Pages in category "Lawrence Welk"
The following 78 pages are in this category, out of 78 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 78 pages are in this category, out of 78 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Lawrence Welk – Lawrence Welk 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 audience of radio, television. Welk was born in the German-speaking community of Strasburg, North Dakota and he was sixth of the eight children of Ludwig and Christiana Welk, ethnic Germans who emigrated to America in 1892 from Odessa, Russian Empire. Lawrence Welk was a first cousin, once removed, of former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, Welks grandparents, Moritz and Magdalena Welk, emigrated in 1808 from Alsace-Lorraine to Ukraine. The family lived on a homestead that is now a tourist attraction and they spent the cold North Dakota winter of their first year inside an upturned wagon covered in sod. Growing up speaking German and English, Welk left school during fourth grade to work full-time on the family farm, any money he made elsewhere during that time, doing farmwork or performing, would go to his family. On his 21st birthday, having fulfilled his promise to his father, during the 1920s, he performed with various bands before starting his own orchestra. He led big bands in North Dakota and eastern South Dakota and these included the Hotsy Totsy Boys and later the Honolulu Fruit Gum Orchestra. His band was also the band for the popular radio station WNAX in Yankton. In 1927, he graduated from the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, during the 1930s, Welk led a traveling big band that specialized in dance tunes and sweet music. Initially, the band traveled around the country by car and they were too poor to rent rooms, so they usually slept and changed clothes in their cars. The term champagne music was derived from an engagement at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, the hotel also lays claim to the original bubble machine, a prop left over from a 1920s movie premiere. Welk described his bands sound, saying, We still play music with the champagne style and we place the stress on melody, the chords are played pretty much the way the composer wrote them. We play with a beat so that dancers can follow it. Welks big band performed across the country but particularly in the Chicago, in the early 1940s, the band began a 10-year stint at the Trianon Ballroom in Chicago, regularly drawing crowds of nearly 7,000. His orchestra also performed frequently at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City during the late 1940s, in 1944 and 1945, Welk led his orchestra in many motion picture Soundies, considered to be the early pioneers of music videos. Welk collaborated with Western artist Red Foley to record a version of Spade Cooleys Shame on You in 1945, the record was number 4 to Cooleys number 5 on Billboards September 15 Most Played Juke Box Folk Records listing. From 1949 through 1951, the band had its own radio program on ABC, sponsored by Miller High Life
2. 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. Sherry Aldridge and Sheila Aldridge grew up in North Carolina and their parents are the late Talton Aldridge and Jacqueline Goins Aldridge. Sheila and Sherry started out singing in church, holiday pageants, nightclubs, high school plays and also performed in community theater, while looking for their big break in show business, they both worked as flight attendants for a major airline. The Aldridge Sisters first auditioned for Lawrence Welk in 1977 when he and his family held a concert in nearby Nashville, although impressed. Not long after that, they were teamed with Roger and David Otwell, another newly hired sibling act to form the musical act of The Aldridge Sisters and it was a hit with live audiences and viewers alike. Since the Welk show, the sisters appeared on shows including Dinah Shore, Hee Haw. Sheila and Sherry recorded a Christmas album, The Gift, with the Billy Andrusco Trio
3. Lynn Anderson – Lynn Rene Anderson was an American country music singer known for a string of hits throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, most notably her 1970 worldwide hit Rose Garden. Andersons crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television helped her to one of the most popular. 1,18 Top 10, and more than 50 Top 40 hit singles and she was the #13 artist of the 1970s according to Joel Whitburns Billboard Hot Country Singles book and the highest ranking artist of the list not yet in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Anderson was the first female country artist to win the American Music Award, as well as the first to headline, Anderson debuted in 1966, at the age of 19, and had her first hit with Ride, Ride, Ride. After a series of Top 10 hit singles on the charts during the late 1960s. Under Columbia, she had her most successful string of hits and her signature song, Rose Garden, remains one of the biggest selling country crossover hits of all time. In addition to topping the U. S. country charts for five weeks and it also topped the charts in several countries around the globe, an unprecedented achievement at the time. CMT ranks Rose Garden at No.83 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music