Steel Guitar, Banjo & Acoustic Guitar
While growing up in Kinmundy, Illinois music played an important part in Gene’s life. At 8 years old he played drums in his dad’s band, by 12, he switched to lead guitar. Music was more than a creative outlet for Gene, but a centerpiece for family relationships. In fact, Branson’s premier steel guitar player didn’t touch the steel until he was 16. At the age of 18, upon hearing of a steel guitarist opening with The Wilkinson Brothers, Gene decided it was time to focus on the steel.
Gene eventually got the job with The Wilkinson Brothers and made his way to Branson in February of 1981. Over the next few years Gene spent winters playing gigs in Kansas City and the Branson season with shows like the Lowe Family, Country Tonite, Ferlin Huskey, Ray Stevens, Splinter Middleton and many others.
While Gene loves to play music, he also loves to dabble in business. As owner/operator of the Branson Guest Card Gene jokes, “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I had to if I was going to be a musician and still eat.” After several entrepreneurial “flops” he came to envision The Branson Guest Card as a better vehicle for couponing throughout Branson. The Guest Card is now in its 5th year and going strong!
Gene is married to his beautiful wife of 25 years, Amy. They have a son who is a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri, and a daughter who is a senior in Branson high school. In his free time Gene likes to fish and play golf.
Birthday: April 10
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Food: Oyster Stew
Favorite Entertainers: Hal Rugg, Curly Chalker, Ricky Blackmore
Favorite Song: The Grand Bounce
Favorite TV Show: Shark Tank