Saturday, June 30, 2007

Frank Scott

Today, let's salute another fine and talented music maker from the Maestro's's fellow North Dakotan Frank Scott!

Born and raised in Fargo, Frank honed his musical talents both on the road with bands and at radio station WDAY until 1956 when he joined Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music Makers.

His talents at the keyboard are impeccable, a master at both the piano and the his work as an arranger is why the orchestra's sound has that funky, swinging beat of the sixties.

Over his career, he has done over 7,000 arrangements in all. Even though he passed on in 1995, his work lives on today in both reruns on television and the recordings from both the Coral, Dot and Ranwood labels.

Whenever you hear that nice harpischord sound in a musical number, think of Frank.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ava Barber's birthday

Today happens to be Country Gal Ava Barber's birthday, always an occasion for Welk fans everywhere to celebrate!

The native of Knoxville, TN has been singing since she was little...and it has taken her through stints at radio station WNOX, the Lawrence Welk Show and appearances on The Nashville Network just to name a few...

...and like the Aldridge Sisters, Ava has guest starred on Hee Haw!

She and husband Roger Sullivan has been married since 1972, and when not the Steamboats sandwich shop in Knoxville.

Check out her official webpage at AVA BARBER.COM

And she also has her very own MySpace webpage as well!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Picture of the day (6-27-07)

Here on the rooftops of wartime London, here's Joe Feeney with Bob Ralston out on patrol, singing "The White Cliffs Of Dover"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake.....

From the "County Fair" show from 1971, here's judge Ken Delo in charge of the fair's baking contest!

Gail Farrell is Contestant Number One with her baked entry...

followed by Sally Flynn with some of her baked goods....

and here's Sandi Griffiths with her banana cream pie....

not to be outdone by Ralna English and her strawberry shortcake...

....and finally here's Tanya Falan with a hot and spicy pizza pie!

And the winner is....Tanya!

But it looks like the judge's decision is not a popular one.....

Ken should have known that this job was going to be a messy one!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Famous Musical Families

This week's episode shown in many of public TV markets was, "Famous Musical Families" are some highlights!

Cissy & Bobby here with a demonstration of the English Quick Step,

The duo of Gail and Dale with their rendition of "Something Stupid" which was first made famous by Frank and Nancy Sinatra,

And how about a little "Cab Driver" first sung by the Mills Brothers but sung here by Charlie Parlato, Bob Lido, Larry Hooper and Kenny Trimble

And here's Anacani with her mother, joining the Maestro for a sing-a-long to "Solmente Una Vez."

A wunnerful show indeed....perfect for the whole family, whether they are musical or not.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bob Davis

Let's meet another fine Champagne Music Maker today, from the reeds and woodwinds section it's Bob Davis!

The native son of Brawley, California first joined the Welk orchestra in 1965 when longtime favorite Bill Page left. Bob, whose previous experience included stints with the Les Brown band, soon fit right in with that Champagne sound.

Over a span of seventeen years, Davis played both the flute, saxophone, piccolo and clarinet. He also dated Sally Flynn during the early 1970s and later on was married to Sherry Aldridge of the Aldridge Sisters.

After making his home in Nashville for a while with his own band, "Bob Davis and his Prime Time Orchestra", he now makes his home in Fort Pierce, Florida where he's still making music....he and his band performs at venues in the area.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Let's Go Camping!

I'll be Oscar Wilde, you'll be Noel Coward.....insert rimshot sound.

Seriously folks, from 1963 here's a nice YouTube gem with Bob Lido as the scoutmaster and Aladdin as a Boy Scout on a camping trip singing "Put On A Happy Face" no matter what goes wrong!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Picture of the day (6-20-07)

From the glorious black & white era, here's the King of All Banjo Players and frequent Welk show guest star Eddie Peabody from this 1962 Salute To Mardi Gras episode!

