Sunday, September 30, 2007

Say It With Music....on the last ABC show

This week, a classic repeat we know as "Say It With Music" which really at the time, the last regular Welk show aired on ABC before the move to syndication.

From 1971, here's Myron Floren getting things started with "Say It With Music" with a young Richard Maloof at bass.

Here's Sally Flynn and Sandi Griffiths with "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" which was their song when they first auditioned for the Maestro.

Remember the Power Of Three? Here's another power trio, Clay Hart with Buddy Merrill and Neil Levang, known informally as "The Three Musketeers" with "Gentle On My Mind."

Now here's Ralna English & Guy Hovis singing "True Love."

And here's Tanya Falan singing "That's Amore" at an Italian restaurant...

That's cool......dinner and a show, you can't beat that!

Until next week, same Welk time.....same Welk channel.....depends on where you live as long as you say it with music!


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Power of Three

Here's a look at some of the fine threesomes that appeared on the Lawrence Welk Show throughout it's history....

Of course, there is Gail, Sandi & Mary Lou

Anyone remember Jack Imel, Arthur Duncan and Bobby Burgess doing these dance-offs?

You got served....champagne style!

And back in the early 1960s, the Lennon Sisters were a trio....when Dianne left briefly to raise her family.

From 1977, Anacani teams up with Gail and Sandi for a nice number....

Clay Hart teams up with Buddy Merrill and Richard Maloof for some of that rhythm....

And finally, the mixed trio of Gail, Ron and Michael....

Now that's what I call the power of three!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bill Page

Let us salute one of the fine Welk musicians from the classic Black & White era, remember Bill Page from the reeds section?

The native of Chicago joined the Musical Family in 1951, when they made their move out to Southern California and started out on local television. When the show made it's national debut on ABC in 1955, he played a nice sax solo of "Unchained Melody" on the pilot episode. Until his departure in 1965, he was a fan favorite with his skills at the saxophone, clarinet and flute.

Since, he has worked with stars such as Judy Garland, Barry Manilow, Ted Mack and has appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He and his wife Musa today make their home in Studio City, CA....and have a grown son, Scotty.

Once, while the Welk show was filmed live on location in Florida....he played two clarinets at the same time.....while water skiing! I would like to see footage of that.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

OETA's Full 2007-08 schedule is out!

Great news, the Oklahoma Network has released the full list of Lawrence Welk Show episodes for the 2007-08 season!

It's got a lot of great interviews by Mary Lou, with the Aldridge Sisters, Otwell Twins, Rose Weiss, Rocky Rockwell, Charlotte Harris and Dee Dee Lennon just to name a few.

The episodes airing are diverse, and gonna be alot of fun to watch....mixed in well with repeats from years past.

The list can be found by CLICKING HERE AT OETA'S WELK SITE.

Lynn Anderson

There's a birthday bash going on in the Rose Garden, cause' today is Lynn Anderson's birthday!

Lynn of course was a member of the Music Makers for just a season (1967-68), but that led to great things for the native of Grand Forks, ND.

Happy Birthday Lynn.....and that's a guaranteed "Promises, Promises".


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Arthur Duncan

It's Arthur Duncan's birthday today, Happy Birthday Arthur!

He's got the fastest feet this side of the Carolinas, and in addition to being on Lawrence Welk's show, has performed all around the world, appeared on other TV shows such as "Diagnosis Murder", movies like "Tap" and appeared on stage as well.

Oh, and since the new season of "Dancing With The Stars" has of these days, they should consider having Arthur on as a guest star....

He'll teach a thing or two about the art of the tap dance!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Guy Hovis

Today is Guy Hovis' birthday today, Happy Birthday Guy!

The Tupelo, MS native....same hometown of a very popular singer, joined the Music Makers in 1970. Just a year earlier, he married Ralna English and the two would be Musical History Makers on the Maestro's television show.

He's now happily remarried, to Sis Lundy since 2002 and still works as Senator Trent Lott's state director in his native Mississippi.

Just something to do whenever he's not singing!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Salute To Jimmy McHugh

This week, Lawrence Welk salutes the music of Jimmy McHugh....many of his tunes you may have heard before on previous shows.

