The Lawrence Welk Show

The Lawrence Welk Show was an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years, from 1951 to 1955, then nationally for another 16 years on ABC from 1955 to 1971, followed by 11 years in first-run syndication from 1971 to 1982. Repeat episodes are broadcast in the United States by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations. These airings incorporate an original program—usually, a color broadcast from 1965 to 1982—in its entirety. In place of the commercials, newer performance and interview clips from the original stars and/or a family member of the performers are included; these clips are occasionally updated.

The Lawrence Welk Show
Opening of The Lawrence Welk Show
Presented byLawrence Welk
StarringMyron Floren
Bobby Burgess
Norma Zimmer
Dick Dale
The Lennon Sisters
Arthur Duncan
Joe Feeney
Jack Imel
Dave Edwards
Sandi Griffiths
Tanya Falan
Ava Barber
Ralna English
Guy Hovis
Gail Farrell
Mary Lou Metzger
Natalie Nevins
Bob Ralston
Jo Ann Castle
Henry Cuesta

Among many others
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes1,065
Running time44 minutes
Production company(s)KTLA (1951–1955)
Teleklew Productions (1955–1982)
American Broadcasting Company (1955–1971)
DistributorDon Fedderson Productions (1971–1982)
Original networkKTLA (1951–1955)
ABC (1955–1971)
Syndicated (1971–1982)
Original releaseJuly 2, 1955 –
April 17, 1982

Broadcast history

On May 11, 1951, The Lawrence Welk Show began as a local program on KTLA in Los Angeles, the flagship station of the Paramount Television Network and the first commercial television station in California and west of the Mississippi River.[1] The original show was broadcast from the since-demolished Aragon Ballroom at Venice Beach.

The show made its national television debut on ABC Television on July 2, 1955,[2] and was initially produced at the Hollywood Palladium,[3][4] moving to the ABC studios at Prospect and Talmadge in Hollywood shortly afterwards. For 23 of its 27 years on the air, the show would originate there.

The 1965-66 season was taped at the Hollywood Palace because that was ABC's only West Coast TV studio at the time equipped for live or taped color production; Welk had insisted that the show go color in 1965 because he believed that being broadcast in color was critical to the continued success of his program. Once a couple of studios at the ABC Prospect and Talmadge facilities had been converted to color in 1966, the show moved back there. The show also left the Prospect and Talmadge studios between 1976 and 1979, returning to the Hollywood Palace for one season, then moving to CBS's Television City studios in 1977 and staying for two seasons, before coming back to the Prospect and Talmadge studios in 1979 and remaining there for the rest of its run.

The show aired on ABC until 1971. When the show was cancelled by the head of programming there, Welk formed his own production company and continued airing the show, on local stations and, often from 7 to 8 P.M. Eastern Time on Saturdays over some of the ABC affiliates on which he had previously appeared, along with some stations affiliated with other networks. The syndicated version of the program aired from 1971 to 1982.

When the show debuted nationwide, The Lawrence Welk Show was billed as the Dodge Dancing Party in 1955 and 1956. From 1956 to 1959, Lawrence Welk was broadcast two nights per week. The second show's title was Lawrence Welk Presents Top Tunes and New Talent (1956–58) and then Lawrence Welk's Plymouth Show, after another Chrysler vehicle (1958–59). The Plymouth show was the first American television program to air in stereophonic sound. Due to the fact that stereophonic television had not yet been invented (it would be 25 more years before it would become standard), ABC instead simulcast the show on its radio network, with the TV side airing one audio channel and the radio side airing the other; viewers would tune in both the TV and the radio to achieve the stereophonic effect.[5][6] Starting with the 1959–60 season the two shows were merged into The Lawrence Welk Show, reverting to monophonic broadcasts. The name stuck, and it became the most popular variety show ever.

The primary sponsor of The Lawrence Welk Show was Dodge (automobile maker), later to be followed by Geritol (a multivitamin), Sominex (sleep aid), Aqua Velva (aftershave), Serutan (laxative), Universal Appliances (manufacturer of home appliances), Polident (a denture cleanser), Ocean Spray (fruit juice) and Sinclair Oil (automobile fuel) served as associate sponsors for a short time.[7] (During later years, a number of Welk cast members appeared in commercials for many of the show's sponsors, filmed specifically to air during Welk broadcasts.)

