Growing Up Branson: The Talented Kids of the Cooper Family

cooper family

An Official Kids Mag Q&A With Some Talented Show Kids

By Dave Woods •

Lots of kids dream of getting onstage and showing off their singing, dancing and acting talents. For a lot of Branson kids, it’s not a dream. With many family shows, a lot of kids, just like you, grow up on stage singing and dancing for packed theatres several days and nights a week. They are really no different than most other kids. Official Kids Mag caught up with three kids who enjoy taking the stage with their moms, dads, brothers, sisters and cousins under the bright lights of the Branson strip. They are part of the Cooper family whose show is called Clay Cooper’s Country Express.

Caden Cooper

OKM: How long have you been performing?

Caden: Since I was five. 

OKM: So you are a seasoned professional now?

Caden: Yeah… I guess.

OKM: How is it working with your mom and dad?

Caden: It’s working good.

OKM: What are you learning?

Caden: Like how to get better at singing and dancing and stuff.

OKM: Are you a funny guy?

Caden: Sometimes.

OKM: Do you think your dad’s a funny guy?

Caden: Sometimes.

          (Clay from inside his dressing room: “I heard that!”)

OKM: What do you want to tell kids your age who might want to get better at singing or comedy or magic? What do they need to know? 

Caden • 9 Cedar Ridge Elementary third grade Branson

Caden: Just never give up and keep doing it. 

OKM: Is that your goal, to keep doing it?

Caden: Yeah.

OKM: Tell me about your dancing skills. What kind of dancing do you like?

Caden: Jazz. 

OKM: What kind of music do you like? 

Caden: I really like hip-hop. 

OKM: What’s your favorite song right now?

Caden: God’s Plan by Drake.

OKM: Do you rap?

Caden: No, not really.

OKM: What’s you favorite song your dad sings?

Caden: The one with the girl… It’s Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson.

OKM: What do you want kids to know about growing up in Branson?

Caden: It’s pretty great seeing all of the cool shows and getting to be onstage with mom and dad.


Lucy • age 7 Homeschooled Branson


Lucy Hughes

Up the Strip from the Clay Cooper Theatre is the Hughes Brothers’ Theatre, home of the Hughes Music Show. They are Branson and the world’s largest performing family act. Meet Lucy and Julia Hughes, a pair of talented cousins. 

OKM: How long have you been performing? 

Lucy: I think a while. Seven years.

OKM: Do you like to sing?

Lucy: Yeah.

OKM: Do you have a favorite song?

Lucy: A lot of the songs I do in the show. I like the family songs. 

OKM: You really like singing with your cousins?

Lucy: Yeah.

OKM: Do you get to dance?

Lucy: I dance yeah… I just like to dance. 

OKM: What’s your favorite song to show your stuff?

Julia H. • age 8 Homeschooled Branson

Julia Hughes

OKM: Have you been doing this your whole life too?

Julia: Pretty much so. 

OKM: Do you like it?

Julia: Yes, I love it!

OKM: What do you love about it. 

Julia: It’s fun and you get to sing and dance and get to entertain people. 

OKM: That’s the family line. Do you have a favorite song the in the show. 

Julia: Somebody to Love. That one is my favorite because I get to go out with my mom and hug her. 

OKM: Do you dance, too?

Julia: Not really? Well, I dance in the Christmas show. It’s kind of hard to explain.

OKM: Do you plan to keep doing this?

Julia: Yeah… I going to and it’s fun learning.



Where can you go to turn yourself into a troll, a scarecrow, a fairy or a Mafia gangster?  Why, Trike Theatre in Bentonville, of course, where kids learn acting skills through classes and productions like Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz.