Saturday, July 29, 2006

Music Memories from 1969

This week's episode was very trippy indeed...pure 1960s kitsch with Music Memories from January 25, 1969. In this show, the maestro himself played many favorite songs from the popular, inspirational and big band genre....and there were plenty of Bobby & Cissy too!

Here's the trio of Sandi Griffiths, Sally Flynn and Andra Willis bringing back memories of the Andrews Sisters with "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen"...and they happened to sound and look great in the process. The band also played another Andrews Sisters' hit, "The Pennsylvania Polka". We also heard from Dick Dale in the solo spotlight with "Linda" and music makers Kenny Trimble, Charlie Parlato and Larry Hooper paying homage to the Guy Lombardo Trio with "Boo Hoo".

Here's Norman Bailey playing his ever popular trumpet solo, "Sugar Blues" which is always music to my ears. I also enjoyed Tanya Falan with her solo number, "Sentimental Journey", Natalie Nevins and Joe Feeney teaming up for "Sweetheart" and great instrumentals by the band such as Woody Herman's "Woodchopper's Ball".

Like I mentioned earlier, Bobby Burgess & Cissy King got quite a workout on the show....dancing to the Pennsylvania Polka which was the opening number plus a medley of great dances from the 1920s to present day 1969...which chronicled Lawrence's career in music to date. Watch for their closing number doing a lil''s pure sixties!

It was a terrific show....Andra Willis also did a great job with a solo number titled "Oh Johnny" and Norma Zimmer saluted Kate Smith at the end of the show with "God Bless America".

In the hot seat tonight was Bob Ralston, who was interviewed by our Mary Lou Metzger. He talked about his mother, who was the original voice of Minnie Mouse for Walt Disney the fact in addition to playing the piano and organ...can also play the trombone and also learned to speak sixteen different languages!

That puts a capper of all the new episodes for this season...from this point on (until September 2007 I guess)....its all reruns from here but they still make for good viewing on Saturday Nights so keep watching and keep supporting your local public television station!

And by the way....Hee Haw is on this weekend on CMT, keep an eye out for the Aldridge Sisters, whom they appeared on one of the'll never know!


Friday, July 28, 2006

Dancing with the Maestro

Here's a common feature on the show...usually when it's time to wrap it up, Mary Lou Metzger dancing with Lawrence. Sometimes, you can see it in the middle of the show.

It's true what Mr. Welk once said, "There's nothing like dancing with a beautiful girl in your arms."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Picture of the Day (7-26-06)

Sally Flynn tells Richard Maloof a really funny joke during a musical number.

It's a man's life being a tuba player for the Welk Orchestra!


What A Surprise.....NOT

I know this is a little off-topic, but as a native Toledan who still lives in the Glass City....I cannot resist to comment on this matter.

Pop star, lip-synching fraud Ashlee Simpson cancelled her concert at the Toledo Zoo scheduled for last night....her promoter saying she was "sick". Well, lets just say that everyone is "sick" of her.

Am I shocked she cancelled?......UHHHHHH NO.

It's time top face the music, the only reason she's famous is because she gravy-trained her famous older sister's success....along with a boob and nose sucess, despite the fact she can't sing, has NO talent and is just plain annoying.

As you can tell, I was NEVER a fan of Miss Simpson, am I being too harsh? GOOD

Hell, I'm still surpised she still has fans period....considering ticket sales for her tour are so awful that she's reduced to doing theater and zoo venues.

Lets face it, she's NOT WITHIN A TWENTY FOOT POLE of being in the same league of Lawrence Welk and his music makers, who are the essence of class, talent and being professionals. I always prefer to watch Guy & Ralna, Anacani, Clay & Sally, Gail, Jo Ann, Ava, Mary Lou and the gang you have a chance to talk with them after the show.

Would Simpson do the same.....hardly, oh wait.....I was being to generous, make that NEVER.

Hope you enjoy your trip back to obscurity Miss Simpson, and good riddance!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sally Flynn

Today, we in all of Welkdom celebrate the birthday of one of our favorite music makers, who is not just very beautiful but very talented as's none other than Sally Flynn!

The native of Ontario, Oregon first started performing on a regular basis when she enrolled at Brigham Young University in 1964, in the school's Program Bureau division where she met best friend and future castmate Sandi Griffiths. Over the next four years, in addition to their studies, the duo we know of as Sandi & Sally would tour Vietnam as part of the USO tour, played the Horseshoe at Disneyland, and played Las Vegas as Jack Jones' opening act, but it was in 1968 that America really got to know Sally when the girls auditioned and won permanent roles on the show.

