By Dave Woods
Joplin Globe new media and marketing manager
BRANSON, Mo. — Jason Hughes and his four performing brothers come by their love of music and entertaining naturally.
“My dad was a great singer and played the accordion and guitar by ear, and my mother was quite an accomplished clarinetist,” the 39-year-old father of seven said. “My mother and father loved to sing and play. They didn’t do it for a living; they just really enjoyed it a lot.”
As children, the Hughes brothers’ parents encouraged their boys to learn musical instruments, unafraid of a percussive clan.
“They kept a box full of rhythm instruments in the closet and would pass them out to all of us when we were just little,” he said. “We would play the (wooden) block and the triangle. It was a noisy household.”
In the Hughes family, they learned to love entertaining at an early age.
“People would ask us to sing for this or that,” Hughes said. “Somebody would see us singing together and ask us to do something else.”
Eventually, Mom and Dad Hughes stepped off stage and moved behind the scenes, leaving the performing to their talented boys. That was 30 years ago.
Today, the five performing brothers, their wives, dozens of kids and four adopted siblings — more than 40 in all and growing all of the time — bill them selves as “America ’s Largest Performing Family.” The fertile Branson brood entertains visitors at The Hughes Brothers Theater through Dec. 18 with a special Christmas show and the promise of another new offering next year.