Monday, April 30, 2007

Steve Smith takes Manhattan

Here's another great Welk moment from YouTube, from 1969...Steve Smith sings one of Richard Rodgers classic songs "Manhattan"
And here's an interesting tidbit, from this weekend's NFL draft....the New York Giants selected in the second round, a wide receiver from USC named Steve Smith!

See how all this fits together....what a coincidence!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Southtown USA

This week, it's a classic black & white episode as the Champagne Music makers celebrate the Old West with "Southtown USA", here's the gang gathered 'round the piano with Frank Scott tickling the ivories.

First aired on February 22, 1964....tonight's featured episode has several classic numbers, such as Norma Zimmer's "Wayward Wind" and the Lennon Sisters' "Hummingbird". Lawrence also features his special guest stars of the evening, the fabulous and legendary Mills Brothers with the numbers with "Paper Doll" and "It Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You".

Back to our Western-themed show, Larry Hooper does a great rendition of "This Old House" while the orchestra provides the studio audience with some great dancing music, such as "Misty" with Frank Scott at piano and "Stockholm" with great harpischord work by Frank as well! Also, Jerry Burke demonstrates his magic at the Novachord with the "Third Man" theme with help from Buddy Merrill and Neil Levang at the guitars.

And what show wouldn't be complete without Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan dancing to "Buttons and Bows".

Aladdin dresses up as an Old West old timer when he recites "Shifting, Whispering Sands" and Jo Ann Castle does a great job with her ragtime piano rendition of "Ragtime Piano Gal" with help from Bob Lido at vocals. If you throw in Jimmy Roberts' number "Beyond The Blue Horizon" and you got yourself a classic show worth watching over and over again!

This week, Mary Lou Metzger interviews Barbara Boylan, who danced with Bobby Burgess on the show from 1961 to 1967. She talks about how she started dancing at an young age, how she and Bobby first met...her adventures on the show and her courtship and marriage to one of the Blenders Greg Dixon. This year, they would be married for forty years....and have two fine children, David and Dee Dee and several grandchildren.

Next week....it's another mod sixties episode, this time in living color titled "Southern Show".....get your VCRs warmed up for this one!


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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Watching the NFL Draft

I wonder if Charlie Parlato has his players draft day ready?...But at least (Bobby Burgess, Jack Imel and Athur Duncan) can at least dance across the field.

On that note....I watching the 2007 NFL Draft on ESPN, my team the Cincinnati Bengals are picking 18th and I am hoping to go defense. So far, day one has it's share of suprise selections, no-brainers and suspense.

It all makes for great TV, just like the Champagne Music Makers do every Saturday night....the only difference is that Matt Millen (of the Detroit Lions) has never picked Gail, Sandi and Mary Lou in the first round....as wide receivers.

But then again, the trio are more dependable than the Lions' current crop of wideouts!
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Friday, April 27, 2007

ABQ Tribune article on Cissy King

Here's another great reason why doing Google searches for Champagne Music Makers is a good thing....

I found a very nice article done by the Albuqerque Tribune about Cissy King, it's a real good one! Just click on following link below to read.

FORMER LAWRENCE WELK DANCER SHARES MEMORIES, TALENT
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Dueling Accordianists

It's polka time! Here's Myron Floren and Joey Schmidt playing with their squeezeboxes.....and since this is Friday, just remember to get your polka on to get your weekend off to a great start!
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Picture of the day (4-25-07)

From the 1977 episode "Song and Dance Men", here's the Maestro introducing the newest additions to the Musical Family.....the Otwell Twins, Roger and David from Tulia, Texas.

I have been a Welk fan for most of my life....and I admit that I still can't tell them apart.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tim Padilla's 2007 Welk Tour Pics

Since you guys liked the webmaster's pictures of the 2007 Live Lawrence Welk Show...I'm glad to announce that accordianist Tim Padilla has posted his pictures of the show on his website!

They are real good....just click on the picture above to see them!
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Monday, April 23, 2007

America at Play

Here it is....America at Play which originally aired on April 10, 1976 celebrating some of the USA's favorite pastimes....champagne style!

And low, lets go fly some kites with the Semonski Sisters singing "Lets Go Fly A Kite."

Our host of the wraparounds this week is Gail Farrell, she talks about her career as a singer on the Welk show and her endeavours as a songwriter...plus she gives updates on her family, especially her twins Erin and Lauren.

And this is the show where Gail mentions that her favorite baseball team is the San Francisco Giants....just like her husband Ron Anderson.

Anyway, back to the show....if I digress,

There were several great numbers featured, the gang opened the show with "Aint We Got Fun" and several great band instrumentals were featured, such as Henry Cuesta's clarinet solo of "Time On My Hands", "Up A Lazy River" and a George Cates-conducted masterpiece of "Moonglow."

And here's Gail, Sandi & Mary Lou picking up frequent flyer points with "We Can Fly"....nothing but blue skies ahead!

Gail herself, had a terrific solo number with "Downtown", the Petula Clark hit that she sang on her first Welk show....plus Bobby & Cissy looked dapper in their top hat and tails with "Puttin' On The Ritz." Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts rode the scenic LA freeways on their bicycle with "Bicycle Built For Two" and you have Tanya sounding nice by just "Breezin' Along With The Breeze."

Also, don't forget to "Take Your Girlie To The Movies" just like Bobby & Cissy, Jack & Mary Lou did!

Arthur Duncan did some tapping and jogging with "Running Wild" while Guy & Ralna sang John Denver's classic "Take Me Home Country Roads." Joe Feeney sang one of his popular requests, "Around the World" and Tom Netherton countered with "He Touched Me."

And now it's time for the company picnic! Ken Delo finds himself in the middle of the action singing "Take Me Out To The Ol' Ballgame."

And you also have Ava Barber providing the vittles with "Y'all Come" as well!

That's it for the show....next week is a B&W classic from the sixties titled "Southtown USA," so be sure to tune in....and have some fun!

As for me....I gotta unpack and catch up on some email, those weekends in Connecticut can take alot outta ya.


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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Back home again in Toledo

Howdy everyone....it's just a few minutes before midnight, I just got returned home over a hour ago. My weekend in New Haven was fun....got to see Yale University (where my sister goes to grad school) plus got to see the sights and then some.

Right now, I am dead tired.....I'll post again tommorrow afternoon with the review for last Saturday's Welk episode....take care
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guy & Ralna and preparing for New Haven

Here's Ralna....showing alot of shoulder for you fellas....and Guy getting into the swing of things from the 1977 episode "Song and Dance Men"

Right now, I'm getting ready to leave tommorow for New Haven (home of Yale University) for the weekend....got my essentials packed and it won't be until at least Monday til' I can blog again....it would probably be my write-up of this week's episode.

Maybe I will possibly run into some Welk fans there....one may never know.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Picture of the day (4-18-07)

Here's guitarist extrodinare Neil Levang accompaning Tanya Falan from a late 1960s Welk episode....special thanks to Mark Levang (Neil's son) for supplying this wunnerful capture from the Golden Age of Welk!
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Sandi Griffiths article from BYU magazine

Here's one of those Pleasant Valley Sunday moments I love to find when I am doing Google searches for Welk stars....there's a very nice article of Sandi Griffiths from BYU Magazine titled "Singing Through Life", here she talks about her family and her singing career...and it includes two nice pictures of her, one recent and another with Sally Flynn from one of the Welk shows.

Speaking of Sandi, I also found this nice webpage of her....I think it's still a work-in-progress, but it still looks nice....it even links up to the Sandi page on my webpage!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How to speak French....by Sandi & Sally

If you want to learn a new language, such as French, here's a fun way to learn....Sandi Griffiths and Sally Flynn from the 1971 episode, "The World" gives us a wunnerful French lesson!
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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Springtime

You know it's springtime when the flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining and the birds are singing....but also when PBS airs this Welk gem from April 23, 1977 titled "Springtime".

Here are our girls to get things started by doing the show's introductions!