But on this Saturday, the Music Makers salute his body of work in just one hour of fine television's the Maestro leading the studio audience during the number, "On The Sunny Side Of The Street."

There's a whole plethora of great numbers in the show, such as Ava Barber's treatment of "You're A Sweetheart (If There Ever Was One)"....

And there's Jim Turner with "I Don't Have Anything But Love"....done very nice on guitar of course,

How about Jimmy's first big hit from 1924, titled "When My Sugar Walks Down The Street" sung by the Aldridge Sisters and Otwell Twins?

And here's Ralna English in the solo spot with, "Don't Blame Me."

Other numbers include, "Doin' The New Lodown" by Arthur Duncan....the chorus opening the show with "I Feel A Song Coming On", and the orchestra playing "I'm In The Mood For Love" just to name a few.

Now it's time for Mary Lou's interview segment....

...and this week folks, Ralna is her guest in the hot seat

Here, she talks about the work on her very own PBS pledge special, "From My Heart" along with the gifts you get during pledge week....her family cookbook, which I proudly have a copy of my own....and her life so far in Arizona, her daughter Julie and much much more.

So far, three weeks in and it's been a great season of Welk and bubbles on public TV....until next week, keep those VCRs humming and a song in your heart!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Elaine Balden

Today is Elaine Balden's birthday today....time to celebrate!

She is known as Bobby Burgess' third...and current dancing partner, having done so since 1979. The native Texan, now a mother of two with husband Jim Balden, continues to show the world a thing or two about dancing.

Happy Birthday Elaine!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gail Farrell plays the piano

Here's Gail playing "Oklahoma Hills" from 1971.....

....and from 1973, she teaches the Three "B's" of music; Bach, Beethoven and Bacharach

Now it's 1976, and with the rest of her friends, plays "I Love A Piano",

And finally from the 2004 Precious Memories special, performs "You Can Do Anything."


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Steve Smith

Today is the birthday of one of the Blenders, Steve Smith...who was with the Music Makers from 1965 to 1969.

In addition to his work with the Blenders, he also was a soloist and fronted the Curt Ramsey Quintet. Today, he and his wife Hope live in the Lake Tahoe region.

Happy Birthday Steve!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Memories of The Blenders

Anyone remember the Blenders from the mid-sixties episodes? Let us refresh your memory here...

They consist of Bob Duncan, Steve Smith, Greg Dixon and Johnny Johnson

Later when Johnson left, Paul Sjolund took his place....

Later, the quartet broke up....but Steve Smith stayed around as a soloist until 1969. When those fellers were around, they made such great melodies and memories as well!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big City USA

Saturday Night has come and gone, and it brought us another fine Lawrence Welk episode this week....titled "Big City USA".

From it's 27th season on the air (1981-82), here's the Maestro getting the show started!

The show, of course, was about the big cities of the's Anacani singing about New York, well actually the neighborhood of Spanish Harlem with the song "Spanish Harlem".

You always thought Gail Farrell was the only Welk star that's associated with Petula Clark's classic hit "Downtown"....we'll here is the Aldridge Sisters and the Otwell Twins with their own rendition of that hit record.

Now, here's Joe Feeney with "Oklahoma" accompanied by Myron Floren on accordian.

And now, the mixed trio of Gail, Ron and Michael singing about penthouses and the benefits of living high in the sky....and it's not a reference to sky-high rents most associated with big city living.

How about a ride on the trolley? Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzger are in the number, "The Trolley Song."

Other numbers in the show include Kathie Sullivan's "Kansas City", Jim Turner with "Rhinestone Cowboy" along with Ava Barber's rendition of "Gotta Travel On".

The show had a fantastic closing number, the orchestra performed and the singers sung to "Chicago" which was a nice way to end a show.

And now, it's time for Mary Lou's weekly interview....mystery guest, enter and sign in please!

It's Bobby Burgess, he talked about some of the fun times he had on the Welk Show, how the TV show "Dancing With The Stars" has caused a bull market on Catallian (also known as ballroom) dancing and his family plus some sentimental memories of fellow Welk star and father-in-law Myron Floren.

