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If you want to hear authentic swing harmony…the kind that was America’s favorite music in the 30s and 40s…you need look no further than Branson, Missouri, home of The Lennon Brothers and Gail Lennon.
This weekend, however, you can catch the Lennon Brothers right here in Ava as they help Ava Drug celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Throughout the month of August, Ava Drug will take you back to the 1950s as owners David and Dorothy Norman, and staff, plan promotions, parties, give-aways … and music, to celebrate the store’s anniversary.
The Lennon Brothers will perform a concert from 7 to 8 p.m. this Saturday at Ava Drug.
Their concert will be preceded by a free BBQ prepared by Tony and Linda Stillings, and free ice cream during the afternoon.
The Lennons capture the sound of legendary performers such as The Modernaires, The Pied Pipers, The Delta Rhythm Boys and The Four Vagabonds. They sing the works of some of the greatest American composers…Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and more.
Brothers Dan, Bill, and Joe grew up in Los Angeles as members of a celebrated musical heritage. Their father, Bill, was the lead singer in the original Lennon Brothers, who performed in the 1940s and 50s.
It was their sisters, however, who sang their way into America’s hearts as young performers on The Lawrence Welk Show. The Lennon Sisters’ “girl next door” beauty and charm endeared them to millions, but it was their harmonies that led them to be inducted into The Vocal Group Hall-of-Fame in 2002.
The boys have been singing from the time they were born. And as the times were a’ changing so was the music. They sang The Beatles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jefferson Airplane…but also the music of an earlier time: AI Jolson, The Mills Brothers, and the original Lennon Brothers.
In 1983, Bill met his wife-to-be Gail. Gail was among the top studio singers in L.A. at that time. They discovered a mutual love for the music of the Swing Era and, with brother Dan, put together a vocal group called The Fatells. This was the forerunner of The Lennon Brothers of today.
In 1994, 30 members of the Lennon family moved to Branson to perform at the new Welk Resort. The brothers and Gail opened the resort with a morning show that The Chicago Tribune hailed as “The best show in Branson!” The show featured not only a hot live band and tight swing harmonies, but also the brothers’ “…Monty Python meets Vaudeville” style of comedy.
Gail was voted Female Vocalist of the Year in 1994 at the Branson Entertainment Awards. Over the next several years, the group won awards so often they were given a spot in Branson’s Hall of Fame.