Yeller Dog Productions is proud to announce that Ozarks Public Television will be broadcasting their “Christmas On The Trail” program this coming Thursday night, December 23rd, at 8:00 PM. The cowboy-themed Christmas special will air on both OPT affiliates, KOZK, based in Springfield, Missouri, and KOZJ, based in Joplin, Missouri.
Christmas on the Trail was initially written and produced as a stage performance, at The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead’s Pavilion Theatre, as part of Branson’s premier Christmas attraction, The Trail of Lights. The production celebrates the true meaning of Christmas, and all of the traditions generations have held dear, from the vantage point of the American Cowboy, and is currently in its seventh year of performances at The Shepherd of the Hills. After six years of performances, delighting tens of thousands of fans, the show’s creator and producer, Jim Grady, decided that it was time to stop just singing about cowboys, trails, horses, campfires, and Christmas out on the range, and actually head out to a ranch, with cowboys, trails, horses, campfires, Longhorn cattle, and an authentic 1876 chuckwagon, and a document a true cowboy Christmas celebration out on the range! At that point, Grady’s Yeller Dog Productions began planning with Frank Gamble, founder and owner of One Stone Media, to undertake the incredibly ambitious mission of producing a DVD of this beloved, unique Christmas experience.
Shot in high-definition, the project was not just intended to video a re-creation of what has become a beloved Christmas show to countless families, featuring rock-solid performances from some of the finest musicians and cowboy poets anywhere, but to also capture additional footage, shot over a period of four months, which would take the viewer to a different place in time, and actually tell the story conveyed in the lyrics and poems, visually – much like a music video would. The other challenge was to find the right balance of traditional Christmas classics, both popular and sacred, and the unique lyrics and harmonies, as well as poems, which capture the romance and iconic imagery of the American Cowboy. The ultimate goal was simply to allow families across the country to come together each Christmas, and for a couple of hours be transported to sit around this Yuletide campfire, and join the cast, as they look at this most treasured of all American holidays, through the eyes of one of her most revered and honored American heroes – The Cowboy!
OPT’s Programming and Production Manager, Tom Carter, stated, “We are looking forward to the opportunity to air this program. It’s really beautiful and put together well.” Grady said, “We are both excited and grateful for the opportunity Ozarks Public Television has afforded us to share this unique, heartwarming Christmas celebration with the people of Southwest Missouri. OPT has always provided excellent programming to the people of this region, and we feel that our product is an exceptionally good fit for their stations. Also, the fact that it will be broadcast in high-definition allows the beautiful scenery and quality of the production to be seen to its fullest effect.”
Thursday’s broadcast, scheduled to last one hour, will actually be a condensed sample of the overall production, which is available on a 3-DVD set, containing over three hours of content, along with a double-CD companion soundtrack. Copies of the “Christmas On The Trail” set may be obtained at www.cowboychristmasdvd.com or www.yellerdogproductions.com. The current season of the Christmas On The Trail stage production will continue through the remainder of the Christmas holidays, Mondays through Saturdays, through Saturday, January 1st, at The Shepherd of the Hills Pavilion Theatre, with the exception of Christmas Day. For further information, including ticket reservations, call 1 – 800 – OLD MATT, or visit www.oldmatt.com.
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