Mickey Gilley Returning to Branson After Long Recovery
Mickey Gilley is back. After nearly eight months of physical therapy following a life-threatening accident last July 5, Mickey says he can't wait to get back to work.
The Boot first reported the incident last November, speaking to the country legend about the accident that left him in intensive care, paralyzed from the neck down after he fell helping a friend move a piece of furniture. When we spoke to Mickey on Monday (April 5) from his condo in Branson, Mo., his enthusiasm was contagious. The entertainer was eager to talk about his miraculous recovery, and his long-awaited return to his own Mickey Gilley Theater in Branson on April 12.
"I'm doing pretty good," explains Mickey. "I'm beginning to walk down the steps here at my condo without any problem. I can walk about 200 feet without any help. I have to have somebody close to me because I can't afford to fall. I'm not able to play the piano yet but I think maybe by the end of the season my hands may come to the point where I can play the piano again.
"My stamina seems to be coming back," he continues. "And even though I'm going to have to sit on a stool and start the show, I think I'm going to be able to pull it off alright. I'm still working on my health getting back to normal. I have to have somebody close to me when I walk, but I'm doing a lot of things on my own. I can shave myself, I can feed myself, I can comb my hair, I can take a shower and things of that sort. I have a little help to button my pants because my hands don't work as well. Other than that, I'm doing good. I sat out on the patio yesterday. I'm trying to get a little sun tan to look better so I don't look so pale and white after laying up for seven and a half months."
Mickey says he'll be doing the 8 o'clock shows five days a week. "I think I'll be able to do it," he reasons. "I don't know why I can't. I'm going to have a full rehearsal on the 10th and the 11th and then on the 12th, we open. I'm excited about going back to work after being down for seven-and-a-half months. I've got some new stuff I'll be doing in the show that I think people will get a kick out of. I've got four new songs I'm putting in the show. I'll do the songs that were hits for me including the No. 1 songs, but the new stuff will be fun."
Mickey's sense of humor remains healthy. "I've got to go back to work or either go broke," he says with a laugh.
Mickey's shows at The Mickey Gilley Theater in Branson, are scheduled from Apr. 12 through Dec. 15.