From 1968 until 1972, Sally was an important and very popular part of the Welk show....singing with Sandi in the duo, participating in many of the group's choral numbers and had her own solo number, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". In 1974, she married the show's country singer Clay Hart, which emarked her in a new phase of her life and career as a wife and part of a husband and wife singing act (just like Guy & Ralna)...a partnership that has lasted to this very day! It includes co-hosting a home decorating show with Clay on TNN, commercials and concerts opening for celebrities such as Red Skelton and touring as part of the Forever Blowing Bubbles troupe of Welk show alumni.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY....we look forward to many more years of singing, laughs and wunnerful friendship all of us have enjoyed.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tribute To Los Angeles 1972

A hearty SALUTE to all you Welk fans on this late Saturday Night from Toledo, OH (from a popular John Denver song). This week's episode is from my favorite Welk era (1968 to 1975) which I call The Golden Age Of Welk, it's titled Salute To Los Angeles which orginally aired in syndication on Feburary 12, 1972 and boy howdy it's a classic for the archives!

Here's Arthur Duncan dancing at the Chinese Theatre to the tune of "Happy Feet", notice the ladies here with their mini skirts?

No surprise why this is my favorite period of the Lawrence Welk Show.

There were many great numbers, such as Guy Hovis' solo of "Go Away Little Girl", Sandi & Sally's enchanting "Leavin' On A Jet Plane" and Dick Dale tellin' a "Whale Of A Tale". We also were treated to a little "Jalisco" from Myron Floren and his squeezebox plus Clay Hart singing Gene Autry's signature tune "Back In The Saddle".

We also heard the orchestra play "Sam's Song" in which the Sam featured was longtime Mayor of Los Angeles Sam Yorty, who in addition to politics was also a pretty decent musician. Tanya Falan, always a favorite of the cameras, sang "Rainy Days and Mondays" made famous by the Carpenters. How ironic that LA these days could use some rainy days due to the oppressive heatwave they're going through.

Still, it was a fantasic episode in my opinion. Bob Havens finished it all up on his trombone with "Blue Skies" featuring the cast for vocal support.

I almost forgot, there was Mary Lou Metzger in the solo spotlight as Shirley Temple singing "On The Good Ship Lollipop", and speaking of short skirts, Mary Lou's costume had to take first place as the SHORTEST!

Speaking of Mary Lou, going to her was Sandi Griffiths in this week's hot seat. Sandi talked about how she started singing as a tot....appearing on Art Linkletter's show "House Party" and her days in college meeting Sally Flynn and the duo singing in Vietnam, Disneyland and Las Vegas before joing the music makers.

Sandi also brushed up on her family, she and husband Brent have been married for 37 years now and she's working on her masters from BYU. She has also been working on genealogy as well, tracing her family's history and roots...they lead back to Ireland if you're wondering.

Next week is another new one, the final new episode of this season. I'll be tuned in like everyone else and once over, I'll provide my two cents worth.

Stay safe everyone....and keep a song in your heart!


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Picture of the day (7-20-06)

We're still in the middle of the summer, so let's go to the carnival with the Aldridge sisters!

Here they meet some interesting people, and they are ready for a good time!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sheila Aldridge

Today is July 18th, we celebrate another Welk star's birthday!
Our Birthday Girl featured today is.........

SHEILA ALDRIDGE...the very talented and pretty singer who makes up one half of the Aldridge Sisters.

Growing up in Knoxville, TN....She (as friends and family like to call her), along with older sister Sherry got their chops singing in local venues around the Smoky Mountain region when fate pointed them to audition for Lawrence Welk which led them to a five year stint on the show, paired with the Otwell Twins of Tulia, TX from 1977 to 1982.

Sheila has been busy herself, in addition to performing with Sherry in the sister act, she also did some acting appearing in TV shows such as "Down To Earth" on TBS and movies like "Bed and Breakfast".

Once married to comedian Roger Behr, she now lives in Hendersonville, TN with her current husband Chris Costa, who is a singer/musician himself. They both have an act together which performs all over Nashville.
Let us wish Sheila Aldridge a very very happy birthday today!


Monday, July 17, 2006

The Lancaster Concert Page Has Arrived!

This is a outside shot of the American Music Theatre located in Lancaster, PA; home of Saturday's concert with the Welk stars.

It's all here! Jo Ann Castle, Anacani, Arthur Duncan and Guy & Ralna. Here's the link below to see the pictures and then some!



Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Classic Music Music Treat from 1958

I'm still airing out from my Lancaster experience, but I was able to see this week's Welk episode served up by your PBS station.

It's titled "Music Music" from 1958....a black & white classic! Here's Larry Hooper with Pete Fountain at clarinet playing "Nobody's Sweetheart"....just a few of the great numbers in this show!

