By Elyse Kaner
Branson is coming to Anoka High School.
In what has become an established tradition, the Anoka Lions Club is bringing its 24th annual Country Music Show “Legends of Country Music” to town.
This one’s a rip-roaring, fiddle fancier’s dream come true. And did we mention it’s funny?
The show’s headliner is Doofus Doolittle coming to you directly from Branson, Mo. Doolittle’s hillbilly humor is sprinkled among full tilt fiddling and a variety of music styles ranging from country to bluegrass to gospel. Doolittle is backed by a six- or seven-piece band.
“They play the old standards people know and love to tap their toes to,” said Bill Dubats, who co-chairs the music event with his wife Jan, also a Lions club member.
In the second half of the show Doolittle sheds his hillbilly persona and morphs into his alter ego Randy Newman, world class violinist.
The show pays tribute to great country music stars of the past such as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Marty Stuart, Loretta Lynn and many more.
The group last appeared on the Anoka stage five years ago for a Lions club show.
Dubats likes to stand in the back of the auditorium during a performance and scan the audience for reactions.
He recalls Doolittle’s last performance here. “The smile quotient was way up there in the 90 percent range,” he said. “He leaves them smiling.”
Ozark Jubilee & Anoka Lions present
24th annual Country Music Show
“Legends of Country Music”
featuring Doofus Doolittle/Randy Newman
March 17, 3 and 7 p.m., $14-$16
Anoka High School
3939 Seventh Ave. N.
Tickets at local businesses, at door
For more info, call 763-757-4143
The ticket price is a good deal, too, Dubats said. When “Legends of Country Music” performed in Branson the ticket price was $22, according to Dubats. That’s compared with a $14 to $16 admission fee for the Lions club concert.
The club donates concert proceeds to charity. Among its many charities, the group donate to the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, Leader Dogs for the Blind and Can Do Canines.
The club donates about $5,000 in scholarships to Anoka High School students. Other donation recipients are the ACBC Food Shelf, Salvation Army, Wellness Program at Mercy Hospital and Cub Scout Troop 612 of Anoka.
Formed in 1951 as a means of serving in the community and worldwide, the Anoka club has a membership of 72. In May, the group will celebrate 60 years in operation.
Tickets for the “Legends of Country Music” show are available at Peterson Pinney Hardware, Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 12 Bridge Square, or at the door. For more information call Bill or Jan Dubats at 763-757-4143.
Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]