Teacher reflects on her time at Baldknobbers show

   Cassandra Bray, a teacher at Nixa High School had been into music her entire life. She started her music career in 1992 and worked as a singer/dancer at the Baldknobbers show in Branson, until losing her hearing in March of 2005. This was caused by something called Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, which caused Bray to wake up without hearing suddenly. Over the following few weeks, she could slowly gain hearing back but only in one ear. Ever since then, she wore hearing aids to amplify sounds, but the nuances of music, like blending with other voices and following rhythms and accompaniment were irreparably impaired. Bray took a few years at home working part-time to better her communication skills and prepare to be back in a classroom. 

   “Currently, I enjoy making music with friends, singing at church and other special events,” Bray said. “There is never a day that I don’t miss the stage and performing, however.”

   Prior to the Baldknobbers, Bray was a Patsy Cline impersonator and sang in other shows in the Branson area. She even hosted an evening of the Miss USA show and worked in the commercial jingle business. While Bray was working with the Silver Dollar City corporation, she found out that the Baldknobbers were hiring a female lead singer and was excited by the opportunity. 

   “They don’t usually hire outside of the family for a lead role, and this was a really great job with a very established band and company,” Bray said. “I auditioned a couple of weeks later and they offered the job on the spot.”

   The Baldknobbers often sent Bray to different locations to represent the show and the Branson entertainment industry. The show grew and was very popular. 

   “I am very proud of my time with the show,” Bray said. “At that time, during the ’90’s and early 2000s, the show averaged about 2,000 people per night, six nights a week.”

   The Baldknobbers did events and shows in a variety of places. Meeting famous people was a perk of being on the show. 

   “We made a music video at Dogwood Canyon once and got to hang out with Johnny Morris,
Bray said. “I got to meet a lot of (really famous, not just Branson famous) people that were in town for visits.”

   Being a high school teacher now, Bray reflected on how different her life used to be. 

   “The idea that every night I was signing autographs and selling merchandise is also a bit surreal … no student is lining up for a photo opp and signature these days.”

   Bray is connected with her former performers and will do a show with the Baldknobbers from time to time. 

   “I was lucky enough to spend a chunk of my life doing something creative that made people happy,” Bray said. “There is never a day that I don’t miss the stage and performing, however.”