Move to syndication and public television

While the show was highly rated and continued to attract more audiences, ABC canceled it in 1971 for two reasons. The first was that the network had to cut three-and-a-half hours a week of prime-time programming, owing to the institution of the Prime Time Access Rule in 1971; the other was the fact that Welk's viewership was mostly of people over forty-five, mostly because of the music he chose to play, but also because younger viewers, the core viewing target that networks coveted, were either out during the Saturday night slot, or were watching one of the other networks.[8] Over the course of the early 1970s, several variety shows (including Welk's, but ranging from long-running series such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Palace and The Red Skelton Show to more contemporary shows such as Hee Haw, The Johnny Cash Show and This Is Tom Jones) were pulled from network schedules (particularly ABC and CBS) in a demographic move known colloquially as the "rural purge".

In response to ABC's move, Welk started his own production company and continued producing the show for syndication. Some independent stations put it in its old Saturday timeslot, and in many cases, it drew higher ratings than the network shows scheduled at that time. In many markets, the syndicated Lawrence Welk aired before the start of network prime-time on Saturday nights (7 p.m. Eastern Time); also in many areas, it competed against another show that was cancelled by CBS and resurrected in syndication, also in 1971 — Hee Haw. Welk's program was among a group of syndicated niche programs, others including Hee Haw and Soul Train, that flourished during this era. (The success of Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw in syndication, and the network decisions that led to their respective cancellations, were the inspiration for a novelty song called "The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka", performed by Roy Clark, one of the co-stars of Hee Haw.)

Welk retired in 1982; at the time of his retirement, he was 79 years old, making him at the time the oldest host of a regularly scheduled US entertainment television series (a feat later surpassed by Bob Barker in 2003 and later by Betty White in 2012). Classic shows — largely, from 1967 to 1982 — were repackaged with new footage (either Welk or the show's cast introducing segments) for syndication during the 1982–1983 season as Memories with Lawrence Welk, after which they were withdrawn from distribution for a short time. In 1985, The Lawrence Welk Christmas Reunion was produced. It was the last show in which Welk appeared with the "musical family".

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority acquired the broadcast rights to the series in 1986. In order to introduce the show to a new generation, they produced a documentary film, Lawrence Welk: Television's Music Man, hosted by Kathy Lennon of The Lennon Sisters. The film was a retrospective on Welk's life and career, featuring interviews with surviving members of Welk's "musical family", and scenes from the show. After its airing, reformatted versions of the Welk show were released to public television stations. Welk's segments from Memories with Lawrence Welk were used until his death, after which select members of the "musical family" took over as hosts. Reruns continue to air to this day (in many markets airing on Saturday nights at 7 pm, the same time the show aired during the latter years of its original run), with new and updated interviews with surviving cast members (Mary Lou Metzger hosts wraparounds that feature interviews, while Bobby Burgess currently hosts the ones that do not).[9] The shows are occasionally "recut" and interspersed with segments from other episodes for time and diversity purposes; for example, a rebroadcast of Gail Farrell's 1969 debut actually featured an added song by Anacani, who hadn't joined the show until 1973.

Nielsen ratings

The show was a top 30 hit for five seasons, according to's ratings database.

  • 1964–65: No. 30 (22.00 rating)
  • 1965–66: No. 19 (22.40 rating)
  • 1966–67: No. 12 (22.79 rating)
  • 1967–68: No. 17 (21.90 rating)
  • 1968–69: No. 29 (20.50 rating)


The show would often open by showing bubbles floating around and was accompanied by a sound effect of a bottle of champagne opening, including the opening theme (originally "Bubbles in the Wine", composed by Welk and Frank Loesser, later replaced with a derivative theme and fanfare composed by George Cates). Each week, Welk would introduce the theme of the show, which usually inspired joyous singing and/or patriotic fervor. He was most known for delivering these monologues in a distinctive German accent (this despite being born and raised in North Dakota), which was parodied in popular culture (even by Welk himself: the two books he authored, Wunnerful, Wunnerful! and Ah-One, Ah-Two! were so titled because they were his catchphrases). This was evident from his mispronunciations of script on cue cards. On one such story, related by Jo Ann Castle on The Mike Douglas Show, has him introducing a medley of World War I tunes as "songs from World War Eye". Also, from his autobiography Wunnerful, Wunnerful! he bemoans his accent, and in some of his pronunciations of "wonderful" in the show he can be heard forcing the D.

If the number was more of a dance tune, Welk would frequently dance with ladies from the audience, for which he became somewhat known. For certain songs (mainly the instrumentals performed by the orchestra), the couples in attendance were also allowed to dance at the Ballroom. Many of the show's songs were performed as part of a skit; while a handful of skits were common throughout the show's run, during a short period in mid-1970s (about the same time The Semonski Sisters were featured performers on the show), the show consisted almost entirely of them.

