Sunday, July 27, 2014

Champagne Book of the Month Club: Ears & Bubbles

It was the Los Angeles Angels that done him in.

That's according to Bobby Burgess, in regards to how a certain baseball team steered him on to his path to stardom.

How you say? We'll just leave it at that, you can find out more from Bobby's new autobiography, Ears & Bubbles: Dancing My Way from The Mickey Mouse Club to The Lawrence Welk Show.


Published by Theme Park Press, Ears & Bubbles is the journey that is the life of dancing and pop culture icon Bobby Burgess from his childhood growing up in Long Beach to his days as a Mouseketeer, as a member of Lawrence Welk's Musical Family for twenty-one seasons and beyond.

It's quite a revealing, in-depth look at Bobby, but not in a scandalous, TMZ tabloid sense. Instead, for longtime Mickey Mouse Club and Lawrence Welk fans, Bobby gives the reader plenty of delightful and interesting stories that will leave one saying, "COOL!"

The book reveals the behind-the-scenes activity from both the MMC and Welk programs as well as the adventures and misadventures from touring on the road as well as Bobby's long lasting relationships and friendships with his fellow Mouseketeers and Welk stars.

And you'll also get to meet his family, and how his love of dancing has become a family business.

And all because the Angels done him in.

I recommend this book with enthusiasm, it is a delightful trip down the pop culture nostalgia lane and a good read too.

Ears & Bubbles is available from Amazon.com, both in print and in Kindle format, or you can get it or order it from your local bookstore.

You can also go online to THEME PARK PRESS.COM if you want more information about Ears & Bubbles or inquire about any other titles they have published as well. 

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Yeah...I know it's been ages since I last posted

Been busy with stuff.


Among things, I have been doing a lot of maintenance to the webpage.

A redesign here, a clean up there. Especially hard with some of the pages built on the obsolete Yahoo PageBuilder.

And a majority of the webpage was built back in the day by the uber-obsolete, no longer in use Yahoo GeoCities.

It's a pain in the neck, nobody ever said being a webmaster was fun and games.
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Friday, June 07, 2013

Neil Levang: A story of a man and his Stratocaster



I found this from the official webpage of Fender, makers of the Stratocaster guitar. I guarantee that you'll enjoy reading this!

40 YEARS LATER: NEIL LEVANG RECEIVES NEW STRAT



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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

James Hobson (1922-2013)

Last April, the longtime producer and director of the Lawrence Welk Show, James Hobson passed away at the age of 90.





From the very beginning on July 2, 1955 as a director until its conclusion in 1982, Jim was part of the Welk Show with his impeccable behind the scenes production that gave the program that added sparkle of champagne.

Rest In Peace Jim. Here's a reprint of his obituary (edited to remove dated references) from the Los Angeles Times.

James Hobson was born on December 30, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to John Surtees Hobson Sr. and Mary Ellen Jones. 

James attended public school and later St. John's Military Academy and Purdue University. Drafted into the army in 1943. He was assigned to the 397th Field Artillery in France, Italy and Germany and was awarded the Bronze Star for stopping an artillery barrage. He also attended Signal Corps Motion Picture School in London and was discharged in 1946.

In that same year, he attended the Pasadena Playhouse where he met Elsie Holmes, a talented and successful actress in stage and movies from Yazoo City, Mississippi. They married in 1950. 

James began his career as a cameraman for Channel 13, KLAC TV in 1949. He made the transition to producer director in 1952 with "The Liberace Show". He became director of "The Lawrence Welk Show" in 1955 and in 1962 became the producer/director of the Welk show until his retirement in 1986. 

After Elsie Hobson died in 2001, James met actress, singer and writer Ashley Aarons. In 2005, they founded " Coffee Dog Productions" and he produced a catalogue of songs and a musical in pre-production entitled, "Dance Myself Free". His hobbies included building a "Rogallo Wing Hang Glider", sailing and collecting model airplane engines. 

James Hobson died in his wife's arms in Santa Monica on April 26, 2013. Services was held on Thursday, May 23rd at the Old North Church in Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, CA.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lawrence Welk with Jay North

Better known as TV's Dennis the Menace.....



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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Champagne Covers #2

More fantastic of your favorite pop songs covered by your favorite Welk stars!



