Thursday, January 04, 2007

Larry Hooper

Today, we pay salute to one of the most popular and beloved members of the Musical Family, Larry Hooper!

Born in Independence, Missouri on July 22, 1917....Hoopie first joined Lawrence Welk's orchestra in 1948 originally as a pianist but once the Maestro heard Larry's deep rich bass voice singing a few bars, he became a featured vocalist with popular songs such as "Oh Happy Day", "This Old House" and "Minnie The Mermaid".

Hoopie was also a dedicated family man, he and his wife Beverly had three daughters, Lisa, Melinda and Laurie, and was an avid collector of model railroads.

Plagued with ill health most of his life, Larry was off the show from 1969 to 1973 after a heart attack followed by complications that twice nearly took his life. He soon recovered well enough to return for the opening show of the 1973-74 season which drew an emotional and rousing standing ovation from the studio audience.

Once again, ill health forced him off the show again in 1980 and sadly never to return....and passed on three years later.

But that Hoopie smile and great humor has left an lasting and warm impression for Welk fans of all ages, and nobody can sing real low better than him!

Larry Hooper, a Champagne Icon for all seasons and generations.



Patti Berg said...

Just saw Larry Hooper singing "Oh Happy Day" on a show I believe was from 1961. Pat Boone was even on this show singing "Moody River." Ah, what memories!

I always loved Pat Boone... but seeing Larry Hooper brought back special memories. One of my favorite memories from way back when was Larry Hooper singing "This Old House." Wow! I just loved that--and I remember my Dad loving it, too.

My husband and mom are watching the show with me and all I could think was--I wish we could return to a time when life was so much simpler. Boy, those were the days!

danceork said...

Larry was a special favorite of
mine. a good pianist as well. I
especially remember an uptempo
vocal of his on Old Man River,
sung with just the rhythm section. He didn't record this commercially, just did it on the show. Does anyone have this version
on audio or video? Peter Nash--

scottstvshop said...

Just caught him on a rebroadcast of a 1973 eps, fantastic vocal and dashing gent scott in wisconsin

Anonymous said...

Larry was my step fathers cousin. Their mothers were sisters. I to was raised in Lebanon , Mo and what a treat to see some old shows I watched with my dad when I was a little girl.