The maestro opened the show with the music makers playing "Bambelina" plus we were treated to a little "Dill Pickle Rag" by Big Tiny Little at piano. The Lennon Sisters were in two numbers tonight, first was "Melody D'Amour" and the humorous "Fernando the Bull" with Jack Imel and Jack Martin as Fernando.

There's also legendary Champagne Lady Alice Lon being busy tonight, first with "Singin' In The Rain" and teamed up with Rocky Rockwell for a little "Town And Country Polka".

They make a nice couple, don't they?

We also had Lawrence in a tag dance with the ladies while the band played some of the sweetest champagne music this side of was so sweet that guitarist wonderwhiz Buddy Merrill wanted a piece of the action by having his own tag dance with some pretty girls in the audience!

Yes, he can dance in addition to guitarist and singer, Buddy is a real triple threat in the grandest tradition of entertainment.

Violinist Dick Kesner played a little Brahms Lullaby and of course Jack Martin from the reed section decided to pop on out and sing "Somebody Stole My Gal".

And this week, Mary Lou Metzger interviewed Big Tiny Little from tonight's broadcast. He talked about his beginnings in the music industry, his musical father Tiny Little and memories from his tenure on the Welk show, in which he served from 1955 to 1959.

It was a nice little show, a great chance to visit old friends from years gone by, next week is a musical salute to Los Angeles...should be a good one!


Buddy Merrill

Just got back this morning from Lancaster....I'll have concert pics and a review up and running this week on my webpage, in the meantime...

Today is Buddy Merrill's birthday....and it's a milestone, he turns seventy years young, hard to believe it was just yesterday that the native of Torrey, Utah appeared on the very first national broadcast of the Welk show as a nineteen year old teenage phenom with a guitar!

But for Buddy, music, the guitar and performing has always been in his blood....from playing with his father's country and western band as a kid to being of the world's best multi-tracking guitarist since Les Paul, his way with any guitar...steel, electric or acustic....results in a lifetime of musical memories and masterpieces for all.

And yes kids, Buddy can sing too!

Visit his official webpage, and don't forget to wish him a happy birthday!

There's also another webpage where you can sample his music, don't forget to go there as well!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Put some shine on your shoes....

Tommorow is the big Welk concert at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA featuring Arthur Duncan above with his magic feet ready to entertain us. Also on the bill is Guy & Ralna, Anacani and Jo Ann you better believe that I am excited!

I'll be back soon with pics and a write up soon on my regular I'll have my two cents on this week's Welk episode!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Norma Zimmer

Today, is July's Champagne Lady Norma Zimmer's birthday. Let us all celebrate, shall we?

Born in Larsen, Idaho and growing up in the Pacific Northwest; Norma spent her early years of her singing career in vocal choral groups, a studio session singer and as an extra in many motion pictures and television shows before joining the Welk show in 1960, where on that New Year's Eve....was officially crowned Champagne Lady, a title she would hold for the remainder of the show's run.

Norma is the mother of two sons, Ron and Mark. She and her husband, Randy, live in Park City, Utah where she enjoys painting, skiing, swimming and raising horses.

Don't forget to wish her a very Happy Birthday today!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Picture of the day (7-12-06)

A classic B&W clip from the fifties, Champagne Lady Alice Lon and Dick Dale on an old fashioned date, she likes the flowers while he prefers chocolates.

You can't blame him....have you tried to eat flowers before?

Monday, July 10, 2006

There's No Business Like Monkey Business....

Here's Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzger going ape on this unique double date, I wonder if they're gonna see "King Kong" at the local multiplex?

Hope that doesn't drive you bananas!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Salute to the Big Bands 1980

This week's episode marks the first of four straight new shows, also the last four new shows of the season, for all of us Welk fans courtesy of your public television station.

Tonight, we got Salute To The Big Bands which first aired nationwide on December 13,'s the Maestro introducing the first number sung by the music makers, "And The Angels Sing."

It's a nostaglic trip down big band memory lane, featuring spectaular numbers by the Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins with "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" made famous by another sibling act, the Andrews Sisters. Guy Hovis also had a solo number in this week's show titled "I Should Care" which he did a great job with.

Ava Barber, with help from the orchestra, sang "Heartaches" and Tom Netherton accompanied by Bob Ralston at piano sang "You're Nobody Til' Somebody Loves You" and below here's Arthur Duncan with a few of his friends dancing to "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" wah, do wah, do wah, do wah.....sorry I just couldn't resist adding that.

You can tell that Arthur and his gang are having some fun tonight!

There were a "String Of Pearls" played by the orchestra, Myron Floren playing a little "Sunrise Serenade" with help at the organ by Bob R, and Ken Delo singing "Gotta Have A Date With An Angel." There was the St. Louis Blues march done splendidly by drummers Paul Humphrey and Jack Imel and of course the show would not be complete with the trio of Gail, Ron & Michael singing "In The Mood".

And that my friends, with a few excellent songs more, make for a great trip down big band memory lane!

And now there's Mary Lou's interview with our favorite country gal Ava Barber....she talks about how she began singing first in her crib as a baby and how she and husband Roger Sullivan first met while in high school and getting on the Lawrence Welk Show for the first time.

Ava discussed her hit records, "Waitin' At The End Of Your Run" and "Bucket To The South" with the latter charting at #13 on the US Billboard Charts and #12 in Canada, plus how she became friends and phone pals with a TV legend, one we all know as Matlock!

Of course I am talking about Andy Griffith who is also a fine gospel singer too.

It was a fine hour's worth of can visit Ava Barber in cyberspace by visiting her newly designed official webpage.

Next week's show is a classic B&W show complete with Mary Lou's interview with Big Tiny review will be a few days late cause on Saturday, I'll be in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see Guy & Ralna, Anacani, Jo Ann Castle and Arthur Duncan live in concert and in addition to next week's writeup....I'll provide pics and details from the show on Welk Musical!

Stay safe, stay cool and keep a song in your heart!


Friday, July 07, 2006

Picture of the day (7-7-06)

Here's a way to make public transit alot more fun....

For just the price of regular fare, Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan will not just take you where you wanna go, but also will include a little song and seen above from 1979's "Sights and Sounds of LA".

It makes the morning commute a little more exciting!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tanya Falan

Our featured music maker is the definition of a free spirit, and while she goes by either Tanya Falan, Tanya Falan Welk, Tanya Welk or Tanya Welk Roberts....she is without a doubt talented, funny, nice and gorgeous!
She joined the Welk organization in time for the New Years' Eve show of 1967 by way of Disneyland where she had her band, Tanya and the Thunderbirds. The native of Glendale, CA also became part of Lawrence Welk's own family when in the summer of '68...married his son Larry Jr, who would later be the mother of two sons, Lawrence the Third and Kevin....both whom today are very successful with their own careers and with family.

Tanya, during her years on the show, has sung numerous solos, featured with the chorus....sang with Anacani as a duo and has done comedic skits with fellow Italian music makers Bob Lido and Charlie Parlato, and off an excellent cook, her home has been the centerpiece of many musical family gatherings such as holiday parties, birthdays and showers.
After leaving the show in 1977, Tanya has gone on with performing and has also worked as a talented interior decorator, today she and her second husband, Kenny Roberts, still lives in Southern California. You can still see her sing live....especially with the Forever Blowing Bubbles tour of Welk alumni, coming to a town near you!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pop Goes The Fourth

Tommorow is the 230th birthday of the United States Of America, it's without a doubt that its one of Lawrence Welk's favorite days of the year.

Don't forget to have fun tommorow, and stay this time of year is just like the Hotsy Totsy Boys.....CRAZY!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Indiana.....well, sort of

This week's episode courtesy of OETA and your local PBS station is a repeat with wraparounds by Norma Zimmer. It's titled "Indiana" and here's the gang with the opening number, a musical salute to the Indianapolis 500 titled "Back Home Again In Indiana."

Regretfully, for all you Hoosier Welkies, it's the only Indiana number featured throughout the show.

However, there were several great musical numbers from this 1967 episode, such as Myron Floren's rendition of "Tico Tico", Barbara Boylan and Bobby Burgess dancing to a lively "Sway" and Jo Ann Castle below playing "A Shanty In Old Shanty Town" on her piano.

We also hear from the Lennon Sisters with two numbers, "There's A Kind of Hush" and "I'm Coming Back To You". Joe Feeney singing one of his favorites "Without A Song" and the maestro has a chance to meet the Apple Queen, Bean Queen and Cherry Queen of Michigan.

Don't forget to eat your apples, beans and cherries to stay healthy!

And for the third time in many weeks, we get to hear "Something Stupid" again, this week is sung by Kathy Lennon and Steve Smith. I guess Lawrence really likes that Frank and Nancy Sinatra song...actually it's the audience, they have the final word you know.

There were many numerous numbers tonight, especially this rockin' guitar instrumental by the "dynamic duo" of Buddy Merrill and Neil Levang playing "San Antonio Rose".

That's this week's show in a nutshell....I think next week is a new one, so I'll better check. Maybe someone else will also sing "Something Stupid"'ll never know.


Will it play in Peoria?

Two music makers willing to do anything for that "steak dinner" which Arthur Duncan calls applause, Jack Imel (at the marimba) and Bob Havens (on the floor playing trumpet) performing in that old tradition that is Vaudeville entertainment.

It's from the "History of American Musical Entertainment" episode which aired in February 1972, and that act is 100 percent American!