Friday, August 31, 2007

Big Tiny Little

Today is Big Tiny Little's birthday, he played honky tonk piano from 1955 to 1959.

Since then, he still going on strong....peforming as a solo artist in many concerts, jazz festivals and even Welk star reunions (Milestones & Memories comes to mind).

Happy Birthday Tiny!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cissy King's first Welk show

Last Saturday's episode was indeed a fun one, it was also the debut show of dancer extrodinare Cissy King, fresh outta the University of New Mexico!

It all happened forty years ago this month, just does not feel like that long....

Here are some wunnerful highlights from Cissy's first Welk show,

Her very first dance number with Bobby Burgess, titled "Ma! He's Making Eyes At Me."

Here's Cissy in the middle, between Kathy and Dianne Lennon in "Throughly Modern Millie"...nothing like back-to-back roaring twenties numbers to kick off your tenure as a music maker!

And here's our blonde bombshell to your right in the closing group number, "Crusin' Down The River."

That was Cissy's first show in a the old saying goes, "The Best Is Yet To Come!"


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finally.....the blogmeister has returned!

Let us celebrate.....with cake and punch for everyone!

I finally got my motherboard replaced, along with a few tweeks here and there as well as a couple cuss words in fustration followed by a few Norman Bailey "yee-haws" for joy that resulted in my computer being up and running and back in business.....for now.

I got some catching up to do, and not a moment too soon!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Computer Rx update

By the way, I'm still writing from another computer,

Found out from my local computer fix-it-place that my PC's motherboard has kicked the bucket....I'm gonna have to get a new system or endure expensive repairs

It will be a long while until things get back to normal....

As Doc Brown from "Back To The Future" would say, "DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fun with Computers

Right now, I am writing this from another computer, my PC is down for the count.......again, needs a new video card or just another one of those unexplained gremlins wrecking havoc.

Until then, it may be a while until I post again......damn

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Picture of the day (8-22-07)

Kathie Sullivan is in the solo spot, singing one of her beautiful numbers with her pure main reason why the Maestro hired her on the spot in 1976 when she was a student at the University of Wisconsin.

Speaking of Kathie, the Dallas Morning News has a great article of her....many thanks to Shirl for the heads up!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Toke about it with Gail and Dale

You'll never know what gems one would find on this online wonder called YouTube....

Here's an early 1970s Welk gem, Gail Farrell and Dick Dale singing Brewer & Shipley's huge chart hit, "One Toke Over The Line."

And that's no "toke"......ha ha ha

Say Cheese!

Here's Jimmy Roberts serenading to one of his millions of female fans as Lawrence to your right, is taking a picture of the duo before a live studio audience.

Brings new meaning to the term, "Audience Participation".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Live from New York.....'s Saturday Night, but it's not what you're thinking.

It's time for another Dodge Dancing Party (Lawrence Welk Show) and from August of 1958, a live broadcast from New York City in glorious black & white!

Now let's go to some highlights from this week's episode,

Here's the Maestro with the Lennon Sisters, showtime that day just happened to fall on Kathy Lennon's birthday so everyone in the audience and the cast sing her the birthday song!

The host of these wraparounds are by Big Tiny Little,

Here's Tiny with the fellers in a comedic number, their own rendition of the Coasters' classic rock smash "Yakety Yak."

And here's Tiny at the ragtime piano taking Manhattan with his honk tonk tickles of the ivory!

A great episode and a great show for the Big Apple, and of course their legendary Madison Square Garden concert would take place thirteen years and a month later!

Until next week, the Bronx is up and the Battery is down.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bob Smale

Here's one of the many "Bobs" that graced the Lawrence Welk orchestra....

It's pianist and arranger Bob Smale!

The native of Oakland, California previously worked with the Mary Kay Trio and other bands before joining the music makers in 1969.

He and his wife Mary, are the proud parents of three children.

And here's the Maestro congratulating Bob on another terrific piano solo!

That my friends is Bob Smale in a nutshell.


Friday, August 17, 2007

No No Nanette

It's Friday once again, we look into my record collection and find another wunnerful Lawrence Welk album, "No No Nanette."

This one has always been one of my personal favorites, the selections are from the popular Broadway play of the same name and it's very pleasant listening done champagne style!

And I also like the episode where the Welk stars perform the songs, their excitement and enthusiasm shows in their performances.

It also features Mary Lou Metzger's singing the title track, which I do believe has been released by Decca as a 45 single in 1971.

Here's the whole breakdown of the album, find it either on ebay or your record swap shop and you "want to be happy" too!