History, Anderson continued to record and remained a popular concert attraction until her death, regularly headlining major casino showrooms, performing arts centers and theaters. She was later raised in Fair Oaks, California and she was the daughter of country music songwriters Casey and Liz Anderson. Lynn Andersons great-grandfather was born in Aremark, Norway, in later life, Anderson met her Norwegian relatives through the Norwegian TV series Tore på sporet. Anderson became interested in singing at age six and she had her first success in the horse show arena in and around California, where she would eventually win a total of 700 trophies, including the California Horse Show Queen title in 1966. In her teens, she performed regularly on the television program Country Caravan. Her mother signed with RCA Victor as a music recording artist that year. While accompanying her mother to Nashville, Anderson participated in an informal sing-along in a room with country stars Merle Haggard. One of the present at the sing-along, Slim Williamson, owned Chart Records. Williamson recognized Lynn Andersons talent and invited her to record for his label and she began recording for Chart in 1966. In 1966, Lynn Anderson released her single, For Better or for Worse. Her first charting single and her release on the Chart Label, Ride, Ride, Ride
4. Bobby Burgess – Robert Wilkie Bobby Burgess is an American dancer and singer. He was one of the original Mouseketeers, later, he was a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show. Growing up in Southern California, Burgess started performing at age five, in 1955 he was selected as one of the original Mouseketeers by Walt Disney to appear on his new ABC television series, The Mickey Mouse Club, giving young Burgess his first taste of celebrity. He also guest starred on The Donna Reed Show as a suitor of Mary Stone, Burgess attended Southern California Military Academy in Long Beach for his elementary and junior high school. When the series ended in 1959, Burgess returned to a normal teenagers life and he then began attending Long Beach State University where he became a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. While there, he and his childhood friend Barbara Boylan entered a Calcutta dance contest held by Lawrence Welk and they won the contest and first prize was an appearance on The Lawrence Welk Show, which appeared nationally on ABC. After their initial appearance, Burgess and Boylan continued to guest on the show for the next few weeks. The positive fan response led to Welk hiring the dance couple as permanent members of the show and he did song-and-dance numbers with Arthur Duncan and Jack Imel and co-hosted, with Mary Lou Metzger, wraparound segments on The Lawrence Welk Shows PBS reruns in 2010. Burgess still dances when he is touring with Elaine Balden, and at his own dance studio and he is the cotillion instructor at Miraleste, Palos Verdes and Ridgecrest Intermediate Schools. He married Kristin Floren, the daughter of Welk accordionist Myron Floren on Valentines Day,1971, the couple today lives in Hollywood Hills and are the parents of four children
5. Jo Ann Castle – Jo Ann Castle is an American honky-tonk pianist, best remembered for appearing on The Lawrence Welk Show. She adopted her name from the name of an accordion manufacturer, another instrument she played proficiently. She was often referred to as Queen of the Honky-Tonk Piano by Lawrence Welk himself, originally introduced to Welk by Joe Feeney in 1959, Castle became a permanent member of the Welk Family, replacing the departing Big Tiny Little. Shortly after joining the Show, Castle married cameraman Dean Hall and they divorced in 1966 after having a daughter. Castle married again in 1968 and had a son and a daughter, Castle left the Welk Show in 1969 and divorced in 1971. Her third marriage, in 1978, ended in 1986, in the 1990s, Castle performed at the Welk-owned Champagne Theater in Branson, Missouri, as well as making a guest appearance for a show with Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra on RFD TV. On September 3,2011, Castle married her husband, Lin Biviano
6. George Cates – George Cates was an American music arranger, conductor, songwriter and record executive known for his work with Lawrence Welk and his orchestra. His early career included arranging and playing saxophone with such bands as Henry Busse, Dick Stabile, and Russ Morgan between 1945 and 1951. In the mid-1950s, he was A&R director for Coral Records, writing and conducting for the stars that included the Andrews Sisters, Teresa Brewer, Bing Crosby. During this time, he hit the Top 40 charts with his release of a medley of Moonglow and Theme from Picnic. The record Moonglow and Theme from Picnic had some wordless vocal effects by Norma Zimmer, at the time a session vocalist, Moonglow and Theme from Picnic sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Starting in 1951, he served as Lawrence Welks musical director, in that role, he conducted the orchestra in the rehearsals and spent many years behind the scenes as an arranger. After leaving the ABC television network in 1971, Welk syndicated his show and continued on TV using the theme song Champagne Fanfare, a prolific writer, Cates songs were sung by many of shows Musical Family members. In 1973, the Maestro asked him to conduct the orchestra on-camera, notably, he presented occasional classical music selections in addition to the bands lighter fare. In addition to his work with Welk, Cates wrote and arranged a number of albums with other prominent band leaders of the era, Cates died of heart failure at his home in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 90. Under European Skies Polynesian Percussion Twistin Twelve Great Hits, Moonglow Introducing Theme from Picnic George Cates at AllMusic George Cates discography, forum, and marketplace at Discogs George Cates at the Internet Movie Database George Cates at Find a Grave
