Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog
My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…
70s Music Celebration! cast on the couch in Brady pose!
Couldn’t have had a more perfect day to open my new show, 70s Music Celebration! at the RFD-TV The Threatre in Branson, Missouri. Crowd was GREAT!!! This show has the best live band and singers and dancers!!!
Check out our website at www.70sMusicCelebration.com
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Today was a very special day for two reasons. First, I had the honor of granting a wish for a very special child named Violet from the Make A Wish Foundation. Violet is 5 years old and underwent emergency surgery to remove a life-threating brain tumor located at the base of her cerebellum. Her recovery has been truly remarkable. Through her hard work and determination, she began kindergarten this year after learning to walk again. She continues to receive MRI’s every three months and physical therapy to improve her motor skills.
Her wish was to visit Branson and meet “Greg Brady.” “I would love to meet the real Greg, the one with the curly hair,” said Violet.
She is a special little girl and I was truly touched to not only grant her wish, but to help show her and her family what an Ozark Mountain Christmas really is. In addition to seeing my show and meeting me after for autographs and pictures Violet and her family took a Branson Christmas Light Tour in a stretch limousine provided by Branson Limousine and Executive Charter, saw the Branson Area Festival of Lights sponsored by North Pole Productions, experienced Silver Dollar City, drove through the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, and received special gifts from several other local businesses like the Haygoods and Voices of Glory.
What a great way to end my season; a special show for a special child. I performed my last show of Lunch with the Brady Bunch and although I am sad to be done, I am very excited about what the future holds for my new show, 70s Music Celebration! and my future in my hometown, Branson.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Pictured is the current cast of Lunch with the Brady Bunch along with Violet and her family.
My weekend started out on Friday with a visit to the quaint resort town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which is approximately one hour southwest of Branson. This town cannot be described and must be experienced, but I will do my best. The downtown area is 100% Victorian-era buildings with lots of little shops, restaurants and lodging facilities. It reminds me of a little Switzerland with its winding, hilly roads. There are no traffic lights in the historic downtown area and I am told that the streets wind around in a 5 mile loop with no two intersecting.
Arvest Bank sponsored a luncheon meet and greet for the community. I met a lot of wonderful people both from the area and employees of the bank. I took lots of pictures and signed lots of autographs. I even became an Arvest honorary employee with a name badge and everything.
Once our Sparky’s lunch was settled, it was onto the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Almost 500 acres houses over 100 large cats along with a few other animals. Lions and tigers and a bear, oh my!! It’s pretty amazing being that close to an animal with such power. Of course we were at a safe distance at all times and I noticed that the cages are very solid. This is a government inspected facility and has to comply with their regulations. One of the employees took us on a guided tour of the grounds in a modified golf cart. It was around feeding time, so the animals were feisty to say the least. One of the male lions had just gotten done eating his chicken and decided it was time to mark his territory, coming too close for comfort to marking me!! I was glad I was just out of shooting range. What makes this facility even more interesting is that it’s supported by community donations and these employees work hard to keep the animals happy. If you are a big cat lover, you need to check out their website and visit if you are in town.
We all stopped at the Best Western Ozark Mountain Inn for a short break and recharge with a nice assortment of fruit, cheese and crackers. Then it was off to line up in the Eureka Springs Christmas Parade. I was invited to be the Grand Marshall and got to ride with Mickey Mouse!! Arvest Bank sponsored the float which was the flashiest, coolest float of the parade. Riding with me were several bank employees and their families as we all waved and they threw out candy canes to the spectators along the parade route.
I have to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and Arvest Bank for doing such a wonderful job coordinating all the events and taking care of me while I was there. This truly was an enjoyable experience!! Definitely a community that I will visit again!!
Happy Veterans Day everyone! I had another incredible Branson experience late Friday night, a 5k run/walk for The Caring People. The race started at 10:15 pm in the administration parking lot at Silver Dollar City, wove through the parking lot, onto the road and then back through the park. They advertise 4 million lights in the park, but I think I counted 4,000,001! Its one of the most beautiful places at Christmas and mother nature cooperated in giving us perfect walking weather.
Before starting the race, I got in a preliminary 5k simply walking around the park. I made sure to hit all four rollercoasters at least once and the incredibly fast 4 loop Wildfire twice. I wanted to view the lights from atop of the tracks but was too focused on the rails in front of me where I was trying to pilot the rollercoaster safely. When finished I felt I could add time to my logbook. Had a nice dinner at the Mine Shaft restaurant and headed out for the start of the ceremony which included 1,600 participants. Families welcome, and there were a couple of 9 year olds who beat my time.
The Caring People was founded by Peter and JoDee Herschend and serves single moms around the globe. You can find out more about this wonderful organization on their website.