Welk often demonstrated multiple times on-camera how the champagne bottle sound was created, by placing a finger in his mouth, releasing it to make the popping sound, and making a soft hissing sound to simulate the bubbles escaping the bottle. One such instance is part of the opening sequence of the public television reruns seen today.

Welk frequently had performers sing and play standards from the big band era and the first half of the 20th century. He had a particular admiration for those composers contemporary with him, such as Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, and Harry Warren; although the show's repertoire was in reality much broader, and would often include pop songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—Welk even devoted an entire show to the music of the 1970s in 1978—as well as country music, patriotic music, and religious music, especially if it was thought to appeal to older listeners (and, as Welk stated in 1956, "as long as it's done in the champagne style"). In one of his most infamous incidents, he asked singers Gail Farrell and Dick Dale to perform Brewer & Shipley's hit song "One Toke Over the Line" (a mock gospel tune riddled with drug references) as a modern spiritual, apparently oblivious to the meaning of the word "toke."[10] Brewer responded that although it was "absurd", the duo "got more publicity than we could pay for" from the out-of-place performance.[11] Welk, for his part, blamed ABC for pressuring him into including the song, among others he felt did not fit the show's format.[12]

Almost all of the music performed on the show was done in-house by the show's "Musical Family." Special musical guests were a rare and irregular occurrence; these ranged from Henry Mancini to more contemporary artists such as surf rock group The Chantays, novelty artist Stan Boreson and country singer Charley Pride.

The closing theme during the syndicated years, often performed by the "Musical Family", was "Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen" (composed by George Cates). A recording of the song has been edited over the updated credits on PBS reruns.

The "Musical Family"

Lawrence Welk Alice Lon
Alice Lon and Lawrence Welk.
Lawrence welk norma zimmer 1961
Norma Zimmer and Welk.

Welk employed many musicians and singers, which were known in the press as his "Musical Family". Most members of the Musical Family had specific, well-defined roles within the context of the show, generally specializing in one type of performance (for instance, the show had two pianists, but one would specialize in ragtime piano while the other would handle easy listening pieces; the show's numerous singers and dancers were similarly typecast). One of the most prominent positions in the Musical Family was the "Champagne Lady", who always sang a down-tempo solo number toward the end of each show.

These musicians were bound by an unofficial set of morals (artistic and personal) dictated by Welk, and if he believed the audience did not find them wholesome enough, they would be fired. According to popular belief, former "Champagne Lady" Alice Lon was fired in 1959 for crossing her legs on a desk, which was something Welk didn't like. After he fired Lon, thousands of letters filled the ABC mailroom, demanding an apology, and that she be rehired. Welk tried to get Lon back but she refused.[13]

In later years however, it was revealed that along with the "cheesecake" incident, another one of the reasons for Lon's departure was money; she was supporting three young sons and wanted a raise. A further reason was a dispute over what kind of songs she would be singing, and since Welk insisted on playing what he felt his audiences wanted to hear, generally older "standards", she rebelled against such restrictions.

After two years and a string of short-lived vocalists, Norma Zimmer was hired, starting in 1960. Zimmer stayed with Welk for the rest of the show's run.

Another example of being bound by Welk's set of morals was famed clarinetist Pete Fountain, renowned for his New Orleans-style jazz. He was a valued member of the Welk cast, who was rumored to have quit when Welk objected to his efforts to "jazz up" the Christmas standard "Silver Bells" on the 1958 Christmas show. In an interview, Fountain admitted he left Welk because "Champagne and bourbon don't mix."[14] (The departure was amicable; Fountain would reappear in Welk reunion shows after the show ended.)

Welk relied on fan letters to tell him who was popular and who was not. Often, performers who received a positive reaction were prominently featured on future shows, while those who did not meet muster with the audience saw their solo opportunities diminish and sometimes were eventually let go.

Among the performers that were wildly popular with audiences during the years it was on ABC were The Lennon Sisters, Joe Feeney, Steve Smith, Larry Hooper, Jo Ann Castle and electric guitarist Buddy Merrill, just to name a few. Lynn Anderson, Clay Hart, and Ava Barber used the show as a springboard to launch their own successful careers as country music solo artists. At the height of the show's popularity, members of the Musical Family were featured in several celebrity tabloid magazines alongside other mainstream television and movie stars.[15]

Tap dancer Arthur Duncan became the second African-American to appear regularly on a sponsored television variety program, and the first since 1951, when he was hired as a permanent music maker by Welk in 1964. (The first was Teddy Wilson, a regular band member on the short-lived Star Time throughout its 1950–51 run.)

