Smokies theaters celebrate 20+ years of success

March 16, 2007

For a few years in the 1980s, the Smokies tourism corridor towns of Sevierville and Pigeon Forge seemed to be cloning Branson, Missouri, with theaters featuring somewhat big name country performers such as Lee Greenwood, Anita Bryant, Reba McIntire, T. G. Sheppard, and Louise Mandrell.

Those folks have gone with the wind, and the thousand-capacity theaters have had to scramble to fill the seats. The places that have survived are the ones with good music but no headliners. First on this list is Pigeon Forge’s Smoky Mountain Jubilee. Established in Branson in 1977 by Elmer and Faunda Dreyer, pictured below, the show moved to the Smokies about six years later.

smoky-mountain-jubilee.jpg

The Jubilee show delivers a frenetic array of clogging, country music, bluegrass, gospel, and cornball comedy by a character known as “Highpockets.” Definitely aimed at an audience that fears double entendres or any form of racy humor, the one-paragraph description of the show features the phrases “good clean family entertainment,” “clean comedy,” and “clean family entertainment.”

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