Christmas concert to bring classic tunes, comedy sketches

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Dec. 6, 2017 at 4:12 p.m.
Updated Dec. 7, 2017 at noon

Grand Ol' Christmas Show.

Grand Ol' Christmas Show.   CONTRIBUTED PHOTO for The Victoria Advocate

People won't have to tune in an old static radio station to listen to classic Christmas music.

The resonating sound of a traditional big band and gospel choir on a Victoria stage will give goosebumps to an audience looking for live music that will wake up their holiday spirit.

The Grand Ol' Christmas Show with Will Hearn and Americana band Blue Water Highway will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

"It's a variety show set within the context of a 1940s radio show," said Hearn, producer of the show. "It's definitely an ode to great variety shows of the past with a modern twist."

Hearn, 32, of Lake Jackson, described the show as progressive nostalgia. There will be comedic vignette sketches, radio jingles, song parodies and radio commercials in the style of the 1940s.

"The show is unique like that," he said.

Hearn said he, Greg Essington and Zack Kibodeaux created the concept for the show in 2003.

The show started as a one night only, $2 per ticket fundraiser for the Brazoria County Youth Home. The show was a sellout, and the proceeds were given to the organization.

Essington and Kibodeaux started the band Blue Water Highway and went on to tour throughout Texas.

The Christmas show was produced again in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2015. Last year, the show went on a mini-tour to San Marcos and New Braunfels and sold almost a thousand tickets between the two dates.

This year, the show expands to eight tour dates across Texas, visiting Houston, Lake Jackson, New Braunfels, Fort Worth and Victoria.

In addition to its first major tour, on Dec. 17 the show will partner with 95.9 FM The Ranch of Fort Worth and Justin Frazell, host of the Texas Red Dirt Roads radio show, for the show's first live broadcast on a syndicated radio program heard from Oregon to Florida.

"The first time we weren't certain what the reception would be. The audience was on their feet and wouldn't sit down until the show was over," Hearn said. "People love the show. That's why we have been able to expand over the years."

Hearn said performers are keeping the tradition and honoring their charitable roots by donating a portion of the proceeds at locations where they perform.

They will be donating to the Perpetual Help Home in Victoria.

Hearn said that whether they are baby boomers or millennials, audience members from all ages will enjoy the show.

"They are not going to see another Christmas show out there like this," Hearn said. "If you want to be entertained, this is the show to see."


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