TEA FOR TWO - featuring Norma Zimmer, Jimmy Roberts & Chorus



I WANT TO BE HAPPY - Tanya Falan Welk & Chorus


NO, NO, NANETTE - Mary Lou Metzger, Bob Lido with The Hotsy Totsy Boys

YOU CAN DANCE WITH ANY GIRL AT ALL - Sandi & Sally with clarinet solo by Peanuts Hucko



TAKE A LITTLE ONE STEP - The Lawrence Welk Singers

GIRLS CHORUS: Norma Zimmer, Ralna English, Sandi Griffiths, Sally Flynn, Tanya Falan Welk & Gail Farrell

BOYS CHORUS: Guy Hovis, Ken Delo, Dick Dale, Bob Lido, Charlie Parlato & Curt Ramsey

Released by Ranwood Records (1971), produced by George Cates, Lawrence Welk and Randy Wood


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Picture of the day (8-15-07)

It's always a grand night for singing with Joe Feeney singing lead vocals and the pretty ladies providing backup support!

And by the way, from this 1974 episode titled "We Can Make Music", the song Joe and the girls are doing is ironically "It's A Grand Night For Singing."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Joe Feeney

It's a jolly Irish birthday today for music maker Joe Feeney!

He's been with Lawrence Welk since 1957 and his solo numbers have always been a popular feature on the show

And today, he still very active with his singing...often with his son Chris

Happy Birthday Joe, Those Irish eyes are smiling down from Galway Bay!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Memories of Precious Memories

In my last post, I said that WGTE showed "Precious Memories" during it's pledge let's rekindle some precious memories from that special,

Here's the opening titles, inspired by "Family Feud"

Kathy, Janet and Mimi Lennon singing "Ava Maria"

Gail Farrell at the piano singing, "You Can Do Anything"

Joe Feeney and son Chris Feeney singing "Walk On"

And what inspiration Welk special would not be complete without Ralna English!

Now that brought back some....precious memories! That was too easy.

I did pledge my own moolah when it first aired back in the day, got the combo pack featuring the DVD, CD and the playing cards...they are very nice.

Especially the playing cards, great for solitare, poker or playing "Card Sharks."


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Salute to Nashville

Before I begin, I just heard this morning that entertainer-musician-game show genius Merv Griffin had died from prostate cancer. He gave us great game shows such as Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy! plus was a nifty talk show host and on many occasions had interviewed Lawrence Welk and the Lennon Sisters as well. I also knew that he and Ralna English were friends as well, as both worked for the charity Childhelp USA.

He will be missed by all, including this blogmaster.

Now on with this week's show, it's a 1977 Salute to Nashville which aired on WBGU, while WGTE aired "Precious Memories" for the 900 billionth time.

Here's a few highlights, the gang with "Take Me Home, Country Roads" for the opening number.

And here's Ava with her cowpokes singing, "Waiting At The End Of Your Run."

How about a little "Bonaparte's Retreat" with Arthur Duncan and Tanya Falan?

And here's Ken doing a little "Walkin' The Floor Over You" with Sandi Griffiths...

Until next week, good wishes and keep a song in your heart!


Barbara Boylan

Start dancing the cha cha with a waltz as well, today is Barbara Boylan's birthday today!

She was Bobby Burgess' dancing partner on the Welk show from 1961 to 1967 and for a brief period in 1979, here's Barbara ah her best through the years!

Her salad days, the 1960s

The 1970s, when she made her "comeback" to the show

And today, still has that sparkling Barbara Boylan smile!

She's been married to Greg Dixon (one of the Blenders) for forty years, and is still dancing up a storm!

Happy Birthday Barbara.....keep dancing to that champagne beat.


Friday, August 10, 2007

On The Groovy Side with the Lennon Sisters

It all began with a brief clip from "Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures,"

The clip I was referring to was the Lennon Sisters with their rendition of The Fifth Dimension's super hit "Up Up And Away", after hearing just a few bars of that song, I liked it and found it catchy....but what album did that song come from?

Enter my friend, the Shirl who runs the popular Lennon Sisters Blog...

She told me that the track came from the Lennon Sisters' On The Groovy Side album, and with that....I found a print of the album on sale for ebay, bid on it and won it.

In addition to "Up Up And Away" the album has plenty of great songs on there, such as "Ode To Billy Joe", "Prisoner Of Love" and "Sunny."

Thanks Shirl....and here's the fun track listings and stuff for "On The Groovy Side"














Released by Dot Records in 1967, produced by Snuffy Garrett


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Picture of the day (8-8-07)

Straight outta Compton, it's Hollywood fun with the Welk stars!

Here's a pair of Charlie Chaplins, Janet Lennon and Aladdin with the Scott Boras of his time, Bob Lido singing "Be Yourself."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Crackers anyone?

You'll never know what gems may turn up on YouTube, here's Tom Netherton and Mary Lou Metzger in a 1970s Nabisco Triscuit commercial.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Summer Sounds of '66

Yesterday, my regular PBS station WGTE was in pledge mode, so they carried "Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures" which was nice. Thankfully, I had WBGU to watch this week's regularly scheduled Welk show, "Summer Sounds" from 1966 with wraps hosted by Peggy Lennon.

