.
The Kings Prairie Community Center is located south of Highway 60, three miles east of Monett, on Highway Z one mile, then west on Farm Road 2015, across from the New Liberty Church.
For more information, call Louella Helmkamp at 235-3870.