What's happening in Vegas"¦Myrtle Beach, San Francisco, Raleigh, Savannah, Albany, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Colorado Springs and Salt Lake City"¦is a weekly television show featuring Branson, Mo., courtesy of Gene Williams and his Lucas Oil sponsored "Gene Williams Country Television Show."
A winner of three 2007 National Telly Awards, the Gene Williams Show features celebrity guest stars such as Mickey Gilley, Ed McMahon, the Oak Ridge Boys and Roy Clark. Celebrities perform with Williams' band, the Country Junction Band, and are interviewed up-close-and-personal by the legendary Williams and his co-host Katie Lynn.
"We were all waiting to see what Gene would do with his show after last year when he took his show to Puerto Rico. Top that he did, by adding more than a dozen prime markets to make his show broadcast to more than 36 million households weekly," said Denny Yeary, Branson celebrity who serves as Williams' live theater announcer and soloist. "This opens a new market for Branson, the live entertainment capital of the world, where the show has been taped live with a studio audience for the past six years."
The new stations that carry the show are:
- Raleigh, N.C., WRAZ/FOX Channel 50 Sundays at 9:30 p.m.
- Savannah, Ga., WSAV/NBC Channel 3 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Albany, N.Y. WTEN/ABC Channel 10 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Green Bay, Wisc., WBAY/ABC Channel 2 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Myrtle Beach, S.C. WBTW/CBS on Channel 13 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Colo., KXRM/FOX Channel 21 9:30 a.m. Sundays
- Cadillac/Flynt, Mich., WPBN/NBC Channel 7 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Toldeo, Ohio, WNWO/NBC Channel 24 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- Las Vegas Channel 6 on RTN's KEGS at 9:30 a.m. Sundays.
- Salt Lake City Channel 3 on RTN's KDBU at 9:30 a.m. Sundays.
- San Francisco Channel 4 MY's KRON 10:30 p.m. Sundays.
- Pittsburgh Channel 59 WBGN/IND Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.
- Provo, Utah, KCBU/RTN Channel 3 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
"It's exciting to think we have added new viewers who will become Branson fans in these new markets. They will enjoy our country music, our comedy and our band. In the Country Junction Band we have some of the best pickers in Branson and in country music. We also have some of the best guest stars," said Williams whose celebrity line-up is impressive.
In addition to Gilley, McMahon, the Oak Ridge Boys and Clark, Williams has welcomed Johnny Cash's band The Tennessee Three, Doug Kershaw, Barbara Fairchild, Sons of the Pioneers, Jimmy Osmond, the Osmonds, Helen Cornelius, Leona Williams and Bob Anderson. Charlie Louvin, Narvel Felts, Margo Smith, Jim Owen, Cal Smith, Stonewall Jackson, Norma Jean, Mary Lou Turner, Ava Barber, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jean Shepard, Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner, Buck Trent, Wanda Jackson, Johnny Lee, Fred Travalena and Razzy Bailey have also guest starred on his stage.
The Gene Williams Show is taped live at the Branson Hall of Fame Theatre at the Branson Mall on the world famous Hwy. 76. Admissions for the studio audience is free and the doors open at 1 p.m. for the first taping at 2 p.m. Three shows are taped approximately every third Sunday. Tapings scheduled to date are set for Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and 16, and in 2008, Jan. 20, Feb. 10 and March 2.
Williams is credited with having the largest syndicated country music television show not affiliated with Nashville (where his show is telecast) and with breaking ground for country television. The Gene Williams Show began in 1963 in Arkansas and is now the longest running television show taped in Branson. In 2006 Williams' television show was listed as the most popular TV show in national ratings on WNGS Buffalo/Rochester, N.Y. It was also listed as a favorite TV show in the March, 2006, issue of the national magazine, "Maxim."
Williams began his career in the country music field as a DJ in Memphis on KWAM in 1957 and was named 1961 Grand Ole Opry DJ of the Year. Two movies he made about country music featured more than 39 Grand Ole Opry stars including Ray Price, Carl Smith, Jordanaires, Kitty Wells, Little Jimmy Dickens, Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers and the late Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubb, June Carter, Bill Monroe, Duke of Paducah and Faron Young.
Williams is an inductee to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and has been honored by the Missouri Senate and the State of Arkansas for his contributions to the tourism industry. He holds a record in Arkansas of having nine days proclaimed Gene Williams Day by six governors including three times by former President Bill Clinton.
In July, he was presented the key to his hometown, Dyess, Ark., in appreciation for his support to help preserve the town's history. He is helping save a historical building that will be used for a museum recognizing the town's historical significance and its former residents, Johnny Cash, Tommy Cash and Williams. Recently he was nominated for induction into the inaugural group for the Hall of Fame Museum as an individual who has had a significant impact on Branson's entertainment history. Last year he was honored with a historical marker in his hometown and presented an honorary doctorate degree from St. Martins College and Seminary, Milwaukee, Wis., in television and broadcast communications in recognition of his community commitment to the industry.
Williams' co-host Katie Lynn has received the Branson Entertainment Awards Best Support Vocalist twice for her work in the “Mickey Gilley Show.” She has worked with Gilley for more than seven years and also worked with Jim Owen for seven years. In addition to her singing career, she is a real estate agent. She and the guest star perform each week with Williams' band, the Country Junction Band.
The show can also be seen in Aberdeen, Miss., Ada, Okla., Albany, N.Y., Alexandria, La., Amory, Miss., Baldwin, Miss., Booneville, Miss., Branson, Mo., Bruce, Miss., Buffalo, N.Y., Burlington, Vt., Calhoun City, Miss., Casper, Wyo., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cheyenne, Wyo., Coffeyville, Miss., Columbia, S.C., Cornith, Miss., Denison, Texas, Denver, Colo., Ecru, Miss., Eldorado, Ark., Eugene, Ore., Eupora, Miss., Eureka Springs, Ark., Fayetteville, Ark., Fort Smith, Ark., Green Bay, Wis., Guntown, Miss., Harrison, Ark., Holly Springs, Miss., Houlka, Miss., Houston, Miss., Idaho Falls, Idaho, Jonesboro, Ark., Lexington, Ky., Little Rock, Ark., Marianna, Fla., Marquette, Mich., Memphis, Tenn., Montgomery, Ala., Mt. Vernon, Ill., Myrtle, Miss., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nashville, Tenn., Nettleton, Miss., New Albany, Miss., Niagara Falls, N.Y., Okolona, Miss., Oxford, Miss., Panama City, Fla, Pittsburgh, Plattsburg, Vt., Pontotoc, Miss., Pullman, Wa.., Raleigh, N.C., Ripley, Miss., Roanoke, Va., Rochester, N.Y., Roseberg, Ore., Satillo, Miss., San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Savannah, Ga., Shannon, Miss., Sherman, Miss., Sherman, Texas, Smithville, Miss., Spokane, Wash., Springfield, Mo., St. Louis, Syracuse, N.Y., Tupelo, Miss, Vardaman, Miss., Verona, Miss., Water Valley, Miss., and Waterloo, Iowa.