Producers and directors

James Hobson (also known as Jim Hobson) served longest as producer (1962–1982) and director of The Lawrence Welk Show.[16] Hobson died on April 26, 2013, in Santa Monica Hospital, California.

Episode status

The surviving episodes from the first 10 seasons on ABC, which began in 1955, exist today as black and white kinescopes or videotape, as the show was broadcast live for the first 10 years, right up through the 1964–1965 season. A few of these have been broadcast on public television. Nearly all episodes shown on PBS stations today are from around 1965 to 1982 (the majority being from the syndicated run), but some older black and white segments can be found on YouTube and in recent months more black-and-white episodes have been added into the rotation.

Beginning with the 1965–1966 season, the episodes were recorded in color. It is assumed the color episodes exist intact. The very first color episode of the show, which aired in September 1965, was taped on-location at the Escondido resort near San Diego, in which Welk had a financial and ownership interest. It is occasionally shown on PBS stations; the PBS rebroadcast is introduced by Bobby Burgess.

DVD status and Welk specials aired on public television

Neither the Welk Organization nor the OETA have released any episodes of The Lawrence Welk Show on home video, nor are there any plans to do so. Welk Musical Family specials, however, are available on DVD, and can be obtained with a donation during reairs on local PBS stations.

  • 1991 – “A Champagne Toast to the Big Bands”
  • 1992 – “The Lennon Sisters: Easy to Remember”
  • 1993 – “From the Heart: A Tribute to Lawrence Welk and the American Dream”
  • 1994 – “The Lawrence Welk Holiday Special: Great Moments & Memories”
  • 1995 – “Lawrence Welk: Then & Now”
  • 1995 – “A Lawrence Welk Family Christmas”
  • 1997 – “From Lawrence Welk: To America With Love”
  • 1998 – “Lawrence Welk’s Favorite Holidays”
  • 1999 – “Lawrence Welk’s Songs of Faith”
  • 2000 – “Lawrence Welk Milestones & Memories”
  • 2003 – “Lawrence Welk: God Bless America”
  • 2005 – “Lawrence Welk Precious Memories”
  • 2007 – “Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures”
  • 2009 – "Welk Stars Through The Years"
  • 2011 – "Lawrence Welk's Big Band Splash"

In popular culture

In music

  • Accordion pop/rock band Those Darn Accordions recorded "The Story of Lawrence Welk" on their 1994 album Squeeze This!, a comic retelling of Welk's life story which references his television series, incorporating musical bits from "Bubbles in the Wine" and name-dropping series regulars Alice Lon, The Lennon Sisters and even its sponsorships from Dodge and Geritol.
  • Comic Stan Freberg created a parody of the show in a song called "Wun'erful Wun'erful (Sides uh-one and uh-two)", which became a Top 30 hit in 1957. Originally performed on Freberg's CBS Radio series, the single spoofed the musicianship among some of Welk's musicians (including Welk himself). The record was arranged by Billy May, who handled the music on Freberg sessions and was known to despise Welk's style of music. Working with May and Freberg, who portrayed Welk, were some of Hollywood's best studio musicians, some of them jazz veterans who also held Welk's music in equal contempt. Welk was not pleased by the record, built around satirical out-of-tune performances and an out-of-control "bubble machine" that sent the entire Aragon Ballroom out to sea.
  • Dickie Goodman also used Welk as a source for inspiration and a target of satire on his 1959 novelty single, "Stagger Lawrence", which featured an episode of the show being repeatedly interrupted by Lloyd Price's version of the blues piece "Stagger Lee."
  • The show is one of two that serve as the main subjects of the 1972 song "The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka," the other being Hee Haw (Hee Haw host Roy Clark sang the song). Both programs had been cancelled by their respective networks in 1971, only to continue in first-run syndication (and continued to be enormously popular) for a number of years thereafter.