Here are some fun facts about Eddie; he was behind the development of the four-string banjo known as the Vegavox and the Banjoline, a type of electric guitar that resembles the banjo and the mandolin.

And during his career, Eddie, in addition to the Maestro, has played for the world's crown heads of states and that's quite an accomplishment!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ralna's Birthday

Today is that time of year again, it's champagne music maker Ralna English's birthday!

As you know, she and Guy are on the Love Boat Birthday Cruise to Alaska....nothing like spending your birthday at sea. Still, it has to be very fun being able to celebrate in this exciting manner!

Happy Birthday Ralna.....from this point on, it's smoooooth sailing

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gilligan's Island role play....Champagne style

In honor of Ralna English's birthday "three hour tour", I thought this blog will do some role playing....with members of the Musical Family playing each of the characters from the classic TV show "Gilligan's Island!"

Admit have watched the show at least once in your lifetime,

Now here's the $64,000 question, who would play who?

Based on personality among other things, as well as's how I would cast the music makers if a musical skit involved the seven castaways.

Jack Imel would be Gilligan.....would give Bob Denver a run for his money,

Ken Delo would be the Skipper, betcha Alan Hale Jr would like that,

Dick Dale would play Thurston Howell the Third....Jim Backus would smile with this choice,

Jo Ann Castle would be Mrs. Howell, nice way to honor Natalie Schafer

Tanya Falan would be Ginger....complete with a red Tina Louise wig

Bobby Burgess as the Professor, wonder if Russell Johnson can dance?

and finally Mary Lou Metzger would play, of course, Mary Ann.....has a little Dawn Wells in her

Now maybe if they can make a radio out of coconuts, they can carve a boat from a palm tree.....or they will just make a bubble machine from bamboo sticks


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Say Howdy To Gopher, Doc and Captain Stubing for me....

As you may know, some of our Welk stars are going on a cruise....

No, they're not gonna rerun the Caribbean Cruise show from 1980 nor a long lost episode of the Love Boat has surfaced with either the Lennon Sisters or the Maestro appears as a guest star.

Today is the first day of the week long...Guy & Ralna Cruise to Alaska on the Princess Cruise Lines, which for many G&R fans are looking forward to!

Just in case, I'm not going.....don't have the money among other things, but it does sound like fun!

Somehow, whenever I think of it....I find myself humming to the theme song to Gilligan's Island.

I wonder if the captain of the ship looks anything like The Skipper?


Lets Go To The Fair!

From 1967, this week's show is a trip to the carnival, here are some highlights....

Aladdin as the sword swallower....he performs his own tracheometry!

And here's the lovely Lennon Sisters singing "Something Stupid".....

Natalie Nevins is having a good time at the fair, you would smile too if you have cotton candy to eat!

And here's Jo Ann Castle tickling the ivories....and no this piano, from all appearances, is not filled with helium!

Hope you guys had fun at the fair....summer is now swinging into high


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cue the Anniversary Song....

On this day, thirty-four years ago on June 16, 1973....Welk stars Richard Maloof and Mary Lou Metzger got married.

At a ceremony held at St. Charles Catholic Church in North Hollywood, the two exchanged their "I Do's" before an audience of family, friends and fellow Champagne Music Makers....and that was followed by a reception and honeymoon in Lake Tahoe....where the Welk stars perform their annual Summer show at Harrah's.

It was truly one of the most memorable milestones and memories in all of Welkdom.

And today, they celebrate 34 years of marital bliss...Happy Anniversary Mary Lou and Richard!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Double Champagne Birthdays

As the title suggests, we have two Music Maker brithdays today....the first one is Lois Best, the Maestro's Champagne Lady from 1939 to 1940.

And the second goes to Janet Lennon, one of television's prettiest and most charismatic personalities....and youngest of the four Lennon Sisters.

Happy Birthday Lois and Janet.....we look forward to many more years of milestones and memories for all to be shared!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

George Thow

Here's a look at music maker George Thow, who first joined the Welk organization in 1956 as a trumpet player!

