Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lawrence Welk the Third

Today is the birthday of Lawrence Welk the Third, the Maestro's grandson and also Tanya's and Larry Welk Jr's firstborn!

Here's Larry as a kid from the 1974 Christmas special....

And here's Larry, all grown up, with his pop co-hosting the wraparounds from one of the Welk shows shown on public television!

Today, Larry the Third is very successful in his own right....he is Chief Pilot and reporter for KCBS and KCAL TV in Los Angeles where he has won two Emmys for his work, he is also a solid family man...married with kids of his own!

Happy Birthday Larry.....check out his profile from the KCBS Channel 2 wepage.


Picture of the day (2-28-07)

Here's Mary Lou a publicity photo from when she doing local theater in LA.

I wonder what production she was in?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Meanwhile....down in Ol' Mexico

Cinco de Mayo maybe two and a half months away....but these three amigos, Aladdin, Dick Dale and not sure who the third amigo is....all having fun down in Tijuana!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Academy Awards....Oscar's Biggest Night

It's Oscar Night! What better way to celebrate Champagne Style than to watch this week's offering "Academy Awards" from April 3, 1971, lets join the rest of the gang for some fun with Oscar!

The show opens with "High Hopes" featuring the music makers, then Guy Hovis comes out as a deputy from the Old West...singing "Do Not Forsake Me" from the film "High Noon", then he's joined by Ralna for "Buttons and Bows", both do a great job with that song.

As you can see....the set is not on fire (do not call the fire department), it's just Cissy and Bobby dancing to the theme from "Love Story" with Bob Ralston at the piano...and the effects and dancing were visually stunning! There were plenty of instrumental numbers by the orchestra, such as "Never On Sunday" with Myron Floren on the squeezebox and "Georgy Girl" tinged with alot of brass from both the trombone and trumpet sections.

I wonder that's how Cheech and Chong got the idea to name one of their albums "Up In Smoke?"

Halfway throught the show, the Maestro brings out his special guest star...the legendary Jack Benny for a monologue that is best described as Benny-esque, with "cheap" jokes and a violin solo....but sadly, no references to his upcoming "39th birthday".

"Oh Rochester....I'm rocking this joint tonight!"

After ten minutes of Mister Benny, things return to being the Welk show with great numbers such as Arthur Duncan dancing to "The Continental", Tanya Falan's torch solo of "For All We Know" and Clay Hart's rendition of "Jean".

We also hear from Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts with "Three Coins In A Fountain" and later Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (It's really Sandi & Sally, not Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick) with the popular B.J Thomas hit "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head". The show concludes with a medley of Disney songs, such as "Wish Upon A Star", "Chim-Chim Cher-ee" and "Zippedy Doo Dah" ending up with a stirring finale by Joe Feeney with "Born Free" to put a kabosh on this Oscars/Jack Benny show.

I also find out that there was another number, "Thank You Very Much" that was cut from the show...I'm very interested in how that number went.

This week, it's Tanya Falan (or Tanya Welk Roberts) being interviewed by Mary Lou. She talked about how as a kid, she played "Mansion" instead of "House" plus how she started singing, first at Disneyland as leader of "Tanya and the Mustangs" which later led her to being on Lawrence Welk's show. She also talked about her kids, her family, the fun she had on the show...such as not remembering the words to "Matchmaker", and when she went out as a solo act.

Hope you enjoyed this week's show, and tonights Academy Award show! Next week is the big one....the debut of "Lawrence Welk's Television Treasures!"

And by the way, here's Tanya singing "Matchmaker"....see for yourself!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lawrence Welk TV Treasures Update!

Good news for all of us Northwest Ohio viewers! Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures, in addition to being shown on this March 17th, will make it's debut early a week from now on March 3rd at 7:00pm....both on WGTE and WBGU at the same time!

Now that's a great birthday present so far....get those VCRs warmed up.

The Big 3-0

It's a big day for the blogmeister this Saturday, I am now a member of the thirtysomething club!

Personally, it all happened so feels like only yesterday that I just turned 18 and still attending Sylvania Northview High School. I guess that when your a kid, time seems to drag along at a snails pace....but once you become an older adult, time files really fast and the next thing you know it, you're 65 and ready to collect your Social Security.

I am actually ready to tackle middle the Maestro, some of life's best accomplishments happen after thirty!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sandi Griffiths in the solo spot

From the 1974 episode "Hit Songs of the 1970s", here's Sandi Griffiths in the solo spot singing Perry Como's hit song, "And I Love You So."


