‘The Show’ to entertain audiences for 25th year

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Performances to take audience through 25 years of songs

"The Show," a favorite hometown music performance by members of HomeTown Sound and The Red Hots, has been entertaining Barry County residents for 24 years will once again delight audiences with music, variety and memories during the weekend of Cassville's Chili Cook-Off.

The two-hour performances celebrating the 25th year of the event will feature 24 hits of music genres from the 1950s and up. It will be held on Oct. 26 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 29 at 2 p.m., at the Cassville FEMA Event Center.

The band's 25th anniversary of "The Show" this year is especially meaningful, as for over two decades now, the band has consistently given back — sharing their time and talents and warming the hearts of area residents with their nostalgic, well-known music performances. The band takes no compensation, instead giving 100 percent of proceeds from each performance to the Cassville Chamber of Commerce to benefit the local community.

"It's our 25th annual celebration, and there are some familiar faces you might recognize from years past," said Greg Beck, veteran band director and drum player. "Most of our band members have been there for the entire time, and newer members around 15 years. The band has been together a year longer than 'The Show.'"

Guests can expect to hear many favorite songs, and although the titles are traditionally never revealed until show time, Beck said some will be making a return

"If you've been to all 25 of the shows, you'll hear 22 of the songs you've already heard," hew said. "Most are from earlier shows, but there will be songs from every genre, and two new songs. I always like to start 'The Show' with something no one has heard. But we'll be doing a selection of old favorites from shows all the way back to the beginning."

The band will also perform four, 45-minute shows on Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Event Center for Cassville students at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

"We do an abbreviated show of about 10 songs for them, because there are a lot of kids that will never be able to go to 'The Show' and we want them to experience it," Beck said. "The kids just go wild."

This year, however, there will be one veteran band member missing — the late trumpet player Rocky Mills.

It will not be easy with Mills gone, especially for trombone player Jim Craig, Mills' friend and musical partner, but as is often said in entertainment, "the show must go on."

"I played music with Rocky in the band for over 21 years," Craig said. "He is, without a doubt, irreplaceable. I will miss him in this year's show. He always let me be the showman, but he was the real musician in the horn section. He never let his great talent interfere with putting others first. I'll be carrying a bit more lead with Rocky gone. I was like his rhythm player, his back up. We were just a team. He was a wonderful guy and a great friend to me."

To honor his memory, the band will play one song just for Mills.

"We're going to do a tribute song for Rocky," Beck said. "It will be a gospel song because that's he what liked best."

Trumpet player Billy McGuffy will be standing in for Mills.

"He has played with us over the years before," Craig said. "Some of our long-term fans might remember him from the Tijuana brass numbers around 18 years ago."

Through the years, "The Show" has traditionally featured local talent, and this year will feature six high school students, and a children's choir.

"There are some who have been in 'The Show' before, and new ones," Beck said. "What makes the kids choir interesting is we'll have two adults with them who sang in the original kids choir 25 years ago."

The members work hard for the volunteer performance each year, preparing months in advance.

"The band puts all the work into it," Beck said. "There are 24 songs in each show. That's how many songs the band has learned. During the last 25 years, we did five Christmas shows and one gospel show, so really, we have done a total of 31 shows."

When asked about the band's uncommon longevity, Beck said the members just good people, good musicians and they all like each other.

"They like playing music," he said. "That's where their heart is, and it's fun for all of us to get to play music and have fun. We hope everybody comes out to 'The Show.'"

Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door, and can be purchased at Cassville banks or the Chamber of Commerce. Ages 12 and under are free.

Limited table seating is also available for $15 per seat, which includes light snacks, or $75 for a table of eight.

For more information about tickets, people may call the chamber at 417-847-2814.

General concessions will be available at the event.

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