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Larry Black, 70, was a longtime national disc jockey personality who one day found himself like many seniors… longing to do something different. From that desire, Larry’s Country Diner was created.
Larry’s Country Diner is a hidden treasure within our community. I had the pleasure of attending several tapings of the show and got to experience the fun and unique atmosphere that is “the diner”. I haven’t experienced anything like it since the classic Hee Haw. If you long for nostalgic television, this is for you!
Larry’s Country Diner is a nationally televised, unique down-home variety show which integrates entertainment, interviews, music and faith-based material in a weekly format. The Nashville-based show is taped bi-monthly in front of a LIVE studio audience in a country diner setting. The audience is seated at 18 tables on the set and enjoys a meal while filming the show and being entertained by a talented and lovable cast of characters hosted by creator Larry Black, his sidekick Keith Bilbrey (former Grand Ole Opry announcer and disc jockey); Sheriff Jimmy Capps (Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum Member and gifted guitarist); Waitress Renae (Larry’s personal secretary for many years); and avid church lady, Nadine (Mona Brown, a longtime friend), along with special guest appearances by country music and Gospel artists.
With 1.4 million viewers monthly, no one is more surprised by the success of Larry’s Country Diner than Larry Black. The show’s spontaneity is part of the mystique of “Larry’s Country Diner” which contributes greatly to its success. “The prevailing attitude at the diner is ‘…the cameras are always rollin’… and we don’t care,’” says Larry. This is reality television at its best as it airs the way it is taped, gaffes and all- what you see is what you get!
Larry’s Country Diner is a family affair for the Black family. His wife of 48 years, Luann, is in the audience for live tapings and their three sons, Jared, Ian and Adam all work for the show behind the scenes.
If you are interested in attending a live taping of the show you better plan ahead as there is a 3-year wait list for tickets. You can also join the cast and their guests in 2014 at the Starlite Theatre in Branson, Missouri, Eastern Caribbean cruise or Alaskan cruise.
Also, in the near future, you will be able to eat at a real Larry’s Country Diner. Larry has purchased the land and drawn up the plans to build a 140-seat diner that will be a replica of the television show. With the legacy walkway, fans can purchase a brick and put their names, slogan, memorial or logo on. “We hope everyone will feel like family when they arrive” says Larry.
Notes of interest about Larry’s Country Diner:
Since its initial airing on August 3, 2009, Larry’s Country Diner has produced over 100 episodes and has become one of the most popular shows on RFD television. The show can be seen on FamilyNet, check your local listings. Larry’s Country Diner is a product of Gabriel Communications. Owned and operated by Larry Black, Gabriel Communications was created in 1996 and specialized in “Reunion” videos. The success of these videos spurred the creation of more than a dozen more projects featuring hundreds of songs and stories as well as Country’s Family Reunion News, a monthly newspaper which highlights the music of yesteryear.
Editor’s Note: Written by Julie Jenkins Loza, Senior Directory, Nashville. Photography credits to BLANK for photo in feature story. Photography credits to Phil Johnson for photo appearing on cover.
A Special thank you to Larry Black and the cast/crew on Larry’s Country Diner.
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