“I do country music… I’ve been doing music ever since I was in the third grade,” said local musician Shon Branham. “I’ve been around entertainers all my life, in fact, most of my family’s entertainers.”

Branham was just named “Texas Country Music Show Entertainer of the Year 2010.
“Every month up at Kirbyville on the second Saturday of the month, they have a Texas Country Music Show. It’s like an Opry show… entertainers from all over the place come up there and compete for Entertainer of the Month.”

In January, all the Entertainers of the Month compete for Entertainer of the Year. The audience votes for their favorite performer. The winner closes the show with a song.
“I play all over the United States. On Wednesday nights I play local, 8-10 at the Eagles Lodge, over on 28th Street, no cover charge. It’s just something I do for free… to entertain the people,” said Branham.

“I play all the fairs and festivals in the area. My next venue is Mardi Gras in Port Arthur. I play that every year. 

“My fourth release just came out a little over a year ago. It’s only available through my fan club. You type my name in the computer and my Web page comes up. It shows you all the venues I’ve played at. I’ve toured Europe for two years, in Germany with a band called Backwoods Country, back in the early 80s. I sang with Brenda Lee in May, ‘81. She’s a country legend.”

“We did a radio sweep with my first release back in ‘96. I’ve done two singles and it sold out in six months.

“My second release, it took it a little over a year to sell it out. My third release was a bunch of cover songs like: “Statue of a Fool,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Matilda” and things like that.” The covers were songs his fans requested.

“My fourth release has 13 originals; it was supposed be 12, but a guy from Baytown came into the studio, … His name is Johnny Yates and he’s a songwriter.

“I want you to put my song on your CD,” Yates told Branham.

 “I asked him whenever he said that, ‘Well how much is this going to cost me, because I’ve already got $10,000 tied up in this CD and recording session?’”

Yates said, “No you don’t understand, I just want you to put my song on your CD.”
To that, Branham said, “Okay, let’s get ‘er done.”

“The Astrodome was probably the biggest [venue] I’ve ever played. They have the Pro-Texan Kick-Off thing and that’s the kick-off to the livestock show. I’ve been there three times. The first time I was there, I didn’t even have my tip jar set out, it was back behind the stage. When we got through and was tearing down everything, I got my tip jar and there was over $400 in it and that was for just two hours. They asked me back the next year. I went back…on a Friday night. After I got done, the guy who was up there running the show, he asked me, ‘Will you stay and come back tomorrow and do it again?’ Sure. So I made two trips to Houston that weekend.”

A former Bridge City Volunteer Firefighter, Branham believes in service and helping his fellow man. “I helped Tracy Byrd with his, whata they call that, the Buckner Institute? That benefit for it? That was back in, I’d say, the mid-90s. I love helping out children and organizations, anybody that is in need.

On many occasions Branham has set up in front of Walmart to raise money for victims of fire and for those needing holiday meals.

“Whatever I would raise, Walmart would match and also give Christmas trees and presents for the kids and stuff like that. I like to give a little back.” That’s why he joined the Eagles Lodge.

To book Branham or to purchase merchandise, call his fan club president Vondal Bailey at (409)823-3319.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers