Monday, November 13, 2006

Mary Lou Metzger

Today music maker birthday is a real special one, it's Mary Lou Metzger's birthday!

Mary Lou has the honor of being from both ends of Pennsylvania, she was born in Pittsburgh but spent most of her childhood in Philadelphia....makes you wonder if she's a Steelers fan or an Eagles fan.

Her parents, Helen & Ernie Metzger, went out on a date in 1938 at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh where Lawrence Welk and his orchestra played that night....and it was that the term "Champagne Music" was born.

Just coincedence? Or perhaps something special in the works?

Mary Lou began performing as a child, starring in the traveling production of Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man" as one of her many stage productions, and appeared on television in the program, "The Ted Mack Amateur Hour". While attending Temple University, she traveled out to Los Angeles in sunny Southern California to appear on the GE All American College Bowl....but had other plans as well, and it involved Lawrence Welk and his Musical Family.

It was on Mothers Day of 1970 when Mary Lou joined the show, where she enrolled in the Welk orginaztion's Youth Opportunity Program that trained her to be a singer, musician and performer. Right away, her time started to pay dividends....she sang in choral numbers and with Bob Lido and the Hotsy Totsy Boys providing vocals in her Betty Boop voice.

She also was paired with Jack Imel in light dance musical routines that were popular on the show, plus she also sang with Gail Farrell as a duet....later joined with Sandi Griffiths to make up the ever popular trio of Gail, Sandi and Mary Lou.

Right until the show ended in 1982, she was one of the Welk family's most popular and versitile performers.

Today, Mary Lou remains very busy....starring in stage plays as part of the Actor's Conservatory Ensamble, performing in many Welk concerts where she also doubles as excecutive producer and hosting the wraparounds for the show on PBS where she also conducts interviews with members of the musical family. Since 1973, she has been married to fellow music maker Richard Maloof, who played bass and tuba in the orchestra.

Happy Birthday Mary Lou! In honor, watch her sing "Oh Johnny!"



mops said...

I would like a copy of the words and guitar chords to a song written by mary lou and her husband for their son's wedding. they sang it on a welk thanksgiving special. the title is "i must have had your heart in mind" Thanks, mops

OldLampLighter said...

Dear mops,

"I Must Have Had Your Heart In Mind" was performed by Clay and Sally Hart (who wrote the song for their son's wedding) when Clay and Sally hosted a PBS rebroadcast of the 1972 Thanksgiving Lawrence Welk Show.

I too have been trying to locate a copy of the sheet music - preferably the "Piano, Vocal Guitar" format.



Unknown said...

Mary Lou, we are trying to locate you. The 1968 Finalist from the
Miss teenage Philadelphia Pageant!
Please contact us. WE have locted 13 of the 16. You can email me at
or call 609-417-6336
Thanks and hope that you get this
God Bless
Toni Zampirri Arlotta

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mary Lou!
I watched the "Thanksgiving Show"(Nov. 17,1973) tonight on PBS.
After hearing Larry Hooper sing "Goodwill", I just have to find the lyrics.
Can you or anyone help me? I have spent 2 hours on the Internet and can not find anything.
Gerald Gibbons
Dowling MI
templar2b1ask1 AT macdotcom (My Email)

Unknown said...

Just watched the "big bands" episode ... wonder what year that show was filmed? And why did Rocky Rockwell leave the show? And is he still living?

Anonymous said...

Mary Lou you seem to be very busy as it is but I wonder if you have ever explored the idea of a TV show just interviewing people?

Anonymous said...

I wish I could see close-ups of
Mary Lou Metzger's feet!