7. Jimmie Davis – James Houston Jimmie Davis was a singer and songwriter of both sacred and popular songs who served for two nonconsecutive terms from 1944–48 and from 1960–64 as the governor of his native Louisiana. Davis was a popular country music and gospel singer from the 1930s into the 1960s. He was inducted into six halls of fame, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Davis was born to a couple, the former Sarah Elizabeth Works and Samuel Jones Davis. The family was so poor that young Jimmie did not have a bed in which to sleep until he was nine years old. Davis was not sure of his date of birth, according to the New York Times, Various newspaper, according to the Los Angeles Times, Davis was not sure exactly how old he was, noting only that he was born around the turn of the last century. The birth date listed on his Country Music Hall of Fame plaque is September 11,1902, however, the 1900 US Census attests to his being born in September 1899. He graduated from Beech Springs High School and the New Orleans campus of Soule Business College, Davis received his bachelors degree in history from the Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville in Rapides Parish. He received a degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His 1927 masters thesis, which examines the intelligence levels of different races, is titled Comparative Intelligence of Whites, Blacks, during the late 1920s, Davis taught history for a year at the former Dodd College for Girls in Shreveport. The college president, Monroe E. Dodd, who was also the pastor of the large First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Davis became a commercially successful singer of rural music before he entered politics. His early work was in the style of country music luminary Jimmie Rodgers. Some of these records included slide guitar accompaniment by black bluesman Oscar Buddy Woods, during his first run for governor, opponents reprinted the lyrics of some of these songs in order to undermine Daviss campaign. In one case, anti-Davis forces played some records over a sound system only to give up after the crowds started dancing, ignoring the double-entendre lyrics. Until the end of his life, Davis never denied or repudiated those records, in 1999, You Are My Sunshine was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and the Recording Industry Association of America named it one of the Songs of the Century. You Are My Sunshine was ranked in 2003 as No.73 on CMTs 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music, until his death, Davis insisted that he wrote the song. In any case, it forever be associated with him. Virginia Shehee, the Shreveport businesswoman, philanthropist, and state senator, Davis became the popular singing governor of Louisiana who often performed during his campaign stops
8. Dave Edwards (musician) – Born in Opelika, Alabama and reared in Tuskegee, he later moved with his family to Fairhope, Alabama. Edwards would first meet longtime musical associates Dave Wolpe, Warren Luening, Bob Payne, after being discharged from the Army, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Lawrence Welk Show orchestra in early 1968. In his first season with the show he replacing Mahlon Clark on 2nd alto sax in the reed section, Edwards performed on The Lawrence Show while it was carried on ABC-TV and then in syndication, he left in 1979, when he was replaced by reedman Skeets Herfurt. The sax/reed section for The Lawrence Welk Show would finally be settled into having Edwards-lead, Dale-2nd, Cuesta-jazz tenor/clarinet soloist, Klein-2nd tenor, Davis-baritone. Edwards was prominent on movie and T. V. soundtracks on shows such as the ABC Captain & Tennille Variety Hour, during this time he lived in Burbank, CA near NBC Studios. and Madeline Vergari. This style was much better shown when Edwards had the opportunity to be featured in 1987 on the premiere of Charlie Richards Suite for Alto Sax. Edwards later relocated in the 1990s to the Orlando, Florida region and continued to work for Disneyworld, several bands locally, Edwards commented on the need to move away from the difficulties of living in the Los Angeles area and wanted to relocate back to the South. Edwards died suddenly on August 12,2000, of cardiac arrest at the age of 59. Alabama Music Office,4810 Watermelon Road, Northport, AL35473, Copyright ©2011 Fuqua, C. S. Dave Edwards Alabama Musicians, Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie The History Press