The first number includes the ladies with "April Showers" all dressed nice with their raincoats. Other great numbers in this program include fine solo numbers by Tom Netherton with "April Love", Joe Feeney with "Sweetheart Tree", Ava Barber with "You Are My Sunshine" made famous by Louisiana's "Singing Governor" Jimmie Davis and of course Bobby & Cissy's dance routine to "Love Will Keep Us Together."

Nice outfits eh? They never looked so....citrusy.

The band, as usual, was on top of their game with a few instrumentals....such as "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" with a nice clarinet solo by Henry Cuesta. Kathie Sullivan was brilliant with her solo, "Spring Is Here" and there's Guy & Ralna singing one of their songs from their "Love Songs" album with the always popular "Listen To My Smile."

How the heck can you listen to a smile? Can any of Ralna's teeth pick up radio signals like Gilligan from a particular episode of "Gilligan's Island?"

Just curious of course....now let's "spring" ahead for more show.

The show was jammed packed with solos, even one by the mysterious Jamie Corey with "I Got Rhythm". There was also Jimmy Roberts with his rendition of "Springtime In The Rockies" and Ken Delo telling everyone that you should always "Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella."

Then Gail, Sandi and Mary Lou gave us a walking tour of the studios with "Walking In The Sunshine"....followed by the fellas dressed in Dodger Blue playing some baseball and singing "Spring, Spring, Spring."

Lawrence also had a special guest star, famed pianist Roger Williams playing "Autumn Leaves" and "The Impossible Dream" all decked out in vintage 1970s duds...all in all, a great Springtime show!

Mary Lou's guest this week is Kathie Sullivan, who talked about growing up in Wisconsin...and joining the Welk show thanks to being Madison's "Champagne Lady" while the show was in town for a concert. She even talked about recent events, working at a retirement home in Dallas, TX....where she lives....and is in charge of entertainment....and she also drives the bus as well!

Next week...it's the America At Play episode, but I will be in New Haven next week visiting my sister who's attending grad school at Yale, so in the meantime, keep a "spring" in your step and keep a song in your heart!
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Michael Redman's birthday

Today is another fine music maker's birthday today....Michael Redman!

I know what you're thinking, he's shares his special day with America's favorite holiday Tax Day....and no, he has not, or never have worked for the IRS.

Mike is from Portland, Oregon.....and prior to joining the Champagne Music Makers as part of the mixed trio of Gail, Ron and Michael...has performed all over Hollywood with a who's who of entertainers, such as the Johnny Mann Singers, Frank Sinatra and Donny & Marie Osmond just to name a few.

Today, he and his lovely wife Cinda, make their home back in the Portland area....where he still likes to perform, especially with his fellow Welk alumni on the Forever Blowing Bubbles concert tour. I have had the pleasure to meet him and for this webmaster...I am proud to say he is a good friend of mine.

Happy Birthday Mike.....make sure the tax man doesn't rain on your parade!
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shine On Harvest Moon

Yes...I know that autumn is a long ways further down the road, but still...this is a great picture.

The fellow sandwiched in between the girls is guest singer Harry Middlebrooks, and this is from the 1967 episode "Together We Go".....ol' Harry is an accomplished entertainer, and you can know more about him by visiting his OFFICIAL WEBPAGE.

Shine on that Harvest Moon indeed boys and girls....shine on.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's Party Time!!!!!!

It may be only Thursday, but here's some great news from the blogmeister!

I finally got the dreaded Geocities bug fixed....so Welkgirls.com is back up and running!

Also, I just got me an external hard drive for my computer....80GB of pure fun....now I can clear up some clutter from my main drive and start finally have some real fun!

But first, I gotta go to work....then I can cut a rug.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Picture of the day (4-11-07)

From the "Salute To Mexico" episode from 1973, here's Tanya Falan with her steamy and seductive version of "Besame Mucho"....and she's looking fine!

Also....Besame Mucho was also the same number Sanjaya sung on last night's American Idol, just another reason you should vote for him
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Fun with Yahoo! Geocities technical problems

If you guys tried to visit Welkgirls.com today.....you may noticed that the front page is displaying "Under Construction" and that jazz.