Next week, I found it's a salute to Jimmy McHugh...whoever the heck he keep and song in your heart and your VCRs humming!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Dick Dale

Today is Dick Dale's birthday, the most famous man ever to come from Algona, Iowa!

He's been with the Music Makers since they started on local television in 1951, and been with them through the years on ABC, syndication and now public television.

And he's still going on strong, recently singing at Branson and on the Live Lawrence Welk Show tours.

Plus, he is one fine saxophone player!

Happy Birthday Dick!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Musical Salute to Charlie

Here's a nice memory of Charlie Parlato, performing with his sons David and Christopher in the number, "Big Noise From Winnetka" from the 1976 "Italian Special" episode.

Here is Charlie's obituary from Northwest can read all about and pay your respects as well.


Love Will Keep Us Together

From last week's show, here's Tanya Falan with her rendition of the Captain and Tennile's smash hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together" courtesy of our friends from You Tube.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Charlie Parlato: 1919-2007

I received sad news from the Yahoo! Welknotes group I belong to that trumpet player/vocalist Charlie Parlato passed on last Saturday.

A native of Fredonia, New York, Charlie was a member of the Music Makers from 1962 to 1982, who joined Lawrence from Kay Kyser's band. We all remember him as an excellent trumpet player, a fine singer, a great comic and most of all...a wunnerful man with a wunnerful family.

His memorial mass will be held in Westlake Village, CA on September 15th, you can send a card of condolences to his widow Margaret and his family at


Monday, September 10, 2007

The Hair Essentials

Here are some "hair-raising" pictures featuring some of sour Welk stars and their wild hairstyles that made for excellent television!

Guy Hovis with his afro....

Mary Lou Metzger with her "Lois Lane played by Margot Kidder" 'do...

Tom Netherton going shaggy for the ladies.....

And finally, here's Tanya going short on everybody!


Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Season Premiere

It's opening kickoff weekend for the Lawrence Welk Show on public television, after getting back home from the game around 3:00 AM (damn post-game traffic jams...) I got to watch this week's episode that I taped on my VCR.

This one is the season's premiere show from September of 1976, here's the lowdown.

Here's Tanya Falan with her rendition of the Captain & Tennile's "Love Will Keep Us Together" ain't the Seventies until you heard this classic hit!

There were plenty of great tunes, familiar with Welk fans of all ages....the band opened the show with Glen Miller's "In The Mood" followed by Tom Netherton with "That's America To Me"....quite appropriate since the show was taped and aired during the USA's 200th birthday.

Also, Bobby & Cissy danced to one of their favorite tunes, "Lets Face The Music And Dance." We also have Arthur Duncan saluting Bill "Bojangles" Robinson dancing to "Doing The New Lowdown."

And that friends is Jimmy Roberts with Gail, Sandi & Mary Lou dressed to the nines.

Were just getting started here folks, here's Guy Hovis & Ralna English singing one of the most painful songs ever recorded, "Feelings."

Mind you, Guy & Ralna did a superb and wunnerful job with that song in particular.......

Here's Ken Delo singing his standard favorite, "The Hawaiian Wedding Song".

And the hula dancers in the distance? That's Tanya to the left and Mary Lou Metzger to the right.

We also had the Showboat medley featuring Larry Hooper's solo of "Ol' Man River" coupled with Ava Barber singing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and a nice "Waltz Of The Flowers" danced by the Maestro and Cissy King.

The Semonski Sisters were featured in the show, Henry Cuesta did a clarinet solo of a Joe Rizzo arrangement of "Cuesta's Fiesta" and a nice polka by Myron Floren with lots of members such as Barney Liddell and Johnny Zell got the chance to dance with the audience!

How about this for a grand finale? Norma Zimmer leading the musical family in the singing of "America The Beautiful."

A great way to start the season, it's a very fine episode indeed.

Mary Lou interviewed Arthur Duncan after the show, he talked about his career and working with famous stars such as Dick Van Dyke and Peter Falk (of Columbo fame).

Next week is another new one, I gotta get my VCR ready for that one!