About the show
15 years ago, the Welk Group presented its producers with a unique challenge - how do you capture the essence of an entire decade in just two hours? The result of that challenge became #1 Hits of the 60's, the ultimate decade show in Branson, MO.
#1 Hits of the 60's (and 50's Too!) touches over 100 songs from the great artists of the 60's and 50's - Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Paul Anka, Buddy Holly, Petula Clark, The Beatles... the list goes on and on. Add over 100 costume changes, fun video and a talented cast of seven and you've got the recipe for the show dubbed "The Most Fun You'll have In Branson."
But the thing that really distinguishes #1 Hits of the 60's (& 50's too) from any other show is that each and every performer on stage is passionate about the fact that the unforgettable music and its connection to the audience is what's important.
Every day we're asked "How do you have all that energy on stage?" That's easy - it's not work! Whether it's our interactive game ("Was It The 50's Or The 60's?"), the high school dance segment (where we take our audience back to their youthful school days), or the "Boots Are Made For Walking" segment where we transform an unsuspecting audience member into a hippie, we get to have fun and "go on vacation" with hundreds of visitors a day during our show. And our favorite part? That's easy too - it's that moment in the lobby after the show when all our new friends exit smiling and talking about all the memories we brought back... It's the best job in Branson!
Meet the cast
Matt grew up in a family of professional musicians in Los Angeles, CA. His credits as a composer/arranger/singer/musician include TV shows like General Hospital, NBC Sports and Friends, commercials for major advertisers like McDonald's, Budweiser, and Chevrolet, and animated series including The Addams Family, Power Puff Girls, Life with Louie and Bill Cosby's "Fatherhood". He moved to Branson 20 years ago to raise his 3-year-old daughter and has never looked back. Twelve years ago he was a founding member of #1 Hits of the 60's, where he met the lovely lady that is now his wife, Amber Campbell.
Amber is a native of LaRussell, MO and a graduate of Southwest Baptist University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre, with a Music Minor. Amber has loved getting to perform and raise her beautiful daughter Jade in the Branson community. She has been a featured vocalist and MC for several Branson shows over the years, but her most rewarding experience has been owning, producing and performing in #1 Hits of the 60’s (& 50’s too!)
Ashley Jo Shields
Ashley Jo Deaton hails from Casa Grande, AZ. Her singing debut was on a television talent showcase at the age of 5, singing Patsy Cline's "Crazy." She continued to perform in numerous plays and musicals in Arizona with EEA Productions. She studied musical theatre in college and landed lead roles in several shows. From there, she became an entertainer for Disney Parks. She moved to Branson five years ago, and since then she has been singing and dancing in "#1 Hits of the 60's.”
Brian is a native of Anna, Illinois and has been performing professionally for the last decade. Brian is also an avid livestock and poultry enthusiast. He is so elated to be in Branson, and to be a part of the #1 Hits family!
DEVIN FARMER is making his debut in Branson as the tenor singer in the 2017 production of #1 Hits of the 60s! Devin was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. He studied music at the University of Tulsa. His favorite role he has been able to perform is Simon the Zealot (Jesus Christ Superstar – Springfield Little Theatre). He has also performed in RENT, Billy Elliot and Shrek for Tulsa Project Theatre as well as other various shows for Theatre Tulsa. Devin is an Equity Membership Candidate.
Kelly Parrish comes from a small farm town outside of Peoria, IL. At a young age she began her career in the TV and film industry in Chicago. She has worked with many stars such as Oprah Winfrey and R. Kelly. After graduating from Lincoln College, she made her way to Branson to perform with Jimmy Osmond in his American Jukebox show. Kelly said she has enjoyed making Branson her home as she and her husband, Steve, have two boys.
Michael Jason Frost
Michael Jason Frost grew up in Rogersville, TN, not too far from Pigeon Forge, where he went on to spend several years as a performer. There, he was cast in productions such as "The Miracle" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." He and his wife and daughter moved to Branson in 2014. Michael said he is thrilled to now be a part of #1 Hits of the 60s.
Josh Carroll was born and raised in the small farm town of Odin, IL. It was in this southern IL town that Josh cut his teeth in the music industry. Coming from a large family of performers, Josh carried on the tradition and moved to Branson, MO in 2001 where he was cast in the Magnificent Country show at the White House Theater as a male lead and featured guitarist. He later went on to become the lead Guitarist for the Magnificent America Show at the White House Theater as well as a featured performer in the Magnificent Seven show. Josh can be seen playing lead guitar in numerous shows in Branson, including #1 Hits of the 60s!
Mike Williamson grew up in a musical family with deep roots in the Ozarks. Mike learned to play guitar and sing harmony as a young child along with the rest of his brothers and cousins. Later, he picked up other instruments, including trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba. As a teenager, he took up electric and upright bass (his main instruments). He also plays mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer, harmonica, and percussion. Mike studied music at College of the Ozarks, New Mexico State University, and the University of Missouri before becoming a full-time musician.
Dino Phillips, from St. Louis, MO, has become known as one of Branson's most sought-after drummers. He has played in numerous shows in Branson over the past several years. Dino has been named "Drummer of the Year" and "Best Drummer" numerous times in the Branson Show Awards, as well as the Branson Terry Music Awards.
Ryan Dunn is from Springfield, MO. He graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Psychology. Soon after, he learned his passion was focused on being a professional saxophonist. Ryan is now a dedicated saxophone performer spending the last seven years in Springfield offering saxophonic stylings as a studio and live performance musician. He performs at numerous local and regional venues with a variety of bands in the style of rock, blues, funk, soul, Americana, reggae and his favorite--all the classic oldies! This is Ryan's debut Branson appearance. He is thrilled to be performing in Branson with #1 Hits of the 60's!
Let us introduce you to the very talented Kaylee Ruden. Kaylee is making her return as a featured performer in #1 Hits of the 60s this season, stepping in for Ashley Jo Shields, who is expecting very soon. Originally from Mt. Zion, IL, Kaylee has been seen in numerous Branson shows, including productions at Silver Dollar City. She is also a hair stylist working here in town. Kaylee is married to Chad Ruden, who is also a performer here in Branson. Come and see Kaylee and the whole 60s gang!
Eric Dalton is returning to #1 Hits of the 60s in 2017 as a swing, stepping into the show when needed. Eric originally hails from Clinton, MS. His performance resume includes being an entertainer with Holland America Cruise Line as well as singing and dancing in numerous productions throughout Branson over the past few years. He can also be seen performing at Silver Dollar City.