Presley family celebrates 50 years of shows in Branson

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BRANSON, Mo. The glittering Highway 76 Strip in Branson, Mo., is known far and wide for its incredible shows, especially country music. Friday night the first show to ever open for business on the strip will be celebrating 50 years.

"It was pretty much woods, possums, and us out here. We woke up one morning a few years later, and the whole world had shown up, and we're glad they came," Gary Presley, one of the founding members of the show, said.

While some of the original members are still performing with the Presleys,' it is the younger generation now taking center stage. Eleven-year-old Benny has grown up on stage performing comedy alongside his father and grandfather.

"I just like the feeling of being around my dad and my grandpa and just my entire family. I just look back, and there's my entire family," Benny Presley said.

Presleys' Country Jubilee offers a type of variety show that puts the audience in a feel-good state of mind. These days you will find eight Presleys from three generations on stage.

"And 12 or 13 (additional performers) on top of that, and the'yre from everywhere," Benny's father, Eric Presley, said.

"Surround yourself with good people: makes you look good. That's always been our theory here," Gary Presley, Eric's father and Benny's grandfather, said.

"It's called cheating," Eric Presley said jokingly.

Many more family members work behind the scenes to keep the business going. The music, stories, and punch lines are always changing, but one thing for the Presleys remains the same: a commitment to family.

When asked if he hopes to be like his father and grandfather, Benny said, "Yeah, I really do."

Nearly all 1,600 seats are sold out for the anniversary celebration Friday night, but there are more chances to go see the show.
The live show runs six nights a week during the summer.