Author Topic: Mickey Gilley-Johnny Lee "Urban Cowboy" Tour  (Read 138 times)

electra225

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Mickey Gilley-Johnny Lee "Urban Cowboy" Tour
« on: May 30, 2018, 08:01:16 AM »
I hopped onto the "good husband" list and offered to take my wife to Branson to see Mickey Gilley.  Mickey Gilley is one of my favorite country music artists.  He is 82 and currently appears on local TV advertising for a health services company.  He is in a wheelchair in the commercials.  Johnny Lee was born in 1946 and is one of the artists played 47 times a day on our local flea power FM station that plays canned country music all day.  Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee are best known for providing most of the music in the 1980's John Trivolta flick "Urban Cowboy."  Mickey Gilley also owned "Gilley's", the Texas honky tonk the movie was set in.

Both of these artists have had full and colorful lives, particularly Mickey Gilley.  He, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart are cousins.  Their mothers are sisters.  Mickey has survived a plane crash that should have killed him, survived an auto accident that should have killed him and suffered a broken spine in a stage accident, that nearly DID kill him.  He is of short stature, maybe 5'5" or so, and weighs maybe 140 pounds soppin' wet.  His upper body is totally stiff.  His hands are so twisted and knurled that he can barely hold a mic.  He can't play the piano anymore.  He cannot stand.  He sits on a three-legged stool.  Johnny Lee has a beer gut and can barely walk.  He was dressed like he just finished a day of fishing.  Suffice it to say, I was not optimistic. 

One should never judge the book by the cover.  From the first note of this concert, that statement was true.  The "Urban Cowboy Band" was comprised of local Branson talent.  The piano player, a man by the name of Lee Hendrix, was a local artist whose claim to fame was mimicking country piano players.  He did Cramer, Marty Robbins, Del Wood, Charlie Rich.  And Mickey Gilley.  He did Mickey Gilley better than Mickey Gilley did himself.  Johnny Lee reprised his hits, including "Looking For Love (In All The Wrong Places)".  You may remember that Eddie Murphy did a Buckwheat skit on Saturday Night Live.  He called the song "Nookin' Pa Nub" and Johnny Lee now includes a short clip of that skit in his show.  There were no obnoxious flashing lights, minimal grahics.  The sound was of reasonable volume, well mixed.  The band members were dressed alike.  The instruments looked like they had been new once upon a time.  Everything on stage was wireless and there were only a few, unobtrusive monitors.  The two female backup singers were competent, appropriately dressed and did not act like dance hall girls on stage.  The drummer played like a real drummer, not like he was driving roofing nails.  By the time this show was over, this concert had elevated itself to the third best concert I have ever attended, behind Hank Thompson and Asleep At The Wheel.

Branson is a place where music artists go when their careers and recording contracts are no more.  This could not have been a better concert.  It was the exact opposite, in every way, to the horrible Miranda Lambert concert we went to in Phoenix.  If you are ever in Branson and want to attend a quality venue, I would recommend the Mickey Gilley Theater.
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