In television

  • On October 4, 2008, NBC's Saturday Night Live parodied the show with Fred Armisen taking on the role as the Maestro, whose accent switches on and off for different words, and is often obscured by far too many bubbles. The sketch features the singing Maharelle sisters "all the way from the Finger Lakes". Three of the four sisters are beautiful and perky but the fourth, Dooneese Maharelle (Kristen Wiig), is physically deformed (with a large forehead, bad teeth and tiny non-functioning hands the size of a doll's) and apparently deranged. [This version notably used Freberg's sound-alike of the theme song.] The skit - and Wiig's character in particular - proved so popular with audiences that the Welk parody became a recurring sketch over the next few seasons, featuring appearances from the likes of Jon Hamm, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, and Betty White, amongst others. The satirical efforts differed considerably from earlier satires such as Stan Freberg's, that mocked the music, the musicianship and Welk's clumsy patter between songs.
  • In "The Ride", episode 6.09 of The Sopranos, Paulie Walnuts watches The Lawrence Welk Show with his aunt, Marianucci Gualtieri, who refers to it as The Lawrence Welk's Program. They have very little dialogue and the show is prominently featured in the scene. The music from the show leads into the credits.
  • The 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter used the Welk show as a source of comedic material. One episode involved a scene when Arnold Horshack, upon noticing a kitchen sink overflowing with bubbles, yelled "HELP! WE'RE BEING INVADED BY LAWRENCE WELK!"

Singers and performers

All of these singers and performers were part of the Musical Family, with Welk on the lead.

The Ebe Sisters, singers (1958-1964)

The orchestra

  • Orie Amodeo, saxophone/reeds (1955–1970)
  • George Aubry, saxophone/reeds (1951–1957)
  • Norman Bailey, trumpet (1955–1973)
  • Big Tiny Little, ragtime piano (1955–1959)
  • Don Bonnee, saxophone/reeds (1959–1962)
  • Bobby Bruce, violin (1964–1967)
  • Jerry Burke, piano/organ (1936–1965)
  • George Cates, conductor/music supervisor (1955–1982)
  • Dick Cathcart, trumpet (1962–1968)
  • Buddy Clark, bass/tuba (1966–1967)
  • Mahlon Clark, saxophone/reeds (1962–1968)
  • Henry Cuesta, saxophone/clarinet (1972–1982)
  • Bob Davis, saxophone/reeds (1965–1982)
  • Art Depew, trumpet (1957–1965)
  • Kurt Dieterle, violin (1959–1961)
  • Jack Dumont, saxophone/reeds (1959–1962)
  • Dave Edwards, saxophone/reeds (1968–1979)
  • Ernie Ehrhardt, cellist (1978–1982)
  • Pete Fountain, saxophonist/clarinet (1957–1959)
  • Jimmy Getzhoff, violin (1960–1962)
  • Woody Guidry, trumpet (1955–1956)
  • Charlotte Harris, cellist (1961–1978)
  • Stanley Harris, violist (1959–1960)
  • Bob Havens, trombone (1960–1982)
  • Buddy Hayes, bass/tuba (1955–1966)
  • Jimmy Henderson, trombone (1957–1959)
  • Skeets Herfurt, saxophone/reeds (1979–1982)
  • Laroon Holt, trumpet (1973–1982)
  • Peanuts Hucko, saxophone/clarinet (1970–1972)
  • Paul Humphrey, drummer (1976–1982)
  • Harry Hyams, viola (1961–1982)
  • Dick Kesner, violin (1955–1960)
  • Johnny Klein, drummer (1955–1976)
  • Russ Klein, saxophone/reeds (1957–1982)
  • Neil Levang, guitarist (1959–1982)
  • Barney Liddell, trombone (1955–1982)
  • Bob Lido, violin/performer (1955–1982)
  • Ray Linn, trumpet (1968–1969)
  • Joe Livoti, violin (1962–1982)
  • Pete Lofthouse, trombone (1955–1965)
  • Warren Luening, trumpet (1959–1960)
  • Richard Maloof, bass/tuba (1967–1982)
  • Sam McCadden, saxophone/performer (1955–1980)
  • Mickey McMahan, trumpet (1967–1982)
  • Jack Martin, saxophone/reeds (1955–1959)
  • Buddy Merrill, guitarist (1955–1974)
  • Bill Page, saxophone/reeds (1955–1965)
  • Aladdin Pallante, violin/performer (1955–1967)
  • Charlie Parlato, trumpet (1962–1982)
  • Jim Porter, trumpet (1965)
  • David Pratt, cellist (1959–1961)
  • Bob Ralston, piano/organ (1963–1982)
  • Rocky Rockwell, trumpet (1955–1962)
  • Mischa Russell, violin (1962–1964)
  • Ambrose Russo, violin (1962–1964)
  • Frank Scott, piano/harpsichord (1955–1969)
  • Bob Smale, piano (1969–1982)
  • Don Staples, trombone (1965–1982)
  • George Thow, trumpet/production staff (1956–1982)
  • Kenny Trimble, trombone (1957–1982)
  • Billy Wright, violin (1957–1959)
  • Rubin Zarchy, trumpet (1968)
  • Johnny Zell, trumpet (1968–1982)
  • Freddie Mandock,Saxophone (1969-1977)

Rose Weiss was the long-term Welk costume designer and manager.