Here are some highlights....we will start with the Blenders singing "Go Ahead Charlie" with Charlie Parlato and Jo Ann Castle in the park.

Here's Jo Ann again, this time with Aladdin and Bob Lido in this number titled, "Paddlin' Madeline."

Now we head for the islands with Dick Dale and the Lennon Sisters in this calypso number titled "Marianne."

And after a long hard day of singing and entertaining, what better way to relax and unwind with a picnic in the park.

I hope no one forgot to bring the peanut butter and M&M's!

Regardless of what you were able to watch, it was a great day of champagne viewing as always on the tube.

Next week, WGTE is in pledge mode still....but I do believe WBGU will carry "Salute To Nashville."


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Russ Klein

And now, here's one of the fine saxophone players from the Welk orcehstra...Russ Klein!

From 1957 to 1982, he was a mainstay in the reed section....making his own mark in rhythm and rhyme

The native of Worcester, Massachusetts (same place where Norman Bailey is from) previously played with the David Rose and Freddy Martin orchestras.

Also, he was married to the Maestro's personal secretary Lois Lamont from 1975 until his passing in 1996.

And you watched from many reruns that Russ sure can swing on the sax!


Friday, August 03, 2007

My Album Collection: Live At Lake Tahoe

Straight from my record collection, here's another vintage Lawrence Welk album that's worth listening to,

And best of all, it's Live! From the fabulous resort town of Lake Tahoe!

This was first recorded during the summer of 1978, when Lawrence Welk and his musical family were doing their annual summer engagement of concerts from the Harrah's casino and hotel in Tahoe, maybe some of you guys had the chance to see them perform there....but this album contains live performances of the music makers doing what they do best.

It all makes for very pleasant listening on this fine two-record set, here's a complete rundown of all the songs.


Fanfares and Opening Announcements

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

When Day Is Done - orchestra and chorus conducted by George Cates

Granada - Anacani

Who Can I Turn To - Joe Feeney and chorus

Deep River - Henry Cuesta


You Light Up My Life - Guy & Ralna

I Won't Last A Day Without You - Tom Netherton

Chattanooga Choo Choo - orchestra with Gail, Sandi & Mary Lou

The Way We Were - Kathie Sullivan with Joe Livoti

Wait 'Til The Sun Shines, Nellie - tap dancing by Arthur Duncan


The Hawaiian Wedding Song - Ken Delo & Girls

Dance Of The Comedians - Myron Floren

Beer Barrell Polka - Myron Floren

You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me - Dick Dale

You Made Me Love You - Johnny Zell

Mississippi Mud - Larry Hooper & Quartet

Catch A Falling Star - Girls' Chorus


Star Wars - orchestra

Cotton Fields - The Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins

La Vie En Rose - Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren and Jimmy Roberts

Bucket To The South - Ava Barber

Panama - orchestra (solos by Johnny Zell, Russ Klein, Bob Smale, Bob Havens & Paul Humphrey)

Panama Reprise - orchestra

Adios, Au Revior, Auf Wiedershen - entire cast


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kathy Lennon and the Otwells

Today, we have make that three.....birthdays of music makers today,
Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters

And the Otwell Twins, Roger and David!

Kathy joined the Welk show with her sisters on Christmas Eve 1955 and stayed on until all four departed in 1968. She's known as the "athletic" one, and has a beautiful, pure singing voice...who also sang duets with Steve Smith.

Today, Kathy and husband Jim Daris make their home in Branson....

The Otwells joined the music makers in 1977 from Tulia, Texas and teamed up the Aldridge Sisters as the Aldridges and Otwells.

They sing mostly country and Christian ispirational music, and today...both brothers are happily married and make their home back in Texas in the community of Amarillo.

Happy Birthday Kathy, Roger and David, here's a champagne toast to you!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sandi Griffiths

Welk fans everywhere celebrate, today is Sandi Griffiths' birthday!

Our favorite red-headed singer was a part of the music makers from 1968 to 1980,

Here's Sandi in action with her singing partner Sally Flynn as everyone's favorite duo of Sandi & Sally, they always have alot of fun together!

And then she joined forces with Gail Farrell and Mary Lou Metzger to become "The Trio" and that also was very popular as well....

And Sandi has done solo numbers as well, singing "And I Love You So" and "The Way We Were."

But, in her words, her greatest triumph is her role as wife, mother and grandmother....she and husband Brent have been married for 38 years and have seven kids (Jenni, Ami, Ben, Emili, Daniel, Sam and Chad), a foster daughter (Debbi) and an ever growing stable of grandkids.

And she still very young and beautiful, both inside and out, Happy Birthday Sandi!