|Sir Richard. born 1950, British entrepreneur. In 1969 he founded the Virgin record company, adding other interests later, including Virgin Atlantic Airways (1984), Virgin Radio (1993), and the Virgin Rail Group (1996): made the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by boat (1986) and the first of the Pacific by hot-air balloon (1991)|
city, Taney county, southwestern Missouri, U.S., in the Ozark Mountains, 43 miles (69 km) south of Springfield, near the Arkansas state line. It is located on Lake Taneycomo (formed by the White River) and near Bull Shoals Lake, Table Rock Dam, and Table Rock Lake and State Park. It was named for Reuben S. Branson, an early settler who opened a store and post office there about 1882. The community and surrounding landmarks formed the setting for Harold Bell Wright's novel The Shepherd of the Hills (1907). Beginning in the early 1980s, country music stars from Nashville, Tenn., began building huge theatres along 5 miles (8 km) of road just west of downtown Branson. The popularity of these music shows has made Branson a family-entertainment and vacation centre. Silver Dollar City, a popular theme park with dozens of craftsmen demonstrating 1880s Ozark-style skills, is 9 miles (14 km) west. College of the Ozarks (1906), where students pay no tuition but work in college industries, is just south, at Point Lookout. Inc. 1912. Pop. (2000) 6,050; (2005 est.) 7,010.
Learn more about Branson with a free trial on Britannica.com.