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!


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the Thank you very much routine on video. It went like this. After Joe finishes "Born Free", the curtain pulls up to reveal a giant crystal champagne glass. The cast lines up on either side of the platform, and Myron steps up to the podium as the presenter. In the background there is a black cardboard cutout showing a bunch of theater-goers from the back. I'm assuming they're watching the cast up on the make believe screen. As they sing "Thank You Very Much", each member of the cast stops by the podium and Myron hands them a small crystal champagne glass on a gold stand. (The Lawrence Welk version of an Oscar)When you get to the chorus, Mary Lou pops out from behind the stage, and in that high falsetto that she uses when she sings with the "Hotsie-Totsie Boys", she does the "thank you, thank you, thank you very much". The first time she comes out she gets one award, but when she comes out the second time Myron gives her six more. So the scene ends with Mary Lou having her arms full of awards, and trying to blow kisses to her adoring fans.

I think it's a shame that they feel the need to cut part of the show in order to fit in the interview.