Tuesday morning saw the Jim Stafford Theatre filled with the “who’s who” of Branson entertainers, producers, fans and more gathered for the announcement of the nominees for the 5th annual Branson Terry Music Awards, the 40th overall Terry Music Awards, which is set for Oct. 7 at the venue.

This year’s nominees are led by “Raiding the Country Vault,” “Grand Jubilee,” “Clay Cooper’s Country Express” and “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” who all snagged eight each, followed by “The Hughes Music Show” with seven.

The “Terry Awards” are the brainchild of Terry Beene, a Texas native and musician, who conceived the idea for the awards while working for a radio station in Fort Worth, Texas. Beene said after he discussed the Tony Awards on air, he jokingly announced he was going to be hosting the Terry Awards.

The interest from musicians across the state to be considered for an award led to the organization of an actual award ceremony, the Terry Awards, first held in June 1977. In 2014, Beene partnered with the late Chisai Childs to present the first Terry awards exclusively for Branson.

Last year’s winners included Entertainers of the Year Jak, Kevin, Owen, Lynn, Barry and Curtis Knudsen from the show “Six,” “Clay Cooper’s Country Express” for Show of the Year, “Illusionist Rick Thomas” for Production Show of the Year, Mike Walker for Male Vocalist of the Year, Kari Garrison for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Branson’s Famous Band for Band of the Year.

2018 Branson Terry Music Award Nominees are as follows:

Show of the Year: “The Hughes Music Show,” “The Haygoods,” “Six,” “The Duttons,” “Grand Jubilee,” and “Raiding The Country Vault.”

Production Show of the Year: “The Hughes Music Show,” “Clay Cooper’s Country Express,” “Samson,” “Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show,” “The Haygoods,” “The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama.”

Tribute Show of the Year: “Legends In Concert,” “Conway Remembered,” “Thank You For the Music: A Modern Tribute to Abba,” “Liverpool Legends,” “Statler Brothers Revisited,” “Sinatra and Friends,” and “Take It To The Limit Eagles Tribute.”

Morning Show of the Year: “Down Home Country,” “The Doug Gabriel Show,” “The Blackwoods,” “Gold Wing Express,” “Oh Happy Day,” and “George Jones & Friends Remembered.” 

Matinee Show of the Year: “Hot Rods & High Heels,” ”Doo Wop & The Drifters,” “Comedy Jamboree,” “Reza Edge of Illusion,”  “#1 Hits of the 60s, & 50s, too,” and “Pierce Arrow Presents Decades.”

Dinner Show of the Year: Dolly Parton’s Stampede, “Branson Murder Mystery,” “Neil Sedaka Tribute Show,” “Pastor Pudge & Alta,” “Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel,” and “The Hughes Music Show.”

“Little Big Show” of the Year: “The Sons of Britches,” “50 Years of Kenny Rogers,” “A Tribute to George Strait Dinner Show,” “The Johnson Strings,” “Doo Wop & The Drifters,”  “The Peterson Family Bluegrass Band.” 

Entertainer of the Year: The Haygood Family from “The Haygoods,” Amber Campbell from “#1 Hits of the 60s, & 50s, too,” CJ Newsom from “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy,” Doug Gabriel from “The Doug Gabriel Show,” Rick Thomas from “Illusionist Rick Thomas,” and the Hughes Brothers, stars of “The Hughes Music Show.”

Male Vocalist of the Year: Todd Bradshaw from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” Jeff Brandt from the “Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show,” George Dyer from “Broadway to Buble,” Splinter Middleton from “Heartland Country,” Doug Gabriel from “The Doug Gabriel Show,” and Jamie Haage from “Down Home Country” and “Grand Jubilee.”

Female Vocalist of the Year: Nadia Cole from “Ayo starring the Voices of Glory,” Nedgra Culp from “Nedgra Culp and Girls on Fire,” Megan Mabe from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” Melody Hart from “Raiding the Country Vault” and “Down Home Country,” Michelle Poe from “Raiding the Country Vault,” and CJ Newsom from “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy.”

Band of the Year: Clay Cooper’s Country Express Band, the Grand Band (also known as the Rhinestone Mafia), the cast of “Raiding the Country Vault,” the “Heartland Country” Band,” “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country, and the Urban Cowboy Band.

Vocal Group of the Year: The Hughes Brothers, New South, “Six,” Pierce Arrow, the cast of “Magnificent 7,” and the cast of “The Golden Sounds of the Platters.”

Gospel Group of the Year: The cast of “Oh Happy Day,” the cast of “Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel,” The Blackwoods, the Voices of Glory, the Hughes Family for “The Hughes Christmas Show,” and the cast of “Ozarks Gospel.”

om “Raiding the Country Vault,” Luke Menard and Jackie Brown from “Grand Jubilee,” Denny and Sheila Yeary from “Dolly & Friends a Tribute,” Brandon and Megan Mabe from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” Matt Muhoberac and Amber Campbell from “#1 Hits of the 60s, & 50s, too,” and Clay and Tina Cooper from “Clay Cooper’s Country Express.”

Comedian of the Year: Matt Gumm from “Clay Cooper Country Express,” Terry Sanders from “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy,” “Doug Gabriel Show” comedian Jordan Gabriel, Joey I.L.O. from “Ozarks Country” and “Ozarks Gospel,” Alexander Koreiba and Justin Oller from “Oh Happy Day,” and Jerl Adams and Tim Mabe from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers.” 

Fiddle Player of the Year: Nathan Agdeppa from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” Wayne Massengale from the “Grand Jubilee,” Janice Martin from “The Janice Martin Cirque Show,” Amy Dutton from “The Duttons,” Katie Petersen from “The Petersen Family Bluegrass Band,” and Louis Darby from “Sons of Britches.”

Guitar Player of the Year: Chad Cathell from “Grand Jubilee,” Josh Carroll from “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy,” Matt Hanshaw from the “Jim Stafford Show,” Grant Moody from the Branson Famous Band,  Dino Strunk from”The Doug Gabriel Show,” and Barry Bales from “Hot Rods and High Heels.”

Bass Player of the Year: Larry Allred from “Grand Jubilee,” Mark “Catfish” Evans from “The Clay Cooper Country Express,” Scott Lancaster from “The Doug Gabriel Show,” Brent Mabe from “Heartland Country,” Kelly Black from Silver Dollar City’s Cajun Connection, and Marty Wilhite from “The Hughes Music Show.”

Instrumentalist of the Year: Dr. Scott Kwapiszeski from “Raiding the Country Vault,” Jamie Haage from “Grand Jubilee,” Tim Dutton from “The Duttons,” Forrest Herzog from “Statler Brothers Revisited,” Greg Moody from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” and Michael T. Hermsmeyer from “Heartland Country.”

Keyboard Player of the Year: Michael W. Davis from “Grand Jubilee,” Andy Oberg from the Showboat Branson Belle, Tracy Heaston from “Comedy Jamboree,” Steve Ramsey from “Raiding the Country Vault,” Lee Hendrix from the Urban Cowboy Band, and R.P. Harrell from “Clay Cooper’s Country Express.”

Drummer of the Year: Robbie Blackwood  from “The Jim Stafford Show,” Dino Phillips from “The Haygoods,” Jimmy Hyde from “Clay Cooper’s Country Express,” Pete Generous from “Raiding the Country Vault, Doug Clifford from “Take It To The Limit Eagles Tribute,” and Michael Jackson from “Pierce Arrow.”

Steel Guitar Player of the Year: Dr. Scott Kwapiszeski from “Raiding the Country Vault,” Greg Moody from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” Michael T. Hermsmyer from the Urban Cowboy Band, Tim Prosopski from “Ozarks Country,” Forrest Herzog from “Statler Brothers Revisited,” and Robbie Springfield from “Clay Cooper’s Country Express.”

For tickets, as well as a full list of this year’s nominees, visit bransonterrymusicawards.com.

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