Sunday, January 07, 2007

Big Bands 1978

This week, the folks from Welk Syndication and OETA present the first Welk show of 2007, Salute To The Big Bands which was also the first show of the 1978-79 season!

Here's Lawrence Welk introducing Johnny Zell to get things started with a trumpet salute to Harry James.

Speaking of Johnny, he is also the host of the wraparounds for the show. He talks at length about his family and his career since Welk, touring the west coast with wife Laura and their kids as a family musical act and his knowledge of computers, where he teaches cyber trumpet courtesy of his webpage,

Speaking of his wife, it was Tom Netherton, who is one of Johnny's best friends on the show, that introduced him to Laura. He also mentioned that when the Zells married in 1977, Tom served as best man.

The music makers are without a doubt, a true musical family in every sense of the word.

And now, back to September 16, 1978 (original airdate of this episode) where Tom was next, along with his freshly new haircut singing "I'll Never Smile Again" made popular by Frank Sinatra and the Jordanaires. Bob Ralston played one of his popular piano selections "Cumana" and Guy & Ralna came out with their ever popular selection "Tangerine".

The Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins, in the Maestro's own words, were a little too young to remember the big band days so they did sung, "Knee Deep In Loving You" which was excellent.

Lawrence also paid tribute to the great Artie Shaw by having the orchestra play "Begin The Beguine" with Henry Cuesta leading the way on clairnet. He also had George Cates lead the orchestra and singers with the Paul Whiteman arrangement "When Day Is Done".

Also among the big band numbers featured on the show was "Sentimental Journey", sung by our favorite all girl trio of Gail, Sandi and Mary Lou.....both looking might nice in their yellow outfits.

There was Anacani, bring back memories of ex-Champagne Lady Jayne Walton by singing one of her signature hits "Eres Mi Amor" with Myron Floren at the squeezebox. Bobby and Cissy danced a fine mambo done Prez Prado style and Arthur Duncan doing a tap routine to the Shiek of Araby.

It was a wunnerful show, finishing up nicely with a bang with the orchestral arrangement of "Panama" which had the music makers getting their groove on.

I agree with Johnny here, this episode does get one huge thumbs up!

Next week, it will be "Time Was" I think....should be a good one.


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