9. Myron Floren – Myron Floren 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 appearances on the weekly TV show. He was highly regarded by bandleader Lawrence Welk, who was an accordion player in his own right. Floren functioned as Welks principal assistant and second-in-command, in Florens 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. He has been seen in a role of repeats of The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS. Floren was born on November 5,1919 to Ole and Tillie Floren, a first-generation American of Norwegian immigrant parentage, he grew up on a farm near Roslyn, South Dakota. Floren took up playing the accordion at age 6 when his father bought him a $10 mail-order squeezebox and he taught himself how to play the instrument, often spending several hours a day using his own methods of study. Soon he was performing solo around the community, often at fairs and he had rhuematic fever as a child. His accordion playing saved his life, as the exertion strengthened his heart back to pre-fever performance, at a 1980 performance at Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota, Myron Floren mentioned that he had a heart valve replacement two years prior. He worked his way through Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota by working at radio station KSOO as The Melody Man and teaching accordion all over the area. He tried to enlist in the Army when the United States entered World War II, however, he insisted on serving his country by joining the USO, performing in Europe with notable stars such as Lily Pons and Marlene Dietrich. After the war, he returned home to South Dakota, where he married Berdyne Koerner in 1945, the couple eventually had five daughters and gained three sons-in-law and seven grandchildren. In 1950, Floren, who was performing with the group known as the Buckeye Four, went to a dance at the Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri. When the maestro recognized the accordion virtuoso in the audience, he invited him to play a number with his band. The number turned out to be Lady of Spain, and from the positive response from the audience, Lawrence hired Myron to be a permanent member of his band. Lady of Spain also became Florens trademark song and he played it countless times on the Welk show, over the next 32 years, Floren became one of the most popular members of the band and the organization itself. During the time The Lawrence Welk Show was on television, Floren was a solo performer. He also took some of the maestros announcing duties
10. Pete Fountain – Pierre Dewey LaFontaine, Jr. better known as Pete Fountain, was an American jazz clarinetist. He played in traditional and contemporary genres of jazz, such as Dixieland, pop jazz, honky-tonk jazz, as well as pop, and Creole music. Pierre Dewey Fountain, Jr. was born on White Street, in New Orleans, between Dumaine and St. Ann, in a small Creole cottage-style frame house, to Pierre, Sr. and Madeline. Petes father, a driver and a part-time musician, changed the family name to Fountain. He started playing clarinet as a child at the McDonogh 28 school located on Esplanade Avenue, as a child, young Pete was very sickly, frequently battling respiratory infections due to weakened lungs. He was given expensive medication but it proved to be not very effective, during a pharmacy visit, Petes father began a discussion with a neighborhood doctor who was also there shopping and talked with him about his sons condition. The doctor agreed to see the boy the following day, after a short exam, the doctor confirmed the weak lung condition and advised the father to try an unorthodox treatment, purchase the child a musical instrument, anything he has to blow into. The same day, they went to a music store and, given his choice of instruments. At first, Pete was unable to produce a sound from the instrument, but he continued to practice and eventually not only sounds and eventually music. He took private lessons but also learned to play jazz by playing along with records of first Benny Goodman. By the time he reached his teens, he was playing gigs in the nightclubs on Bourbon Street. According to Fountain, When I was a school senior. I answered that I was too busy playing clarinet every night, I guess I was a professional from that point on. One of Fountains early engagements were with the bands of Monk Hazel, Fountain founded the Basin Street Six in 1950 with his longtime friend, trumpeter George Girard. A talent scout for Lawrence Welk, who saw Fountain performing at the Pier 600, invited him to join Welks orchestra in Los Angeles, Fountain became well known for his many solos on Welks ABC television show, The Lawrence Welk Show. He was rumored to have quit when Welk refused to let him jazz up a Christmas carol on the 1958 Christmas show, in an interview, Fountain said he left The Lawrence Welk Show because champagne and bourbon dont mix. Fountain was hired by Decca Records A&R head Charles Bud Dant and went on to produce 42 hit albums with Dant, after Welks death, Fountain would occasionally join with the Welk musical family for reunion shows. Fountain returned to New Orleans, played with the Dukes of Dixieland and he owned his own club in the French Quarter in the 1960s and 1970s
