Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Rainier Beer Waltz

Found this gem on YouTube, it's a commercial for Rainier Beer where they parody Lawrence Welk and his Music Makers.

Here's another fun fact, pretending to be the Maestro in this spot is Pat Harrington, better known as TV's Schneider from "One Day At A Time."


Happy Birthday Kathie!

It's the last day of the month of May, but here in Champagne Music is also Kathie Sullivan's birthday!

Here are some pictorial highlights of the Kenosha, Wisconsin native....

Gosh....I wonder why this fellow has a huge grin on his face?

As of this blog entry, Kathie lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband Hugh Tollack, and is the mother of two daughters.

Happy Birthday Kathie!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Highlights from Salute To The Armed Forces '68

Last Saturday's episode was "Salute To The Armed Forces" from May of 1968, here are a few highlights.....

The opening number with the gang, "How Are Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm?"

Myron Floren and his alley cats playing the accordian favorite, "Alley Cat"

And now, a Champagne Salute to the Beverly Hillbillies with "We Love Mountain Music."

Yes fellers....Jack Imel is "Every Inch A Sailor"...he used to serve in the Navy back in the day.

And now, a salute to all branches of the US military....with the Champagne Music Makers in full uniform!

Picture of the day (5-30-07)

From 1971, here's Cissy and Bobby dancing to the sounds of "Calcutta" with Mary Lou, Norma and Gail clapping them on.

And dig those short skirts the ladies are wearing....totally foxy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just returned home....

Howdy kids, just got back home from New Haven an hour and half ago....FINALLY at a reasonable time. My sister graduated with her Masters degree from Yale and spending the Memorial Day weekend on the East Coast was fun....but it is always great to be back home here in Toledo....the Heartland of America.

Also, a huge thanks to our men and women in uniform that gave their blood fighting for this great country of's their sacrifices is why we live free and eat bratwursts and burgers off the grill on this time of year.


Friday, May 25, 2007

A "Perfidia" weekend coming up

From last week's show, here's Anacani with her rendition of the Xavier Cugat classic Perfidia.

Also, I'll be traveling to New Haven the next few attend my sister's graduation from Yale grad school, so I'll be back on late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Stay safe everyone....and have a happy Memorial Day weekend!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Arthur Duncan's best moves

For your dancing and entertainment pleasure, here are some fine moves made by our resident tap dancer Arthur Duncan!

Here's Art, with a colorful dance number in black & white.....

....and here is his salute to the legendary Bill "Bojangles" Robinson there are times he needs to make extra money when times are tough, but always with a smile and a dance!

....finally, making it to the big time....with a little help courtesy of his friends!

Arthur first joined the Welk show back in 1964....that has to be the best move of them all!

He still dances today, wherever he goes....he makes new friends!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ghost Riders in the Sky

Here's another classic B&W musical number that's a real treat! From 1961, Neil Levang plays "Ghost Riders In The Sky" on his guitar along with some nice vocal backing by the singers.

And I betcha you never knew that Sinclair Oil also was a sponsor of the Welk Show too!


Picture of the day (5-23-07)

From 1971, here's Myron Floren with his trusty PAN accordian, leading the fellas with "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" on the Country and Western Salute show!

Speaking of "Yellow Rose", that was the personal favorite song of President Dwight Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie....Lawrence and the music makers played that song for Ike's second presidental ignaural ball in 1956.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lawrence Welk and MST3K, a match made in television heaven

I have always been one of these people who have more than one favorite television show, and have always been curious and imagined what if these two different worlds meet....kinda like when the Jetsons meet the Flintstones.

Here's are my two favorite shows,

There's the Lawrence Welk Show of course......

.....and there's the Sci-Fi classic Mystery Science Theater 3000

In case you want a refresher course, it is the show where a fella (Joel Robinson and later Mike Nelson) is marooned in space and along with his robot sidekicks Crow and Tom Servo are forced to watch the worst Grade B movies as an experiment by mad scientist Dr. Forrester and his assistant TV's Frank.

The beauty of the show lies with the cast making running commentary on these movies, with clever wisecracking riffs that run the gammit of popular culture, plus terrific comedy sketches and musical numbers in between!

It does have a little bit of that Welk magic in some way.