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Trumpet Trumpet Trumpet

As we continue on our weekly tour of the orchestra, lets look at some of the fine trumpet players that have tooted their horns for Lawrence Welk!

There's George "Gus" Thow and Art Depew...

...and here's Rocky Rockwell from St. Joe,

...and let's not forget Dick Catchart, Mickey McMahan and Norman Bailey,

....and here's Johnny Zell, the gold standard of all trumpet players...

...and finally, Charlie Parlato and Laroon Holt.

Nice to hear that wunnerful trumpet sound again boys!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Picture of the day (2-21-07)

Dont feel so blue, it's really pretty cool!

From 1975, it's Sandi Griffiths, Gail Farrell, Norma Zimmer and Mary Lou Metzger singing "Blue Skies" from the "This Colorful World" episode.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Paczki and Records

Happy Paczki Day everyone.....or Happy Fat Tuesday to be exact.

Earlier today, I went up to Detroit for some vinyl record shopping at Car City Records in St. Clair Shores...they got a really nice collection of 45s and 78s of all genres. Here's me in my car, making the trip north up I-75 and as you can tell, the weather is starting to improve from last week....

And inside Car City Records....a sampling of what they have in stock.

I purchased four neat albums; Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", The Watergate Comedy Hour, Jim Nabors' "Everything Is Beautiful" and of course.....Lawrence Welk's 34 Sparkling Melodies, another classic Ranwood Records release.

After an hour and a half of vinyl huntin''s off to nearby Hamtramck to get some tasty paczkis, I found this nice Polish bakery, The New Polka Bakery on Conant Avenue where I got a half dozen of tasty Bavarian Chocolates.

And boy are they delicious! Notice I had one already....and like me, you don't have to be Polish to celebrate Paczki Day.

Admit it....looking at these treats are making you hungry, I wonder what kind of paczkis the Music Makers like the best?

Also, today is Mardi Gras....hope the folks down in New Orleans are having fun!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hoagy Carmichael

This week, the music makers pay tribute to the music of Hoagy Carmichael; here's the gang dressed in their finest starting the show off with "Old Buttermilk Sky".

Originally aired on March 6, 1982....tonight's episode is filled with many of Hoagy's greatest and best loved tunes, with fine instrumentals such as "Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind", Henry Cuesta's "Stardust" solo on clarinet, "Back Home Again In Indiana" featuring Bob Havens on trombone and Bob Smale at the piano, and provided Arthur Duncan's tap routine with the sounds of "Doctor, Lawyer, Indiana Chief".

Here's Guy & Ralna roughing it by their nice Chevy van (sorry...that's not the super cool GMC van from The A-Team) in their number "Two Sleepy People". Jim Turner turned in a nice performance with "Small Fry" and below are the Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins out on a boat singing "Lazy Bones."

I wonder if those are Calvins or Jordaches worn by Sherry and Sheila A?

Anyway, on with the program...we hear from the trio of Gail, Ron and Michael with "The Nearness Of You" and later Dick Dale with "Rocking Chair". We also hear from Anacani with her rendition of "Heart and Soul".

Meanwhile...over at the nightclub, Elaine Balden is dressed as a little old lady which provides Kathie Sullivan and her male companions at her table with the song, "Little Old Lady" and that is followed by Mary Lou Metzger and Jack Imel with their number "Cool Cool Of The Evening", finished off with a huge cake for "little ol' lady" Elaine!

Is she gonna eat all of that cake by herself? Maybe she should have some of her friends have a slice or two....

Norma Zimmer has her solo, "I Get Along With You" in the show, as well as Ralna English with "Skylark" and the whole gang finishes up the program with "Georgia On My Mind" with Bob Smale back at the piano.

It was a really fun show, and I bet Mary Lou's interview will be just as fun!

In the hot seat this week was Anacani, who talks about her own "musical family" as well as her early years as a teenage performer and getting discovered by Lawrence Welk at his resort in Escondido. She also talks very much about her husband Rudy, and her daughter Priscilla....and what she's up to these days.

Next week, it's the Academy Awards show from 1971....and that too should be a wunnerful show as well.

Just remember to stay warm and's too damn cold this time of year!