11. Sandi Griffiths – Sandi Griffiths is an American singer. She is best known as a performer on American televisions The Lawrence Welk Show. A native of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California, she started singing as a child and by the age of five, was a regular on TV by appearing on the Art Linkletter program, House Party. She continued to perfect her music skills all throughout school, and in college, at Brigham Young University where she teamed with and became friends with Sally Flynn. At BYU, the duo sang at the musical revue known as the Program Bureau, later at Disneyland. After three weeks, she and Sally returned to the states to concentrate on their professional careers and it was here that Lawrence Welk and his music makers in the summer of 1967 played their annual three-week engagement at Harrahs. When Sally Flynn left to pursue a career in 1972. The trio, with its blend of good looks and pretty voices, a member of the LDS Church, Sandi and her husband Brent are the parents of seven children, a foster daughter, and grandparents of sixteen children
12. Clay Hart – Clay Hart is an American country music singer and guitarist who was a member of The Lawrence Welk Show television program from 1969 to 1975. Born Henry Clay Hart, III, and reared in Providence, Rhode Island, he attended Amherst College in Amherst, while performing in West Virginia, Hart was discovered by Lawrence Welk who was there for a luncheon on behalf of the Cancer Crusade. Impressed with his talent, the maestro signed him as a member of the Champagne Music Makers, Hart replaced Lynn Anderson as the shows resident country singer and remained on the show in that capacity until 1975, when Ava Barber replaced him. He married Welk vocalist Sally Flynn on December 6,1974, and the two became a husband-and-wife country singing act that has opened for stars such as Mel Tillis, Red Skelton. Recently, he and Flynn have appeared in segments for reruns of the Welk Show on PBS and have toured the U. S. with their fellow Welk stars in the Forever Blowing Bubbles concert series. Hart has two children, Elizabeth and Hank, from a previous marriage, since the show, he has appeared on The Nashville Network, and has operated a tote bag business with Flynn. They currently make their home in Miami, Florida
13. Peanuts Hucko – Michael Andrew Peanuts Hucko was an American big band musician. His primary instrument was the clarinet but he played various saxophones. He was born in Syracuse, New York, and moved to New York City in 1939, he played saxophone with Will Bradley, Tommy Reynolds. After a brief time with Charlie Spivak, he joined the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band in which he served in Europe during World War II. During this time, Peanuts began to concentrate on the clarinet because we did a lot of marching in sand, with Millers Uptown Hall Gang, he was featured in a hard-driving version of Stealin Apples. During the post-war period, Hucko played in the bands of Benny Goodman, Ray McKinley, Eddie Condon, from 1950 to 1955, he was busy in New York as a studio musician for CBS and ABC. This was followed by work with Goodman and Teagarden, after which he joined the Louis Armstrong All-Stars from 1958 to 1960. When he visited Tokyo, Japan, as the alto saxophone player of Benny Goodmans Orchestra in January,1951, he listened to clarinetist Shoji Suzuki. With Suzuki and his band, they recorded the song Suzukake No Michi, Hucko led his own group at Eddie Condons Club from 1964 to 1966. He became famous as the clarinet soloist on Cole Porters What Is This Thing Called Love, which was featured on Frank Sinatras 1954 album In the Wee Small Hours. In 1964, he opened his own nightclub in Denver, Peanuts Huckos Navarre, featuring his singer wife Louise Tobin and Ralph Sutton. From 1966, he was featured regularly at Dick Gibsons Colorado jazz parties where he appeared with the Ten Greats of Jazz, in the 1970s he led the Glenn Miller Orchestra and toured with them across the U. S. and abroad. During this period he toured the U. K. as guest soloist with the Million Airs Orchestra, Hucko is perhaps best known to the public for his appearances with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra on national TV during the early 1970s. The 1980s brought renewed success with a concert and touring schedule as a soloist. He and Tobin later settled into semi-retirement in Denton, Texas and his last recording was 1992s Swing That Music featuring Tobin, trumpeter Randy Sandke, and pianist Johnny Varro. He died 2003 in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 85
14. Cissy King – Claire Yvonne “Cissy” King is an American-born singer and dancer best known as a featured performer on The Lawrence Welk Show television program. King was born in Trinidad, Colorado and her father was a geologist employed by an oil company. The family relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico when Cissy was three, an accomplished dancer since she was a toddler, Cissy, along with her brother John, won first place at the National Ballroom Dancing Championships in San Francisco, California when she was fourteen. They captured first place two times and were also named U. S Ballroom Couple Of The Year. Later, when attending the University of New Mexico, she majored in recreation and physical education and was a cheerleader, gymnast and she continued to dance, in various ballroom competitions and on stage such as the Six Flags Over Texas campus revue. In 1967, Cissy became Bobby Burgess dance partner on The Lawrence Welk Show when his first partner, for the next dozen years, she became one of the most popular performers on the show with her vivacious personality, singing talents and her natural dance moves. In 1974, she was honored with the Dance Masters of America award for outstanding contributions to the field of dance. After leaving the show in late 1978, she continued to perform, dancing for years with her own solo act Two Fellows. Today, King lives in Albuquerque, where she continues to dance, stars of the Lawrence Welk Show Cissy King at the Internet Movie Database Official webpage