  • Lou Crosby (1955–1960)
  • Bob Warren (1960–1982)


  1. ^ Video of first 3 minutes of show with comments from the uploader The Lawrence Welk Show: KTLA Clip youtube Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  2. ^ The New York Times Encyclopedia of Television by Les Brown (Times Books, a division of Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Company, Inc., 1977), ISBN 0-8129-0721-3, p. 238
  3. ^ Gordon, William A. (1992). The Ultimate Hollywood Tour Book. Toluca Lake, CA: North Ridge Books. pp. 156–157. ISBN 0-937813-03-6.
  4. ^ "The Hollywood Palladium". Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  5. ^ "A Television First! Welk Goes Stereophonic" (advertisement), Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1958, p. A-7.
  6. ^ "Dealers: Lawrence Welk Leads in Stereo!" (advertisement), Billboard, October 13, 1958, p. 23.
  7. ^ "Fun Facts About the Welk Show".
  8. ^ "Lawrence Welk".
  9. ^ Flans, Robyn. "The Lawrence Welk Show's Golden Anniversary". Archived from the original on March 30, 2007. as preserved on the Internet Archive
  10. ^ Stevens, Hampton (September 3, 2010). "Songs About Pot: A Proposition 19 Playlist". Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  11. ^ One Toke Over The Line accessdate = October 23, 2009
  12. ^ Van der Werff, Todd December 17, 2012). The Lawrence Welk Show was TV’s best party—until it wasn’t. AV Club. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Lawrence Welk Show at the Museum of Broadcast Communications".
  14. ^ Compagno, Nick. "A Closer Walk with Pete Fountain".
  15. ^ "Lawrence Welk TV Treasures".
  16. ^

External links

Alice Lon

Alice Lon Wyche (November 23, 1926 – April 24, 1981), known as Alice Lon, was an American singer and dancer on The Lawrence Welk Show during its early years on network television.


Anacani Maria Consuelo y Castillo Lopez Cantor Montoya (born April 10, 1954) is a Mexican singer best known as a featured performer on The Lawrence Welk Show television program.Born in Sinaloa, Mexico, as the sixth of seven children of Mexican and French parents, she moved with her family to the United States when she was a child. It was during that time she began to sing thanks in large part to her family's talented musical background. When she was in middle school, during a family trip back to Mexico, her singing talents were discovered by a television producer which led to appearances on the variety show Las Estrellas y Usted (The Stars and You) followed by several more appearances on Latin American television and live concert tours as well.

After completing high school, Anacani's career took a new turn when she and her family went to the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido, California, where she was discovered by bandleader Lawrence Welk himself. Soon enough, she was the resort's singing hostess and later made her first appearance on the Lawrence Welk Show in January 1973. After a few more guest appearances, she was soon hired as a regular performer on the show.

During the course of the show's run, and afterward, she was popular as a soloist with songs like "Vaya Con Dios", "Luna", and "It's Impossible". She also did duets with fellow Welk star Tanya Falan, toured with rest of the music makers on the road and released an album called Lawrence Welk presents Anacani through Ranwood Records and she serves as the Latino spokesman for Yuban Coffee. She also had a bit part in the 1981 feature film Zoot Suit.

Today, Anacani lives in Escondido with her husband Rudy Echeverria and her daughter Priscila. In addition to singing, she is also an accomplished clothing designer and seamstress. She still sings with members of her Welk musical family across the country at county fairs, resorts plus many other venues. She is also a guest soloist with many symphony orchestras; and since the early 1980s has worked the telethon for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center in Abilene, Texas.

Ava Barber

Ava Marlene Barber (born June 28, 1954) is an American country music singer and performer. She is best remembered for her performances on The Lawrence Welk Show throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s.

She is also known as a recording artist, her best-known hit being the song, "Bucket to the South", which peaked at No. 13 on the Hot Country Songs list in 1978. She has done many reunion specials on PBS for The Lawrence Welk Show over the past number of years.

Bill Page

Bill Page (September 11, 1925 – April 26, 2017) was an American reed player, band leader, and entrepreneur who was best known for his work in the Lawrence Welk Band.

Bobby Burgess

Robert Wilkie "Bobby" Burgess (born May 19, 1941, Long Beach, California) is an American dancer and singer. He was one of the original Mouseketeers. Later, he was a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show.

Buddy Merrill

Buddy Merrill (born July 16, 1936), born Leslie Merrill Behunin, Jr., is an American guitar player and steel guitar player, best known as a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show.

