Charlie Bob Smith of the Smith Family from Pigeon Forge, winners of The Mountain Press Readers’ Choice Award seven times and “Entertainer of the Year” in 2009, will perform in a brand new show called the Smith Morning Variety Show at The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in Pigeon Forge starting March 22, 2016. Also appearing with Smith will be nationally known comedian Billy Baker and a multi-talented cast of singers, dancers and musicians.
This is the first time Smith has performed with the Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, which is home to the popular Pigeon Forge shows: The Comedy Barn, The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, Magic Beyond Belief starring Darren Romeo, and The Smoky Mountain Opry.
Smith is a former owner and performer of The Smith Family Theater. A long-time local and fan favorite, Smith will star in his new morning show at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Smith Family has entertained visitors to the Smokies for more than two decades.
“It is exciting to be bringing a new spectacular musical revue and comedy show to Pigeon Forge,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group. “The Smith Family has always been one of the best loved family shows in the Great Smoky Mountains area. Visitors from across the country love Charlie Bob and come back to this area year after year to see him perform. I am proud Charlie Bob has joined our company and will be headlining our morning show. He brings a unique mix of country, pop, and gospel hits to the stage as well as his world class impersonations.”
Charlie Bob Smith said, “I am excited to begin a new chapter in my career that is new and fun. I will perform the audience favorites I have always done – the impersonations of famous stars with some new looks and freshness in a spectacular venue at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater.”
Some of Smith’s world-class impersonations include Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Ray Charles, and more than 30 others. He remembers doing impressions of his grandparents when he was a child. The impressions of other performers came about through just trying things out in his living room or backstage.
Billy Baker is a nationally acclaimed former “Hee Haw” television star and Ringling Brothers clown best known in the local area for his character of “Elwood Smooch.” Baker also balances his talents as a street character for The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show and has been a comedic performer at The Comedy Barn. Baker graduated as valedictorian of his class at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. He performed with Ringling Brothers for seven seasons and was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 2001. He was a regular member of the “Hee Haw” cast the last year it was on the air. Baker said beating out 300 people for the part and appearing on “Hee Haw” was a “real kick in the pants.”
Baker began his career as part of the first entertainment troupe at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. and was also a featured entertainer at Dollywood for 11 years. Baker has performed in the area for over 25 years and is a Smoky Mountain comedy legend. He is the former owner and performer of the down-home family variety show “Hillbilly Hoedown” in Pigeon Forge.
Smith said, “It will be fun to work with Billy Baker again. We worked together at Dollywood previously. I am privileged to work with him. We switch it around and provide a good variety.”
The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater is located at 2046 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.