 
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Ten Years of Welk Musical Family.com

It all began on a Winter's day.....March 3, 2003 to be exact.

For years, Welk fans clamored for a webpage that provided lots of pictures, fun facts and other stuff that was all things Lawrence Welk and his Musical Family.

So on that very day, a humble, little Yahoo Geocities page was launched, featuring nothing more than a few scanned pictures, some facts and plenty of hope and optimism.

Ten years later, Welk Musical Family.com has grown into a colossus, which included this blog, Welkgirls.com, a Twitter account and a successful Facebook page.

And all the while, the original webpage has become THE source for Welk fans to get their online Champagne Music fix.

In honor of this occasion, I made this 10th anniversary collage of the Maestro and the cast of hundreds that made up his Musical Family over the years, see if you can find anyone of your favorites!

 
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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Champagne Covers #1

In all the years the Lawrence Welk Show has been on the air, the Musical Family have done covers of very popular hit songs of any genre.

Our crack research team has uncovered some musical gems. Their own unique covers of today's hit pop songs the kids like!

See if you can recognize anyone of them.

 
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Thomas Harold Netherton

Or just plain Tom to us Welk fans!

No matter what you call him, he is the young tall fella with the golden baritone voice that the ladies love!

And his birthday is today.




 
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Thursday, January 03, 2013

It's good to be Cissy King

And her birthday is today, here is Cissy in pictures doing what she does best on the Welk Show!








 
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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Maestro welcomes in 2013

This is going to be the start of something big....I just know it.

 
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with 2012, in with 2013

Here's to the New Year. May she be wunnerful, wunnerful!

 
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Monday, December 24, 2012

And on Christmas Eve, where no mice are stirring....

From my Musical Family to yours.....

 
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Friday, December 21, 2012

My portrait of Norman Bailey

Continuing on in my series of Musical Family portraits, here's another one I drew this week. It's Welk orchestra trumpet player Norman Bailey.

 
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My portrait of Joe Feeney

Happy Holidays to all my fellow Welkies!

In between shopping, working and doing the normal Welk-related stuff, I did get some sketching in between.

Recently, I've been doing portraits of the Musical Family. Here is one I drew today of Joe Feeney.

 
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Lawrence Welk Soul Train

If you're like me, and I know that I am, you've probably said to yourself at one time, "I want to see the Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk, the groovy dancing of Soul Train and the high energy sounds of Heavy Metal rock come together as one."

Thanks to the wonders of You Tube and the fertile imagination from one of America's Best and Brightest, it's now a reality!

It is worth four minutes of your time, and it's got a great beat that you can dance to!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

By The Time I Get To Phoenix; Tanya's version

We all know that amongst the staple of contemporary pop songs covered on the Lawrence Welk Show, By The Time I Get To Phoenix (written by Jimmy Webb and made famous sung by Glen Campbell) has been one of the more popular songs featured, covered by a good number of the Music Makers.


Tanya Falan is one of them...


Here she is from 1971's Salute To The U.S.A (the very first syndicated Welk episode) giving that song her treatment.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Down on the farm, we harvest only the best musicians

1973 was a fine year for music, and from the "Down On The Farm" episode, only Lawrence Welk produces the best!


Guitarists like Neil Levang.....
 

......and Clay Hart.
 

Here's Richard Maloof on bass....
 

......with Henry Cuesta on clarinet.
 

And all the while Bob Lido, when he's not tending to the crops, plays the fiddle too!

 

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Songs From The Movies Revisited

Who doesn't like going to the movies?

That is unless you saw a particular big budget Hollywood feature that turned out to be a bomb.

But that's not the case with the Music Makers from 1980 with their salute to the silver screen!


Why settle for just being a star when you can shoot for the moon? That's what Arthur Duncan is doing....


But of course, the road to stardom can be on the paths less traveled.....


......however, these highlights from this episode prove that no road can ever be so bumpy and rough.

 

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

I'm no longer AWOL, so lets celebrate with Gail Farrell photos

Yeah, I know.....it's been a long time since I last posted here.

After six years of blogging Welk stuff, I knew the time came when I run dry of stuff to post without repeating myself.

Trust me, if you're in my shoes.....you would know.

And what better way to celebrate from being in exile by posting plenty of pictures of the lovely Gail Farrell, since it was her birthday today.

Happy Birthday Gail!

 
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