Charlie Parlato

Charles Parlato (February 16, 1919 – September 8, 2007) was an American musician who performed with the Lawrence Welk orchestra. His instrument was the trumpet.

Dave Edwards (musician)

Dave Edwards (January 11, 1941 – August 12, 2000) was an American big band-style musician who most notably was the lead alto saxophonist and multireedist for the long running weekly television series, The Lawrence Welk Show from 1968 through 1979.

Dick Cathcart

Charles Richard Cathcart (November 6, 1924 – November 8, 1993) was an American Dixieland trumpet player who was best known as a member of The Lawrence Welk Show in which he appeared from 1962 to 1968.

Cathcart was born in Michigan City, Indiana. He was a trumpeter for the U.S. Army Air Force Band and a member of big bands led by Bob Crosby, Ben Pollack, and Ray Noble.After World War II, he moved to Los Angeles. His friend Jack Webb was playing the part of trumpeter Pete Kelly in the movie Pete Kelly's Blues and told Cathcart he should supply the music. The band from the movie stayed together in the 1950s for performances and recordings under the name Pete Kelly's Big Seven. Cathcart also supplied music for the TV show Dragnet, which starred Jack Webb as Joe Friday. He spent much of his career as a musician on The Lawrence Welk Show. On the Welk show, he met Peggy Lennon, a singer with the Lennon Sisters, and the two married.

Dick Dale (singer)

Richard L. Dale (September 14, 1926 – December 26, 2014) was an American singer and musician, best known as a featured singer and saxophone player on the television variety show The Lawrence Welk Show.

A native of Algona, Iowa, he served in the United States Navy during World War II after graduation from Algona High School. His entertainment career began when he worked for several bands such as Harold Loeffelmacher and his Six Fat Dutchmen polka band. He was discovered by Lawrence Welk in 1951.During his tenure on The Lawrence Welk Show, in addition to playing the saxophone, Dale sang not just solos but also in duets, performed in comedy sketches, dances, and also played Santa Claus for many years on the Christmas shows. Even after the show went into retirement in 1982, he continued to perform with his fellow Welk alumni. From 1990 to 1996, he co-owned and operated the Rainbow Music Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with fellow Welk star Ava Barber.He married his wife, Marguerite, in 1949, and they had four children. After making their home in Sparks, Nevada for several years, the Dales moved back to his Iowa hometown of Algona in 2006.

Gail Farrell

Gail Farrell (born October 6, 1947) is an American singer and songwriter, best known for her work on the variety program The Lawrence Welk Show.

Joe Feeney

Joe Feeney (August 15, 1931 – April 16, 2008) was an American tenor singer who was a member of The Lawrence Welk Show television program.

Lawrence Welk

Lawrence Welk (March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992) was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted the television program The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large audience of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as "champagne music".

List of Saturday Night Live musical sketches

Saturday Night Live has featured many recurring characters that appear in sketches with a musical theme. In addition there are characters listed here who predominantly featured music, but may not have exclusively featured it.

Nick The Lounge Singer (Bill Murray) – April 16, 1977

The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi) – April 22, 1978

Candy Slice (Gilda Radner) – December 9, 1978

Buckwheat (Eddie Murphy) – October 10, 1981

Pudge & Solomon (Joe Piscopo, Eddie Murphy) – January 30, 1982

The Sweeney Sisters (Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, Marc Shaiman) – October 18, 1986

Tonto, Tarzan & Frankenstein's Monster (Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman) – December 19, 1987

I'm Chillin' (Chris Rock, Chris Farley) – January 12, 1991

Opera Man (Adam Sandler) – April 18, 1992

Mighty Mack Blues (John Goodman) – March 25, 1995

G-Dog (Tim Meadows) – December 2, 1995

The Roxbury Guys (Chris Kattan, Will Ferrell) – March 23, 1996

The Culps (Ana Gasteyer, Will Ferrell) – November 2, 1996

Janet Reno's Dance Party (Will Ferrell) – January 11, 1997

The DeMarco Brothers (Chris Parnell, Chris Kattan) – March 15, 1997

Gunner Olsen (Jim Breuer) – March 7, 1998

7 Degrees Celsius (Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz) – January 16, 1999

Gemini's Twin (Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer) – November 4, 2000

Rap Street (Jerry Minor, Horatio Sanz) – November 18, 2000

Season's Greetings From Saturday Night Live (Christmas is Number One) (Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan) – December 16, 2000

