Centennial Conversations!

Centennial Conversations!

Mel and Branson - A Storied History!


Branson, Mo. - February 21, 2023 


Branson 's Centennial Museum welcomed several of Mel's family and backup singers, Stutterettes, Tammy and Tonya to celebrate Mel with stories from his celebrated career.  Some of the highlights included Grandson Marshall Howden, now a Branson city Alderman sharing special memories with his grandfather performing with him from a very early age. Tammy and Tonya recalled the first meeting with Mel years before as small girls and how later they reminded him of that first meeting. "Mel always treated us like daughters and protected us. We will never forget that." 

Daughters Connie and Cindy also shared a bevy of stories and special events that living in Branson provided for the Tillis family in general. Connie and Mel once got slimed at Silver Dollar City during Nickelodean Days.  Cindy recalled a memory from a New Years show:  it seems Mel was kicking off Auld Lang Syne too early. Cindy motioned to Mel from the side stage to stretch his monologue so the planned balloons and disco ball wouldn't drop too early.  Mel came off the stage and stated emphatically..."Cindar, I know how to S-S-S-stretch the show."  

Pam Tillis and Sonny Tillis weren't able to join due to performing on the road carrying on Mel's legacy. 

The museum is showcasing unique items including awards and wardrobe from various artists who appeared in Branson at one time or another over the years. The Tillis family will be donating more items in honor of Mel specifically regarding Mel's many years there - 12 as a theater owner, and many years before as a traveling artist. Thank you Branson for honoring him!  

April 06th, 2023 BACK