Pictured from left to right: Pete Herschend, Me, JoDee Herschend, Brad Thomas
Monday night was a true integration into the Branson Community where I attended my first Vets for Vets event at Starlite Theatre. Several of the entertainers in this community are veterans and were an inspiration for us all as they took the stage. The lineup included current and retired Branson show entertainers as well as vets in the community that just enjoy singing.
My father was a retired Captain in the US Coast Guard for 25 years in active duty and reserves. Growing up in a military family gave me a special appreciation for the military so that’s why I decided to make a special contribution of $10,000 to the Branson Veterans Task Force (BVTF). BVTF is a non-profit, volunteer organization that presents Branson Veterans Homecoming, November 5 – 11 each year. This organization helps to welcome thousands of veterans, active duty personnel and their families to Branson. You can find out more information on their website at: http://bransonveteranswebsite.com/ or read the full press release here: http://www.70smusiccelebration.com/media.html
My Saturday mornings in the Ozarks have been spectacular. Last week was the invigorating 5k run. This morning, I watched the sunrise from 200 feet up in a hot air balloon. The occasion was the 2nd Annual Balloons over Branson Creek, Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Since the weather here in Branson has officially turned to fall, I literally had a birds eye view of the Ozark trees and their colorful leaves. The balloon I was riding is named Hocus Pocus and piloted/owned by Tony Goodnow of Topeka, Kansas. This was more than just a ride, this time in addition to being able to enjoy the quiet dance of sailing on the air, I became pilot in command keeping us aloft and I also got to land. Thank goodness for 2 mph winds! We launched from just below Murder Rock Golf Course at Branson Creek, flying across the road and landing in a clearing. Along the way, we stopped off to touch the tops of trees, get a souvenir evergreen sprig and some “helicopters” from a maple tree. I never did any thing like this in LA.
It was interesting to see the entire process from the beginning. From filling the balloons with air, to deflating them at the landing point. The whole crew was great. Sunshine Day.
What a day on Saturday. Started my day out with an invigorating 5k Run for Hope. Was my first ever 5k race and it was a lot of fun. I jogged the entire 5k along with several of the Duttons, Six, Michael Haygood from the Haygoods (placed 3rd), #1 Hits of the 60’s, George Dyer, a writer from Missouri Life Magazine and about 100 others.
Worked on the production of my new show for 2013, 70’s Music Celebration!
Had a quick 20 minute performance at the Hollister Grape Fest.
My day ended with a fabulous Pat and Debby Boone concert at the Moon River Theatre, followed by a backstage meet and greet. I worked with Debby for a summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina about 10 years ago and we have remained friends ever since. We did a musical variety show with a big chorus of dancers that included tigers, lions and elephants. At one point I actually got to ride one of the elephants. I think I’ll stick to singing. Our theatre run was cut cut short a couple of weeks by a hurricane that took the roof off. Debby is a wonderful performer and as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.
I will be walking/jogging for the Gift of Hope’s Run for Hope on Saturday, October 13th. The race starts at 8 am and you can register there right up until the race. If you are in Branson, come to the Branson Landing and join me in this walk/run or just cheer us on. The SIX brothers are competing as a team of 14 strong, so come out and support us!! We need all the support we can get. The charity helps children and families in need in Taney County, Missouri. You can get more information about the event here or about the organization here.
In addition, raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win $5,000!!!!!!! Only 200 raffle tickets will be sold at $50 and the winner will be announced after the race and need not be present to win!!
I am excited to announce my plans for the 2013 season.
I am grateful to Yakov for bringing me to Branson, and I am now looking forward to the future, which includes a new theatre as well as an all new show.
I have partnered with the Haygood Family to create an exciting and high quality production of the best pop music ever: Totally 70’s Music Explosion. This brand new show will feature Branson’s best singers, dancers and a live band. The show will also have a state-of-the-art multimedia presentation with plenty of surprises and special effects.
The show combines comedy along with the best songs of the ‘70’s by the greatest artists of the decade including Folk, Pop, Singer-Songwriter, Rock, Country and of course… DISCO!
The new show starts on March 16, 2013 and will run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2 pm at RFD-TV.
The next six weeks is your last chance to come out and experience Lunch with the Brady Bunch before it closes on December 8, 2012.
Keep on Groovin’
What a nice evening at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. Singer, actor, playwright and former teen idol Frankie Avalon gave a great performance singing his hit songs and paying tribute to several other stars of the era. His son Frankie Jr, plays drums in the band and you can tell just how much he loves it. Guitarist Edan Everly, also gave an outstanding performance as he and Frankie sang a tribute to his father, Don Everly and his uncle, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers. I was ushered backstage to see Frankie again. We had a nice visit and told him he inspired me to become a surfer. I also said he made it look a lot easier to surf (standing in front of a screen) than it actually is. He said he saw me surfing on the Brady Bunch Hawaii episode the day before. Also said I did pretty well… until I wiped out. I blamed the Tiki. Glad we got a photo to remember the great evening at his show. Photo taken by Craig Harris.