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Baldnobbers honored at Smithsonian

WASHINGTON — The “Baldnobbers,” the pioneering variety show in Branson, Mo., has donated a collection of artifacts to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Brothers Bill, Jim, Lyle and Bob Mabe formed the “Baldknobbers Jamboree” in 1959 to entertain visitors on the Taneycomo lakefront. As the show’s popularity grew, it converted a former skating rink into Branson’s first live-entertainment theater.

The Baldknobbers Jamboree Theatre now seats 1,500 people in the heart of Branson’s entertainment district.

“This donation tells an interesting story about a homegrown genre in American entertainment,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.

Above, from left, Brent and Tom Mabe, second generation Baldknobbers cast members, and museum curator Eric Jenstch sign gifting documents for artifacts from the Mabe’s fathers.