For those who want to see some of the best entertainment in the Rio Grande Valley all in one show, the place to be is the Valley Star Awards to be held at Mission Bell Resort in Mission at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21. In addition to presentations of 12 awards for the Valley’s favorite entertainers, there will be performances by six of the most popular entertainers in the Rio Grande Valley.
John Sager, a Branson performer who has been named the RGV’s Male Vocalist of the Year four times, and three times named Entertainer of the Year, will be among the entertainers.
He decided to move to Branson in 2009 where he worked at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. His CD “Livin’ the Dream” was nominated for Best CD of the Year, “Unchained Melody,” which he recorded on the CD was named the best song of 2010. John also won Best Male Vocalist of the Branson Show Awards in 2010. That was the same year he started wintering in the Rio Grande Valley and his success here has been phenomenal.
Link Union, a favorite with Winter Texans, has returned to the Rio Grande Valley this season after a year’s absence. Originally a bluegrass band, the band now performs a variety of music from rock, Irish Celtic music to jazz and gospel.
Each family member is a talented musician and they play a wide range of instruments, including mandolin, cello and pennywhistle, fiddle, guitar, bass, drums and keyboard.
Collectively, they have won seven awards for Musician or Instrumentalist of the Year from FAME (Families Advocating Moral Entertainment) and the four similar awards from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Awards.
Leslie Blasing is a local entertainer who has been extremely popular with Winter Texans. A resident of South Padre Island, she has aoapted a show that is extremely popular with Winter Texans featuring the music of Patsy Cline, Cher, Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand and others encompassing music from several bygone eras. She does local shows at Boomerang Billy’s, Louie’s Backyard and other locations on the Island as well as doing some shows in parks around the Rio Grande Valley.
She has twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year and was also selected as Entertainer of the Year in 2014.
J. C. Harrisson is new on the Rio Grande Valley scene, arriving in 2015. He sings traditional country music from legends like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and others. He also sings the music of more modern country legends like George Strait, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Brooks & Dunn and others.
Dave & Daphne are now in their second year of entertaining in the Rio Grande Valley and have been making quite a name for themselves. Dave is an outstanding picker and was lead guitarist for Barbara Mandrell for ten years. Daphne has a voice like none other in the Rio Grande Valley with a range of several octaves. She sang gospel with the Gaither’s Homecoming Show for several years. In addition to gospel, Daphne sings Patsy Cline, Anne Murray, and many other favorites of Winter Texans.
Also new to the Rio Grande Valley this year is a duet called Denim & Diamonds from Branson, composed of Georgina Holiday and Jami Asselin.
Georgina is a seasoned Branson entertainer starring in Pierce Arrows' "Hot Sunday Nights," "Angels of Country Music" and this year is starring in a Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Brown Tribute as well as "The Doo Wop Show." Georgina has won Female Vocalist of the Year twice in Branson as well as garnered Best CD of the Year three times. She has performed on the Grand Jubilee TV Show in Branson, and as a result was nominated for Entertainer of the Year.
Jami Asselin is another long time Branson entertainer who has performed in “The 70's Show” and “Roy Clark's Hee Haw Theater.” She also spent many years performing at Silver Dollar City. Jami took a break from the lime light and raised two wonderful kids while teaching voice, guitar and piano to the kids on the Branson stages. She is also a singer/songwriter with public radio play on several popular regional syndicated radio stations.
Together this dynamic duo has teamed up with their variety show to present five decades of music that has their audiences dancing, laughing and singing.
Tickets are $15 and are available at Alamo Rose Resort (956) 783-2605; Mission Bell Resort, 1711 E. Bus. 83, in Mission, (605) 610-6114; and Winter Texan Times, 1217 N. Conway Ave, Mission.
Winter Texans voted for their favorite entertainers this year and now it is time to come out and see who won this year’s Valley Star Awards.