Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years' Eve: Have a great 2007

This is it....the last day of 2006, and what a year it was!

Here in the cyber champagne world, it has been a year of growth. Welk Musical has continue to grow, the launch of new webpages such as and of course earlier this year, the launch of this fine companion blog.

A big thank you to everyone who dropped in and helped make it a success!

Here's to the new year, may it be marked by peace, prosperity and good wishes for the musical family and yours!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Up Close and Personal

That's the way Jimmy Roberts likes to sing to the his most loyal fans....the ladies, and they love it of course!

Only two days left in 2006....have you made your New Year's resolutions yet?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Picture of the day (12-27-06)

From the 1970 New Years Eve show, Gail Farrell and Mary Lou Metzger are learning a new instrument....the coconuts!

Sounds like something straight outta Gilligan's Island.....

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Day After Christmas

How was your Christmas? For yours truly, the's been fun and very much seasonal.

I spent Christmas Day with my mother, father and younger sister which went very well....I got socks, new pairs of pants and a book about podcasting, something I'm gonna look more into and learn and a shiny new Stiletto, from the good folks of Sirius Satellite Radio!

Once I get the bugs worked out, and then some....I'm really gonna have some fun!

On Saturday, we did get Welk on local public's "America's Wonderland" hosted by Dick Dale. Kinda strange airing a non-holiday Welk show at this time but still, a very good show through and through.

I also spent the holidays sending out Christmas cards to members of the Musical Family, hopefully they got them and liked them, and that in a nutshell turned out to be a fine holiday season so far.

Just remember, only 364 shopping days left until Christmas 2007!

Also, happy Boxing Day to our British and Canadian friends and those living in the Commonwealth realms!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Memories of Christmas Past

Here's Bobby Burgess and his daughter Becki from 1981,

....and here's Bob Lido with some really attractive reindeer.....

Sandi Griffiths with daughter Jenni with some holiday cheer....

...and here's a snowman come to life, thanks to Gail Farrell and Mary Lou Metzger

....and here's the Maestro with all of his musical family

wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 22, 2006

It's A Small World after all.....

And now, here's a Welk holiday treat....the dolls in the toy shop come to life and sing, sing, SING!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Just a few shopping days left....and make sure you have them all wrapped, like Andra Willis is doing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Picture of the day (12-20-06)

Ho Ho Ho.....Christmas is only five days away, here's some of our dancers doing the Parade of the Toy Soldiers, a Welk Christmas Tradition!

That's Cissy King as Raggedy Ann, Bobby Burgess as Raggedy Andy, Arthur Duncan & Jack Imel as the toy soldiers and Mary Lou Metzger as the Jack In The Box

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ad Naseum during Christmas

As much as I enjoy the Christmas season, the one thing I don't like too much are the incessant holiday-themed commercials shown on television.

Especially those stupid commercials from Jared's Galleria of Jewelry.

Those particular spots run a common theme, woman brags that boyfriend/husband bought her a five thousand dollar rock from Jared, another woman (who cares only about expensive material things) gets mad at her boyfriend/husband (always comes off as dumb and clueless) that the rock came from Jared.

So the message they convey is if you don't buy your significant other an expensive, over-priced jewelery....she won't love you and you'll be shunned by society.

And that's supposed to be the true meaning of Christmas?

That's just an example of how bad commercials are...more examples include spots for Lexus (December to Remember), Radio Shack (please buy this expensive ipod) and Best Buy (ooo...the Wow Factor).

Lawrence Welk had the right idea when he and his musical family did commercials, they were effective, catchy, to the point and pleasant to Ralna doing a spot for Geritol, Mary Lou Metzger for Rose Milk or the Lennon Sisters below for Universal Appliances.
Too bad they don't make commercials like those anymore!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Reunion

Christmas is just a week away, and what better way to get ready for it this week with a Welk Christmas Reunion from 1985, this week's offering from our public television stations!

Here's the cast getting things started with "Ring Those Christmas Bells"

It's was the first time in three years that viewers at the time, got to see some of their favorite Welk stars, such as Joe Feeney who sang "O Holy Night" and Gail Farrell, Ron Anderson and Micheal Redman with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" which is always nice to listen to this time of year.

There were plenty of other numbers to get you into that Christmas spirit, such as Jo Ann Castle's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", Ken Delo and Kathie Sullivan's duet of "White Christmas" and "Blue Christmas" featuring Ava Barber, who at the time was performing with her band Sweet Apple, the Otwell Twins, Jim Turner and the Aldridge Sisters.

Here's Guy & Ralna together again with the song, "Let There Be Peace On Earth" which is always a timely classic.

Anacani dazzled the audience with "Feliz Navidad" and Dick Dale teamed up with Sandi Griffiths for the every cute, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" and there was the "Carol of the Bells" with Bobby Burgess and Eliane Niverson (Balden) doing the dancing and the cast providing the choral arrangements.

Put all that in there, along with some carols such as "Silent Night" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and you got yourself a great holiday television event for the whole family!

The Maestro himself tells the viewers that a number of music makers are absent from the program; Mickey McMahan, who plays trumpet, was in Brazil at the time, Jack Imel was aboard a cruise ship entertaining the folks and Myron Floren was at New Braunfels, Texas performing at Wurstfest.

That's all for this week, stay safe and happy Christmas shoppin' folks!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Tom Netherton

If you happen to be a young man with a deep baritone singing voice, and featured on the Lawrence Welk show with legions of female fans, life has to be very rough....LOL.

Especially if you're Tom Netherton, member of the musical family from 1973 to 1981.

Growing up in Bloomington, Minnesota; Tom served in the Army during the Vietnam conflict, stationed in Panama. While there, he became a born-again Christian and having been torn between a career in music and religion, he followed the same path of another performer, Pat Boone and combined both.