15. Johnny Klein – John A. Klein, Jr. was an American-born musician who played drums for the Lawrence Welk orchestra from 1951 to 1976 and on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1976. He was also Welks second cousin, born in Strasburg, North Dakota, Klein was the son of German-Russian parents and the oldest of five children. It was during his years that he took up music, especially the drums. Upon graduating from school in 1936, Johnny first enrolled at the University of North Dakota. Later he enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degree in Music Education and he also served in the Army during World War II. In 1951, while Klein was studying for his masters degree in Columbia, Missouri, Welk and his came to St. Louis. Welk encouraged his cousin to try out for his band, which he accepted, for the next twenty-five years, in addition to being featured drummer, Klein was the bands equipment manager and the driver of the band truck while out on tour. However, ill health due to a bleeding ulcer forced him to step down full-time in 1976, after a recovering, he served as Welks music librarian with the organization. He also continued to perform as well, often playing for the Sunday Swing at the Welk Resort in Escondido with a called the Journeymen. He died in 1997 after an illness in Torrance, California
16. The Lawrence Welk Show – The Lawrence Welk Show is 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 27 years on ABC from 1955 to 1971 and these airings incorporate an original program—usually, a color broadcast from 1965 through 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. On May 11,1951, The Lawrence Welk Show began as a program on KTLA in Los Angeles, the flagship station of the Paramount Television Network. The original show was broadcast from the since-demolished Aragon Ballroom at Venice Beach, for 23 of its 27 years on the air, the show would originate there. The only seasons not produced there were 1965–66, 1976–77 at the Hollywood Palace, 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 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, 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, during 1956–59, Lawrence Welk was broadcast two nights per week. The second shows title was Lawrence Welk Presents Top Tunes and New Talent and then Lawrence Welks Plymouth Show, the Plymouth show was the first American television program to air in stereophonic sound. 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. While the show was highly rated and continued to more audiences. Over the course of the early 1970s, several variety shows were pulled from network schedules in a move known colloquially as the rural purge. In response to ABCs move, Welk started his own production company, 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. Welks program was among a group of syndicated programs, others including Hee Haw and Soul Train. Welk retired in 1982, at the time of his retirement, he was 79 years old, 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 film, Lawrence Welk, Televisions Music Man
17. The Lennon Sisters – The Lennon Sisters are an American vocal group initially consisting of four of the six sisters from a family of 11 siblings—6 girls,5 boys, Dianne Barbara, Peggy, Kathy, and Janet. All 11 Lennon children were born in Los Angeles, California, for thirteen years, from 1955 -1968, the group appeared regularly on The Lawrence Welk Show, receiving union scale wages. Although the original quartet was composed of the eldest sisters, in 1999, the current line-up of the Lennon Sisters is now a trio consisting of Mimi, Janet and Kathy. They continue to tour around the country and appear annually with their Christmas show at The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, the Lennon Sisters were 2001 inductees of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Their parents married in early 1939 and their father, William Herbert Lennon worked as a milkman for many years before getting a job at a local golf course. Their mother, Isabelle Emily Sis remained at home to care for the needs of her large family. Sis was the daughter of Reina Ysabella Alvarez Denning and Danforth Denning, during their formative years, the family lived in Venice, California, in a modest, two-bedroom home. This included two parents,11 children, and one grandmother and they were and are devout Roman Catholics and attended the Church of St. Mark, which is part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Most, or all of the children attended Catholic school, throughout the Lennon Sisters career, their faith has had a