As the team assessed the theater damage, they were immediately concerned about the priceless memorabilia that filled the lobby. Water and debris covered nearly every inch of the lobby. The tornado had sucked away items from floor to ceiling. Surely the tornado had swept away the glass cases that contained the memorabilia as well. But to their surprise, each and every piece of the memorabilia remained untouched. The priceless pieces include “Jailhouse Rock” sheet music autographed by Leiber & Stoller, stage-worn wardrobe pieces from Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson, contracts signed by Dick Clark for stars such as The Jackson 5 to appear on American Bandstand, and many, many more. There is even a framed yellow sticky note from Michael Jackson to Dick Clark that reads: “To My Other Father Dick”…. “the nicest man in showbiz.” The legacy of Dick Clark could live on at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater and the memorabilia would still be available for all to enjoy. That is…if the theater could be repaired.
Six weeks of grueling work followed. Construction crews worked through the night. The Legends in Concert management team worked relentlessly to get the theater back open. The community outreach was absolutely amazing. This tornado was sure to bring the tightly knit community of Branson, Missouri even closer.
After what seemed a never ending round of meetings, difficult hours of hard manual labor, and insurance paperwork that stacked to the sky, Legends in Concert announced its reopening date of April 14 th. But shortly following this joyous and much anticipated day, yet another tragedy would strike not only the hearts of the Branson community, but of the world.
On April 18th, the world lost a true legend, Dick Clark. The loss was felt most deeply at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, the only venue in the world that bears his name. A candlelight memorial was planned outside the theater. Fans left candles, flowers and signs as the world said goodbye to “America’s Oldest Teenager.” Legends in Concert performer Bucky Heard sang a beautiful accapella version of “Amazing Grace” and a special tribute to Dick Clark was included in the Legends in Concert show that night. American Bandstand was the show that launched the music careers of many of the iconic performers portrayed in Legends in Concert’s show in Branson and in its locations in Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Atlantic City, Foxwoods, Waikiki and Norwegian EPIC. For over 29 years, Legends in Concert has provided music lovers the opportunity to reconnect with the memories of music superstars past and present. And the man who gave us many of those memories was Dick Clark. Branson was truly saddened by the loss of such a legendary television and music pioneer.
Being faced with two heart wrenching tragedies in just a few months may have been challenging, but Legends in Concert is back and better than ever. The recovery from the tornado has brought the Branson community as well as the Legends Branson family even closer. With the death of Dick Clark, the world was reminded of the brevity of life and the importance of appreciating and honoring those who have contributed so much to this world. But they will not be forgotten, as their legacy will live on at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. Both Branson and Legends in Concert has learned through all this that no matter how difficult the challenge, hard work and community will overcome all. And always remember….“The show must go on”.
About Legends in Concert
Celebrating its 29th year, “Legends in Concert” is a live musical celebration featuring the world’s greatest celebrity tribute artists. The product is owned and operated by Las Vegas based On Stage Entertainment, Inc. Widely recognized in the entertainment industry as the original celebrity tribute show, “Legends in Concert” has not only performed throughout the United States, but the show has traveled to 15 countries on five continents, entertaining more than 25 million fans. It currently operates numerous fixed- based, touring, limited-term and private engagements of "Legends" throughout the world. In addition to Las Vegas, "Legends" is presented year-round in numerous cities including Myrtle Beach, S.C., Branson, Mo., Atlantic City, N.J., Foxwoods, CT, Waikiki, HI and on the high seas onboard the Norwegian EPIC. For more information: www.legendsinconcert.com