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Weather in Rhythm and Rhyme

Yes, the weather sucks...and the meteorologists aren't excatly accuarate with the forecast, here's Mary Lou Metzger and Jack Imel with a fun way of bringing you the weather!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Charlie Parlato

We finally reached Friday, and the start of the weekend....but today is also February 16th, which happens to be music maker Charlie Parlato's birthday!

Born and raised in Fredonia, New York (around the Buffalo area); Charlie started out with numerous bands, such as Kay Kyser's, before joining the Lawrence Welk Orchestra in 1962 as a trumpet player. However, he also had great singing skills and a knack for comedy that he was featured in many of the show's comedic skits.

And his stature at five feet, five inches tall had him stand out from the rest of the Champagne Music makers so to speak!

Although Charlie is now retired from active performing, the Parlato name continues to thrive in the world of music as his grandaughter Gretchen is a very popular and talented jazz singer.

Happy Birthday Charlie, today is your day to stand tall!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hey Mister Banjo

And now, a look at some of the fine banjo players that have appeared on the Lawrence Welk Show..

There's the incomprable Eddie Peabody....

not to be outdone by Buddy Merrill of course.....

...and of course, Neil Levang....the show's resident "Mister Banjo"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Picture of the day (2-14-07)

Everyday is always Ladies Day with Lawrence Welk! Being a bandleader has its rewards.

Oh...and Happy Valentines Day today, spend it with someone you love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm gonna need one of these....

Looks like were going to be dumped with the white inches to about a foot's worth here in Toledo, and my car may not have enough horsepower to get through the snow drifts.

Jeez...when will winter be over with, so I can start wearing my Hawaiian shirts and shorts again?

At least Paczki Day is just a week from now, time to start saving up to get some of those paczkis....especially the chocolate filled ones, maybe I'll might go to Hamtramck this year.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Now with that exciting lemon lime flavor!

Sheila Aldridge and Joe Feeney with a touch of light green from the 1979 episode, "Concert In The Park".

And just a reminder that it's only one month and five days away until St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Musical Tour of Europe

Pack your bags, let go tour the continent of Europe and its countries, courtesy of Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music Makers!

First aired on January 5, 1974; the gang opens the show with "Around The World" then it is followed by Clay Hart with his acoustic rendition of "Danny Boy"...a very nice way to salute Ireland and a wunnerful number too.

The orchestra is well featured in tonight's show, Bob Ralston and Bob Smale both perform a terrific medley of movie tunes on the piano such as "Theme from Summer of '42" and "Love Story" with help from Johnny Zell at the trumpet. Henry Cuesta wails on the clairnet with "Granada" and George Cates conducts as the band perform of a medley of songs from "Holiday in France".

And we have here Cissy and Bobby doing a nice Spanish dance, the Espana Cani! Anacani also salutes Spain as well with her number, La Paloma accompanied by the guitar twins Buddy Merrill and Neil Levang.

What's Europe without jolly ol' England? Cissy and Bobby team with Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzger for "The King's Horses and the King's Men" dressed in some really far out duds.

Looks like something Mr. Humphries would wear off hours on "Are You Being Served?"

Arthur Duncan had a nice tap routine to "Danke Schoen", Tom Netherton did very well in the solo spot with his number, "Stranger In Paradise" while Guy & Ralna rocked with "Rock of Ages".

Joe Feeney added his part to the European show with "Galway Bay", Norma Zimmer sang about "Wonderful Copenhagen" and Jimmy Roberts sung about Italy with "Anema e Core" accompanied by the lovely sounds of Charlotte Harris and her cello.

And to finish up Welk's Most Excellent European Adventure, the gang salutes Germany with the "Liechtensteiner Polka" and "Auf Wiedersehn Sweetheart". It will make you wanna go to the Hamler Summerfest down in Henry County!

Mary Lou has in the hot seat this week Guy Hovis, who mentioned that original career aspirations was to be an accountant...and luckly for us, something called singing and showbiz came along. He also talked about his days at Santa Monica's "The Horn" nightclub, his partnership with fellow singer David Blaylock as the team of Guy & David plus his fond days being on the Welk Show.

And then Ralna dropped in for a visit...soon they talked about Guy & Ralna and what "the kids who sang to the senior citizens are now the senior citizens" are up to these days, such as touring live and raising their daughter Julie.

It was a great show from beginning to end, next week is a salute to Hoagy Carmichael....see ya all then!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Get those "Wheels" moving along!