major influence/role in both their lives and careers. Many of their songs are either hymns or of a religious or spiritual nature, the quartet made its television debut on The Lawrence Welk Show on Christmas Eve - December 24,1955. A high school classmate, Larry Welk, son of Lawrence Welk, Welk was at home, sick in bed, when his son brought the sisters in to sing for him. Mr. Welk was so impressed that he booked them for that weeks show. They were a mainstay on the show until they left to start a career of their own in 1968, the quartet became a trio from 1960 to 1964, eldest sister Dianne married, left the group, and then rejoined. Peggy sang the harmony part, Kathy the low, and Janet and Dianne sang the middle. Janet also specialized in barbershop or counter-harmony singing, taught to her by her father, the girls idolized Patti Pages multi-track vocal sound, feeling they achieved something close to her smooth blend in their Dot recording of Stars Fell On Alabama. Kathy was especially fond of Connie Francis, evident in her recording of Malaguena Salerosa. The sisters made no secret that they were fans of the innovative. Their first hit, Tonight, You Belong to Me reached #15 on the charts in 1956, in 1961, the single, Sad Movies, turned out to be their highest-charting record
18. Barney Liddell – Barney Liddell was an American born big band musician from televisions The Lawrence Welk Show, his instrument was the trombone. Born and reared in Gary, Indiana, the oldest of eleven children, when he entered Horace Mann High School, he was eager to study music and play the saxophone for the school band but they were out of saxes. His second choice was the trumpet, they too were out, so eventually he settled on the trombone and began to practice hard on that instrument, like his idol Tommy Dorsey. After graduating from school in 1939, he attended the University of Notre Dame. Liddell entered the Army where for the two years he was a bugler and a radio operator. Liddell was discharged from the Army in 1945 and that same year the Music Makers made their television debut on KTLA in Los Angeles and later made the transition to a nationwide audience on the ABC network in 1955 followed by syndication in 1971. He was also a member of the Big Band Alumni Association for several years, barney Liddell died on May 5,2003 in the Los Angeles suburb of Westlake Village from kidney and liver failure. Barney is survived by his wife, Elaine Liddell of Livonia, barney Liddell at the Internet Movie Database
19. Bob Lido – Bob Lido was an American musician and singer who was a regular member of televisions The Lawrence Welk Show. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, he began playing the violin as a child and his talents led him to stints as a featured performer with Carmen Cavallaros band and later with Perry Comos supper club. He joined Welk in 1952 and until the retirement in 1982, Bob was their featured violinist. He also was one of the comics as well, featured in many humorous novelty songs with fellow Welk stars such as Aladdin, Larry Hooper. He also led a revival of the Hotsy Totsy Boys, one of Lawrences early bands, Lido died in 2000 from complications of a stroke
20. Alice Lon – Alice Lon Wyche, known as Alice Lon, was an American singer and dancer on The Lawrence Welk Show during its early years on network television. By age 6, Lon was taking lessons in piano, singing, when she was 10, she was featured as a singer, earning $20 per week on her own radio program in Henderson, Texas. In her teens, she traveled across Texas, performing in a variety of venues and she attended Kilgore College in Texas and was a member of the schools Rangerettes dance team. Throughout the big-band era and the years followed, each of Lawrence Welks female vocalists was always nicknamed The Champagne Lady. Lon assumed the title in 1955, during the TV programs first season, viewers missed the popular Alice Lon, and Welk received many messages in the American Broadcasting Company mailbox demanding that she be rehired. Welk tried to bring her back, but she refused and was replaced in 1960 by Norma Zimmer. Lawrence and Lon eventually reconciled personally, but never worked together professionally again, on Welks show, Lon was known for wearing particularly full skirts with colorful petticoats designed by her mother, Lois Wyche, as she told TV Guide. She gave instructions in the article on how viewers might make their own petticoats and she recorded an album for Coral Records titled Its Alice with orchestra directed by George Cates. The liner notes provide the following, Miss Lon, first introduced by Welk as Alice from Dallas, by the time she was ten, the precocious young songstress was appearing on her own sponsored radio show. In her teens she began touring her native Texas playing theaters, veterans hospitals, appearing on the Interstate circuit, she also starred on its weekly radio show, Showtime, emanating from the Palace Theater in Dallas. Lon was married to Bob Waterman, with whom she had three sons, Bobby, Clint and Larry, after she and Waterman divorced, she married George Bowling. She died April 24,1981, at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, the cause of death was scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. She was buried April 27,1981