I wonder what it would be like if Joel and the Bots got to meet the Maestro and the musical family?

And also if the music makers were introduced to the Mads down in Deep 13?

I also wondered if the Mads forced either the Lennon Sisters, Sandi & Sally or the Hotsy Totsy Boys to watch "Manos: The Hands Of Fate."

Perhaps, imagine the crew from the Satellite of Love take part in one of the msuical numbers by the Champagne Music Makers singing some "Yellow Bird" or dance to "Calcutta?"

In reality....I have wondered if any of the music makers have watched the show...or perhaps are huge fans as well?

Now that would be really more ways than one!

Until next time, as Lawrence used to say...."Keep A Song In Your Heart"

or as Dr. F used to say....."Push the Button Frank!"


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Salute To The Big Bands

This week's episode is a Salute To The Big Bands from 1980, here's the gang getting the show started with "Chattanooga Choo Choo" danced by Bobby & Elaine!

And here's the Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins singing "I'll Never Smile Again",

...and here's the Kentucky Gentleman Jimmy Roberts accompained by Neil Levang on guitar!

For the complete rundown of the show, just click here at BIG BAND SALUTE 1980

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Bobby!

Today, is another music maker's birthday....and this time around we are happy to celebrate Bobby Burgess' big day!

When he's either a Mickey Mousketeer, dancing on the Welk show with Barbara, Cissy or Elaine, or serving as role of husband and father....Bobby always has the right moves!

And these moves are always graceful and full of fun....


Friday, May 18, 2007

Jo Ann's birthday surprise

From 1959, here's a classic B&W clip featuring Mr. Welk giving Jo Ann Castle the ultimate birthday gift.....courtesy of our friends from YouTube!


Bob, Ava and Russ

From 1979, here's country gal Ava Barber hanging out with her pals Bob Havens on trombone and Russ Klein on saxophone making some terrific music!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Also, I believe today is Natalie Nevins' birthday.....for some reason, I am confused whether it's on May 15th or the 16th....sources are kinda conflicting here.

But anyway, we still love to wish Philadelphia's favorite daughter a very happy birthday today!

Picture of the Day (5-16-07)

Fron 1960, here's Lawrence receiving congratulations from executive producer Ed Sobol for the show's fifth anniversary on the ABC network!

Little did the Maestro and Mister Sobol would know that the Lawrence Welk Show would run for twenty-two more seasons....with the best yet to come!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It was just only a year ago today.....

For the webmaster of Welk Musical (THAT'S ME) officially become a blogmaster as well as this companion blog to my fine website was launched into service....exactly one year ago!

After 300 plus posts and numerous acclaim....I am looking forward to more of my two cents and many champagne memories to share with you.

Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving a few comments as well!

Now it's time to get back to work....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cissy's Wardrobe Malfunction to Carmen

If you watched Cissy's interview from this weekend's show, you may have heard where she talked about her "wardrobe malfunction" during her "Carmen" dance routine with Bobby Burgess....well, here on this fine American blog, thanks to YouTube, here's the actual number!

You'll laugh, you'll dance and smile.....but make sure your buttons are sewed on tightly!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day and Irving Berlin

Here's Cissy & Bobby facing reality by "Facing The Music and Dance!" from 1973's Salute To Irving Berlin!

First off......I like to wish all the mothers out there, including my own, a very Happy Mothers' Day today....and here in Toledo, the weather is very nice here as well!

This week's episode is a musical salute to Irving Berlin, I did a recap of that episode just a year ago when it first can read more about it by clicking on this link: SALUTE TO IRVING BERLIN


Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Curt Ramsey Quintet

One of the Lawrence Welk Show's popular vocal acts that were all familiar with is the Curt Ramsey Quintet...led by Curt himself, who originally played trumpet in the band and later became an arranger and music librarian.

The lineup has went through several incarnations....each new member bringing something different and unique to the table, here's the quintet through the years.

It all started here in the sixties.....the age of Aquarius
From 1967, Charlie Parlato, Norma Zimmer, Steve Smith, Curt Ramsey and Dick Cathcart...note Buddy Merrill is providing steel guitar melodies!
From 1969....Charlie, Norma, Steve with Andra Willis and Curt.....