From last week's show, lets hit the road with Neil Levang and his "Wheels" accompanied with some nice fiddling by the string section!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ralna and TV Treasures...coming to Toledo in March

I just got a reply back from WGTE, my local public broadcaster with some great news! All of Toledo and Northwest Ohio will be getting both Ralna English: From My Heart and Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures! Here's the lowdown...

Ralna English: From My Heart will air Saturday on March 10th at 6:30 pm (Toledo time that is....)

And Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures will air Saturday, March 17th at 6:00 pm.

Don't forget to program your TiVos and VCRs, those two weeks will be one for the milestone and memory books!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

And now....a Dave Edwards moment

May your rest of today be filled with good karma and sweet sax sounds!

Picture of the day (2-7-07)

From 1960, here's announcer Lou Crosby, on behalf of the Dodge dealers of America, presenting Lawrence with a gold baton (inside this case) to celebrate the show's fifth anniversary on the ABC network.

And as the story goes....there will be many more years to follow!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It May Be Silly....But Ain't It Fun

You all know that Buddy Merrill is known for his artistry at the guitar, we'll did you know that he can sing with the best of them as well?
Here's Buddy with his fellow guitar pickin' pals Clay Hart and Neil Levang with "It May Be Silly, But Ain't It Fun".

It will leave your toes a tappin' and a fingers a snappin'....

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's still feels like a freezer in Toledo

It's Monday again....the day after the Super Bowl (in which the Colts won 29-17) and it's still very very cold here in Toledo and all around the Great Lakes Region, hard to believe that just a little more than a month was actually mild and rainy at this time.

Ah...those were the good ol' days, if I only had some attractive ladies with umbrellas keeping me from getting Dick Dale here.

I emailed my local public broadcaster WGTE about the two pledge specials in March....haven't heard back from them but I got my fingers crossed, I should be able to get at least one of them.

After all....Toledo, being the icebox right is one of America's great centers of Lawrence Welk fans, at least I think so.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Transportation show

This week's show is made for those who are always on the go, it's "Transportation" from October 14, 1972. Here's the gang on three-wheeled bicycles with the opening number, "Gotta Travel On".

Once again, our old favorites bring a show that always warm up even the coldest of winters, such as Guy & Ralna's rendition of "Do Lord", Jimmy Roberts with "Arrivederci Roma" and Tanya with the ever popular "Walkin' The Floor Over You".

Next, we join the gang for a nice, relaxing boat ride with "Cruisin' Down the River" with Myron Floren at the squeezebox and some fine dancing by Cissy King, Bobby Burgess and Mary Lou Metzger.

The band gave us some very fine instrumentals, such as "Lazy River", "The Gypsy In My Soul" and a fine rendition of "Wheels" with a great guitar solo by Neil Levang.

Arthur Duncan once again did some fine tap dancing, to the tune of "The Happy Wonderer", plus great solos by Norma Zimmer with "Beyond the Sea" and Ken Delo with "Wagon Wheels".

And here are some of the most gorgeous hobos ever to hop a train with "Waitin' for the Evening Train" followed by Bobby Burgess' and Jack Imel's routine to "Walkin". Add some Sandi & Sally telling everyone that "We Can Fly" along with a great closing number in "These Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" and you got a show that has wheels!

Mary Lou interviewed Ken Delo this week, he talked about his time in showbiz as part of the team of "Delo and Daly", and how they were the biggest thing to hit Australia since Robert Menzies, The Croc Hunter and Aussie Rules Football. He also talked about his growing up in Detroit, just sixty miles north of here in Toledo!

Next week's show is a salute to "The World" from 1974, stay warm and have a great Super Bowl Sunday everyone!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

George Cates

Here's a nice shot of Lawrence Welk's musical supervisior George Cates, doing one of the things he does best.

Born and raised in the Big Apple (New York...not Des Moines, LOL); George was hired by the Maestro in 1951 and certainly was able to put his own swing to that Champagne Music. As a fine music executive in his own right, he played a huge role in the recording studio....producing many of the Welk Orchestra's albums for Coral, Dot and later Ranwood Records.

In 1973, George stepped out in front of the camera to conduct many of the band's instrumental numbers....and never looked back!

He passed on from natural causes in 2002, aged 91 years.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Super Bowl Picks

It's officially Super Bowl weekend, and yours the rest of the music makers, will be watching the big game along with this week's episode.


Winter giving you the chills?

Just think about the sun, sand, surf and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands....let Sheila and Sherry Aldridge show you how!