Country and gospel singer Barbara Fairchild will headline the entertainment at this year’s Old Timers Day festival.
The festival, sponsored by The Old Town Merchants Association, will be May 15-17 along a closed off Main Street in historic downtown Van Buren.
Fairchild, who is best known for her hit 1973 country song, "The Teddy Bear Song," and her husband, Roy Morris, will perform on the stage at the depot from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16.
Fairchild started her career at a young age singing country music. She cut her first single at 15 years old. In 1963, she moved to St. Louis and by 1965, she was a regular on a local television show.
In 1968, after high school graduation, she moved to Nashville and signed with Columbia Records in 1969. Her first single in 1969, "Love Is A Gentle Thing", was a minor hit as was her next single, "A Woman’s Hand". In 1970, she scored her first Top 40 hit with "A Girl Who’ll Satisfy Her Man". Between 1970 and 1972, Fairchild scored four more Top 40 hits, the biggest of these being "Love’s Old Song" and "Thanks For The Mem’ries."
Her breakthrough year was 1973 when Fairchild released the biggest hit of her career with "Teddy Bear Song." It not only became a No. 1 hit on the country charts but also reached the pop charts as well peaking at No. 32. It was also nominated for a Grammy that year.
"Teddy Bear Song" spent two weeks at the No. 1 spot and became Fairchild’s signature song. She followed up "Teddy Bear Song" with another hit with "Kid Stuff" that year which reached No 2 on the country charts and made the Billboard Hot 100 at No.95.
In 1974, she scored another Top 10 with the song "Baby Doll." Between 1974 and 1977, she had several other major successes among these being "Standing In Your Line," "Little Girl Feelin’," "Mississippi," "Cheatin’ Is" and "Let Me Love You Once Before You Go."
Fairchild now lives in Branson where she and her husband, a singer-songwriter, appear April through December featuring a two-hour dinner show in the Golden Corral Showroom, the only Golden Corral in America with a showroom, singing country, gospel and patriotic music.
Opening for Fairchild will be Billy Flash and the Troublemakers, who will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. May 16.
The musical stage will be busy throughout Old Timers Day.
Crooked and Steep will perform southern gospel and bluegrass music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 15.
On May 16, there will be local entertainment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by Gold Country from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Southern Drawl will be on the stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, May 17, and Lee Altman from 1 to 2 p.m. Doug McCutcheson will perform, beginning at 2 p.m.
Old Timers Day will host a pre-festival armband night at the carnival, beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 14. The carnival will set up at two locations - the parking lot on Webster between Seventh and Eighth streets and at the site of the future Veterans Park near the depot on Main Street.
Cost will be $20 for unlimited rides May 14.
In addition to the expanded carnival, this year’s festival will include helicopter rides for the first time. Cost will be $25 for a three-minute ride and $48 for a six-minute ride.
Old Timers Day also will include arts and crafts vendors, games and food.
For more information, visit www.vanburen.org and www.barbarafairchild.com.