It's been a very wise decision, from Welk and beyond, Tom has entertained millions with his exceptional singing voice and boysih good looks....pefroming both secular and religious concerts and appearing on stage with his acting skills, with such plays as Oklahoma!

And you can still see him work his charm, just check out his official webpage and check for his latest concert dates!

And yes girls, he's still the Maestro used to say.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tennessee Bird Walk

It will be eight days before Winter officially commences, just where are the birds are going this year?

If you wanna know about some certain birds from the Volunteer State, listen to Guy & Ralna's rendition of a cute novelty song from 1970...and it's one of my favorites!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Today the Free Press....tommorow the Blade!

Looks like alot more nice folks are taking notice of this blog these days.....

I got word that Welk Musical THE BLOG got some wunnerful reviews from one of my hometown newspapers, the Toledo Free Press, and that is totally cool!

It just proves that alot of folks are interested in my two cents plus Welk memories that come with it.

Here's the link with the review: TOLEDO FREE PRESS: BLOG IT!

Picture of the day (12-13-06)

Jack Imel, Arthur Duncan and Bobby Burgess getting ready for a dance-off, who will win?

And who will get served? You be the judge!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Here's another vintage video treat for all you Ralna English fans. If you liked her when she sings, "How Great Thou Art", "Tangerine" or even "The Tennessee Bird Walk"'ll like her even more when she takes on this classic Glen Campbell hit from 1969, and it's one of the blogmeister's personal favorites as well!

And dig the mood lighting behind the orchestra, totally sixties!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Jerry Burke

If you ever wondered where the "sparkle" in the Champagne Music comes from, you can bet your bottom dollar that it must have come from the magic fingertips of pianist/organist Jerry Burke!

Born in Marshalltown, Iowa on July 26, 1911...he grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota where he spent his early days learning the piano and the organ. Jerry was only 23 years old when he was hired by Lawrence Welk to play in his orchestra, which by then was doing one-nighters all over the Midwest and based out of radio station WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota.

By the time the music makers made their ABC network debut in 1955, Jerry at 44 years of age was already the "grandpappy" of the music makers. He was a master at the Hammond organ and the Novachord, and released several solo albums of his work. In 1959, he became the first member of the twenty-five year club, which in later years would include Barney Liddell, Orie Amodeo, Myron Floren and Dick Dale.

He passed away from cancer on Feburary 13, 1965...having spent 31 years in the orchestra, but what a bubbly and sparkly ride it was!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio....

.....and it is still pledge time for my local PBS stations, WGTE and WBGU.

WGTE aired "Precious Memories" again this evening, and while it's a very good show....that's two straight weeks! Could they have at least shown "Milestones and Memories" or even "God Bless America" for crying out loud?

They also aired My Music: The Best of Fifties (and Sixties) Pop: Part Two, and I felt that Mary Lou Metzger's co-hosting appearances second time around was very very short...she only appeared in ONE co-host segment (introducing the DeCastro Sisters...whom I never heard of) and two seperate pledge pitches when it came time for everyone to call in.

Still, even though her on-camera time was limited, Mary Lou is lookin' fine....hello nurse.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Ken Delo!

Today is Ken Delo's birthday, he's very special not because he can sing, dance and make people laugh...but for the webmaster, he hails from Detroit, just sixty miles north from my hometown of Toledo!

Ken, in addition to all those talents, is also a terrfic magician, hypnotist and author....remember "The Frozen Horror?"

He's also an icon down in Australia, appearing on TV down under with Jonathon Daly as the team of 'Delo and Daly". He also had the good luck of meeting tap dancer Arthur Duncan there whom many years later in 1969, Arthur recommened to the Maestro about Ken being on his show.

It was a very solid move, he became a member of the musical family and the fans, especially the ladies in the audience, loved it!

His children, Kimberly and Kevin, have been on the show as well and have many of the musical talents inherited from their famous dad.

You can find more about Ken and then some at his official webpage.

Happy Birthday Ken.....AH-HA!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Meet The Band

Here's another gem from the early days of the Welk show, we get to meet the Maestro's band as the music makers introduce themselves!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Picture of the day (12-6-06)

Something nice for the Christmas season, Janet Lennon and Aladdin playing daughter and father as they great ready to celebrate the holidays.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Deep down....It's Norma Zimmer

Here's another vintage commercial featuring one of our Welk stars, this one is Champagne Lady Norma Zimmer for Deep Down arthritis cream.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Bob Smale

To get your Mondays going well, and a good start to a new week....let Bob Smale work his magic fingers at the piano.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA (also known as Raider Nation), Smale graduated from Fremont High School and worked with the Mary Kay Trio before joining the Welk Orchestra in 1969. He's an accomplished arranger as well and has provided piano background for Tom Netherton, Ralna English and Jimmy Roberts just to name a few.

But when teamed with fellow pianist and Bob (Ralston that is), they bring back memories of the twin pianists made famous by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians!

Now that's music to my ears!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

When you go mail your Christmas cards....

Just don't forget to get some stamps! Also, be sure they are the right ones....LOL

Yesterday, we got "Precious Memories" in my viewing no regular Welk which was scheduled to be "Hooray For Hollywood".

It's Pledge Time again....when public television needs cool cabbage to keep our champagne on the tube, and I'm doing my part.

I also took the time to create a new webpage, it's Welk and right now it's still being put together but I do have some great stuff up on the picture below to enter the webpage!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Birthday Girls Dee Dee and Sherry

Today is the first of December, and we have duo birthdays in the Musical Family to celebrate!

Dianne "Dee Dee" Lennon, of the Lennon Sisters

and Sherry Aldridge of the Aldridge Sisters!

Now that's a great way to start of December!

Happy Birthday Dee Dee and Sher...may you have many more