Also, George's hometown is Cleveland, Ohio....just only one of a handful champagne music makers to hail from the Buckeye State!

In 1962, he left from being an active member of the band to becoming a very valuable member of the Maestro's production staff....such as producing and writing!

But there are times he'll bring his trumpet out of mothballs and join the fellas for a nice Dixieland number once in a while!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Picture of the day (6-13-07)

From 1968, here's Lynn Anderson with her mother, Liz Anderson, appearing on the show's "Mother's Day" salute.

As we all know, Lynn later went on to be a HUGE country superstar...with hits such as "Rose Garden" and Liz is a very succesful country songwriter as well!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Early Bird News about the new season

The new season of Welk shows on public television is in the works and is also in the process of being taped and put together!

Also, it is confirmed that Sheila and Sherry Aldridge are one of the many exciting interviews conducted by Mary Lou well as Rocky Rockwell!

More information to follow later....I'll keep you posted on both this fine blog and when all the interviews are accounted for....put them on my webpage's news section.

Also, speaking of the Aldridge Sisters....I got a nice email from Sherry that she and Sheila were recently at Crossnore's Heritage Festival over in Avery County, North Carolina. Here's some interesting fun facts I learned....the sisters and their family actually come from this part of the Tar Heel State, they were living and performing in Knoxville, Tennessee around the time they met the Maestro.

It's alot of fun knowing about your family's roots....mine in particular have their roots (my mother's side) originally hail from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France.

Ironically, that's the same region where another famous family, Lawrence Welk's, can trace their roots from!

Now that's something to think about.....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vacations show from 1980

This week's Lawrence Welk episode is a salute to vacations from 1980, here at the ice cream parlor...we see Sheila and Sherry Aldridge enjoy a nice ice cream sundae with Jim Turner!

Here's the duo of Ralna English and Guy Hovis singing "Leavin' On A Jet Plane"

And now here's Elaine and Bobby dancing to the sounds of "Come To The Mardi Gras"

And here's the gang with the closing number, "Louisiana Hayride",

However, this is not Louisiana and I don't see any hay or hayrides anywhere..

The waraparounds are hosted by Kathie Sullivan, and it was a very fun and relaxing show indeed. Joey Schmidt appears on the show playing "The Carnival Of Venice" on the accordian, the band plays renditions of both "Tuxedo Junction" and "Moonglow" complete with Gail Farrell's high obligattos.

How the heck does she do that?

Next week, it's "County Fair 1967" on many of these PBS stations, like mine!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ace celebrates his 75th

Welk is music maker Jack Imel's birthday today, and for the most famous man ever to come out of Portland, Indiana....this day is a milestone and a memory...

Yes folks, Professor Spoons....or Ace....turns 75, that's something to celebrate about!

He can do it all.....sing, dance, play the marimbas, drums and the spoons....

Once, he even played the kitchen stool as an instrument!

Happy Birthday Jack....We're looking forward to many more years of that good ol' song and dance!


Friday, June 08, 2007

And now....a moment of Dave Edwards

You asked for here's Dave playing one of his shiny gold reeds!

And that my your Dave Edwards moment.

It's all about that wunnerful, wunnerful Big Band sound!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Norman Bailey

On this nice June day today....let's take a champagne salute to one of Lawrence Welk's fine trumpet players, Worcester's own Norman Bailey!

He was with the band from 1952 to 1973, an anchor in the horn section...known for his solo renditions of "Hot Lips" and "Sugar Blues."

One of his daughters, Janice, appeared on many Welk shows during the late 1950s and early 1960s as a singer....

...and did you know before the Maestro expanded the horn section in 1957, Norm also did double duty playing the trombone as well?

You'll always learn something new about our Welk stars everyday here on this blog....and here's him at his finest, fighting with Charlie Parlato for on-air time in this clip!

Fellas....will call it a draw