The Kelly Brothers (Fred Armisen, Will Forte) – February 8, 2003

Mascots (Justin Timberlake) – October 11, 2003

The Prince Show (Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph) – February 14, 2004

The Lundford Twins Feel Good Variety Hour (Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler) – January 22, 2005

Deep House Dish (Kenan Thompson, Rachel Dratch, Andy Samberg) – November 19, 2005

The Lawrence Welk Show (Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig) – October 4, 2008

Les Jeunes de Paris (Taran Killam) - October 23, 2010

Mary Lou Metzger

Mary Lou Metzger (born November 13, 1950, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American singer and dancer best known as a cast member on The Lawrence Welk Show.The only child of Ernie and Helen Metzger, the family moved to Havertown, Pennsylvania where at the age of seven Metzger officially began her performing career, which included appearances on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour and acting in a national tour of The Music Man. While a student at Temple University, she went to Los Angeles, California to appear on the television program GE College Bowl; while there she auditioned for Lawrence Welk and was accepted in the show's apprentice training program.During her twelve years on the show, she sang as part of a female trio with fellow Welk stars Gail Farrell and Sandi Griffiths, various group numbers, and song-and-dance numbers with Jack Imel; she also danced with the maestro himself at the end of each show. After the show ended its regular run on television, she continued to pursue acting, which included commercials, and parts on both the small and the big screen, such as Garry Marshall's 1999 film The Other Sister. She also co-founded the Actors' Conservatory Ensemble theater group in 1990.

Metzger continues to perform with Welk alumni on concert tours, and regularly appears on pledge drives for PBS, which now airs The Lawrence Welk Show on more than 250 stations. Through much of the late 2000s, she hosted the wraparounds of the show featuring interviews with members of the Musical Family, conducted by Metzger herself. (She has since been replaced by Bobby Burgess for most episodes, though episodes hosted by Metzger continue to air.)

Michael Redman (singer)

{{Infobox person

| name = Michael M. Redman

| image =

| caption =

| birth_date = (1945-04-15) April 15, 1945

| birth_place = [[North Carolina, |], USA

| occupation = Singer on The Lawrence Welk Show (1980-1982)

| religion =

| spouse = Cinda Jane Redman (1968-present)

| children = Melissa Vanderzee

Jennifer Redman

| residence = Vancouver, Washington

| alma_mater = University of Southern California


Michael M. Redman (born April 15, 1945) is an American singer who was a member of television's The Lawrence Welk Show from 1980 to 1982 as part of the trio Gail, Ron and Michael, with Ron Anderson and Anderson's wife, Gail Farrell.Redman was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in performing arts and literature. He did voice work for famous cartoons including The Flintstones and Yogi Bear. Later he appeared on television shows such as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Happy Days, Sonny and Cher and Donny and Marie. He also appeared as a singer on Johnny Mann's Stand Up and Cheer show. As a vocalist, he performed and recorded with Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, and Barry Manilow.It was Tom Netherton who recommended Redman for Gail and Ron's trio on the Welk show in 1980. Today, Redman still performs with the trio. His recent projects include a new album titled Michael Redman — Yesterday and Today and vocal work for the 1991 Walt Disney film, Perfect Harmony.

Michael Redman and his wife, Cinda Redman, reside in Vancouver, Washington. They have two daughters, Melissa Vanderzee and Jennifer Redman.

Myron Floren

Myron Floren (November 5, 1919 – July 23, 2005) was an American musician best known as the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show between 1950 and 1980. Floren came to prominence primarily from his regular appearances on the weekly television series in which Lawrence Welk dubbed him as "the happy Norwegian".Floren was highly regarded by Lawrence Welk, who was an accomplished accordion player in his own right. Floren functioned as Welk's principal assistant and second-in-command. In Floren's autobiography Accordion Man, written with his daughter Randee Floren, he recalled handling road manager duties when the band traveled, including hotel arrangements and other logistics. Prior to his death, he hosted some of the repeats of The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.

Promises, Promises (Lynn Anderson song)

"Promises, Promises" is the name of a country song made famous by Lynn Anderson in 1968.

"Promises, Promises" was Anderson's second major hit. The single was released in late 1967 on the Chart Records label, the distributed by RCA Victor, and was publicly debuted on The Lawrence Welk Show in an early December 1967 episode. "Promises, Promises" was Anderson's biggest hit up to that point, hitting number four on the Billboard Country chart and number one on the Cashbox Country chart. Because of the success of the song, an album of the same name was released, which was also a major seller.

The Aldridge Sisters

The Aldridge Sisters, Sheila and Sherry Aldridge, are an American singing act that appeared on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1977 to 1982.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.