It's now 1974....the quintet now has Dick Dale, Norma, Curt, Gail Farrell and Charlie!
And now we move on to the 1980s......
Here's Dick with Mary Lou Metzger joining Charlie, Gail and Curt.
The lineups may change, but the beautiful melodies and harmonies remain the same....they still sound terrfic on reruns!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Casual Fridays

Whenever the cameras are turned off and when the bubble machine is idle, the musical family waste no time to relax and be casual...especially on Friday!

Here's Lawrence with Cissy King, Tanya Falan and Mary Lou Metzger all smiles...

....and here's the Maestro again, alone with Mary Lou.....

.....and here's Jimmy Roberts, Joe Feeney, Arthur Duncan, Ralna English and Clay Hart.....on the rocks!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Picture of the day (5-9-07)

From 1966, here's Barbara Boylan and Bobby Burgess getting their Twenty-Three Skadoos on by dancing to the Charleston....a nice little tribute to the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

You have to admit this.....the Great Gatsby could never dance this great like these two kids!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Everything is Beautiful....if you're Clay Hart

From 1972, here's the Welk show's country boy Clay Hart sandwiched in between two lovely ladies....Sandi Griffiths and Sally Flynn!

And as you know, he hails from the "hotbed" of country music; Providence, Rhode Island which is right smack in the middle of Red Sox Nation. Clay was with the music makers from 1969 to 1975 and addition to being a might fine singer, he's one of many Welk stars that has found love on the show.

Clay has been married to Sally since 1974...and continue to make sweet music together!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Southern Fried Show

This week, lets all go down South, home of grits, RC Cola and Moon Pies for a Lawrence Welk-styled Southern show, here's the Maestro ready to get things started!

First aired back on February 4, 1967 originally on ABC....the music makers pay homage to Ol' Dixie, starting with the number "Are You From Dixie" plus there are several great instrumentals to get your feet tappin' such as "Carolina In The Morning", "Georgia On My Mind" and "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" played by the fellas in Dixieland style!

We also pay a visit to Cabaret Lido run by Bob Lido where he treats you to some great Mardi Gras fun! Here, we are treated to great numbers such as "Down Yonder" with Jo Ann Castle at the 88s (piano), "The Mighty Mississippi" by Dick Dale and Larry Hooper's classic request "Mississippi Mud."

Our special guest for this week is Anita Bryant, the Florida Orange Juice lady, here with some of her numbers such as "Mame" and "Swanee." Say what you want about her, but I can admit this....Jane Curtin from the good' ol days of Saturday Night Live did a great impersonation of her!

And heading back to the Cabaret...we see Kathy Lennon and Steve Smith singing and dancing to "Whie We Danced At The Mardi Gras."

There we several great numbers in this week's show, such as the Lennon Sisters' "The Stars Fell On Alabama", "Sleepy Time Down South" by Norma Zimmer, "My Old Kentucky Home" by Jimmy Roberts and "Deep In The Heart Of Texas" tap danced by Arthur Duncan!

All in all....a fine show, it will have you speaking with a Southern drawl...y' all!

This week, in the hot seat is Kathy Lennon....who talks about her time on the show, and has fond recollections of the music makers such as Alice Lon and the members of the orchestra. It was a very pleasant and engaging interview, and Kathy still looks very beautiful and youthful today!

That's all for this' all come back now, ya' here!

Goodnight I am speaking Southern myself son.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day

Today is Cinco de Mayo....let's celebrate like the Welk stars above from the 1977 episode "Salute to Mexico" as shown above!

And also today is the running of the Kentucky Derby, enjoy yourself a mint julep, put on one of those tacky dress hats and bet on your favorite horse!

Perhaps this's this year's odds on favorite!


Friday, May 04, 2007

Tanya Falan's birthday

You know today is going to be a great day for two reasons, first today is International Tuba Day....

....and secondly, but most importantly, today is Tanya Falan Welk's birthday!

As a member of the Champagne Music Makers from 1968 to 1977, Lawrence Welk's favorite "Italian Daughter-In-Law" has thrillied audiences with her singing and her excellent sense of humor, and she is also a terrfic mother, grandmother and cook as well!

Happy Birthday that's what I call amore!