This Saturday, the Lanham Brothers bring their Christmas show to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum stage for two shows.
The annual show began the year after brothers Randy and Barry Lanham collaborated to create the Lanham Brothers Jamboree, which was hosted by Diamond Lakes Resort for 11 years.
Randy is the education director at the Hall of Fame as well as the executive director of Volunteer Owensboro, a place to connect volunteers with local nonprofits, and he said that since the Hall of Fame is a national attraction for bluegrass and clogging, it seemed natural to move their show to the museum’s theatre.
“We loved doing our shows at Diamond Lake Resort Theater all those years,” Randy said.
Over a decade ago, when Randy came up with the idea to host a Lanham Brothers’ Christmas show as a fundraiser for Volunteer Owensboro, he asked his brother who committed immediately.
“Barry is one of the most giving and generous people I know,” Randy said. “If you know him, you know that.”
As the first show’s date approached, Randy said he was nervous that many would not attend, since it is such a busy time of the year. But, he said, they had a sold out show and that since then, every show has either sold out or nearly sold out.
“It’s our biggest show of the year,” Randy said. “I can only give credit to God for blessing us with a supportive community. And in every show, we give glory to God and keep Christ in Christmas.
This year, the Lanham Brothers decided to offer two shows so attendees could have an early option for the show as well.
Randy and Barry enjoy showcasing the young talent they are blessed to work with, and do it in every show. They also feature comedy routines, skits and crowd interaction.
“Nothing is funnier than people seeing a family member or friend up on stage in a comedy skit,” Randy said.
The Saturday shows will feature Joe Christian, who Randy said is a “singer/songwriter extraordinaire.”
“If you have ever heard him sing, you will never forget him,” Randy said.
Sisters Skylar Cain, 16, and Sophia Cain, 12, will not only sing in harmony, but will also perform with Skylar playing the guitar and Sophia playing the mandolin.
“Skylar has been singing in the Jamboree since she was just 8 or 9 years old,” Lanham said.
Jeff “Wildman” Hardesty has been playing the Jamborees since the beginning.
“He and I have been friends playing music for about 17 years,” Lanham said. “He is a great singer/songwriter and guitar player. He also loves doing comedy, as you will hear in his songs and the skits that he is often a part of.”
Wayne Morris, who collaborated with Randy to begin Volunteer Owensboro, will be playing the guitar and singing.
And the 45 Footstompin’ Express Cloggers will be led by Barry.
“Everyone loves the cloggers,” Randy said. “They add so much to the show, so much energy and excitement. The costumes sparkle and shine and the taps you can hear through the whole theater. And they are all ages and fill up the entire stage.”
Randy said that one of the greatest compliments he receives from the shows is that many people compare the shows to Branson, Mo., or Smokey Mountain entertainment shows. He also said that attendees are surprised by the local talent, all of whom donate their time, along with the dancers and crew.
“We set the bar high for our talent on the Lanham Brothers Jamboree,” Randy said.
Volunteer Owensboro uses the proceeds to aid local nonprofits by producing videos, public service announcements, monthly newsletters and weekly radio shows, all which are done for free.
Through the “one-stop shop” Volunteer Owensboro website that Randy and Morris created, they were able to hire Angie DeWitt and began promoting group volunteering, where more than 1,600 commumity members and organizations participated in last year.
Volunteer Owensboro has also partnered with WBIO, WVJS, and WKWC to promote volunteering, and a television show began on a local station which is now being broadcast over the whole state of Kentucky.
“That can only be a God thing, us common folks can not make that happen,” Randy said. “God continues to bless us, and we will do it as long as he is in it. That’s why we do this fundraiser for Volunteer Owensboro, and everyone is happy to be a part of it and donate their time to make it happen.”
Randy said that hosting the Christmas show annually means that for another year, thousands of people will be educated, inspired and connected to serve those in need through Volunteer Owensboro.
“We love it that people have a great time,” Randy said. “They laugh, they cry, they tap their feet, they hear Christmas music and get in the spirit. But in the end, we want to glorify God and continue to use our talents to serve him, and this is one way we can do that.”
For a schedule of the Lanham Brothers shows that are broadcast each Thursday and Saturday on KET, click here.
For ticket information and information on Volunteer Owensboro, click here.
The Christmas shows are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, 311 W. Second St.