Robert Echols said he was born the same year Fandangle started. He said his mother told him she carried him across the stage when he was just one-year old. Since then, Echols has been in the show about 40 times. He said the show is not just a big part of his life, but is also a big part of the town's economy.
"Fandangle is a high point of the year. Among other things, it brings us a lot of business," said Echols. "We have people come from all parts of Texas," he added.
Echols said the whole town of Albany transforms right around June of every year. They clean up the town, decorate the shops, and get ready for a lot of out-of-town visitors to arrive.
Echols is not strictly a performer, however. He also manages the Albany Inn. He said the Inn is usually sold out of rooms for the two weeks Fandangle is running, but this year was a little different.
"This year didn't fill up as quickly, and I think it's directly related to the economy," said Echols.
He said as gas prices went up, tourists went away.
"More and more people are coming from shorter distances instead of taking longer vacations. We get a lot of people that come to the Fandangle now that can drive home after the show," said Echols.