I just got off the phone with the Yahoo! Geocities tech folks....they are working on it, for some reason they are having techincal bugs that is causing this mess, but they say that things will be fixed in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

This is so much fun (heavy sarcasm).......groan
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Anacani

Today, we celebrate the birthday of one of our most popular music makers and a very sweet and beautiful person too!

It's Anacani's birthday today!

Born in Mexico to a large and musical family, she grew up in Escondido when her family moved to the United States. She was already a star in the Latin world, singing on many television programs in both Mexico and in South America. It was in 1972 when a chance meeting with the Maestro at the Welk Resort in Escondido that would lead her to Champagne Music stardom!

At the entrance of the resort's restaurant, Anacani upon seeing Lawrence go by, told her folks who were with her, "There he is!"....the Maestro, making notice asked her, "Can you sing?"....and soon enough, she became the resort's Singing Hostess and later on the January 10, 1973 episode "Salute To Mexico", made her first appearance singing "Luna".

She soon was made a regular member of the Welk show....and the rest is history.

Singing is only one of Anacani's many talents, she can also play the guitar and the accordian (just like Myron Floren!) and is an excellent cook and seamstress....she makes her own clothes and the outfits you see when she is out performing live in concert with her Welk friends is made by her!

She and her family still lives in Escondido, and since 1978 has been married to Rudy Echeverria who works in the justice system as a judge. They are parents of a daughter, Priscilla who recently graduated from the University of California-San Diego.

CumpleaƱos felices Anacani! Or in English....Happy Birthday Anacani!


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Monday, April 09, 2007

Problems with the Internets

Howdy everyone, hope your Easter weekend was pleasant.

As much fun and rewarding it is....running Welk Musical Family.com can have it's share of challenges and problems. For some reason....Yahoo! is running VERRRRYYYYY slow today, and since the World's Famous Welk Fanpage is run on GeoCities power.....that means it takes forever to upload pictures, make minor edits and especially saving those changes, which has taken longer time than usual.

A webmaster's job is never done....especially when he's still learning more about the mystery of computers.
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Show 1980

Hope your Easter Sunday is off to a good start, this week's Welk episode is great proof of that. It's the Easter show, first aired on April 5, 1980 with wraparounds hosted by Ralna English. Here's the Maestro leading the singers and the band with the number, "Easter Parade."

During the course of the show, we are treated to several great numbers; such as Jim Turner's excellent rendition of "Peace In The Valley" on the guitar and Tom Netherton giving his all with "Rise Again". Also getting into the act is Guy & Ralna with one of their favorite spirituals, "Do Lord".

This week's show has several fine instrumentals, such as "It Might As Well Be Spring" which now is timely considering it still feels like winter here on the Eastern seaboard.

But I digress....back to the show,

The band played a great "Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet" with Arthur Duncan doing his taps to the cause and there's a great Johnny Zell trumpet solo with "My Tribute". And here's a little polka for you with Myron Floren and Joey Schmidt (of Napoleon, North Dakota) with the Happy Yodler Polka.

Everyone was in that Easter mood, the Aldridges and Otwells sang a nice "Put a Little Love In Your Heart", Ava Barber sang "A Tisket, A Tasket" with some vocal backing of "No, No, No, No" from the orchestra and Ken Delo sang about "April Showers".

Ken also puts on the bunny costume as he tried to steal some eggs during Anacani's number "Peter Cottontail" but she is wise to his scheme and all is well as you can see here.....

Bobby & Elaine do a very nice dance to "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and Norma Zimmer sings about the "Old Rugged Cross." For the finale, the gang is led by choral director Bob Ballard for "God So Loved The World" followed by "Alleluia" with some nice work both brass sections of trumpet and trombones.

To sum things up, a very nice episode to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Next week....the episode shall be "Springtime" and hopefully, here in Toledo....it will actually feel like spring for once!

Take care....enjoy your chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs with the ones you love.


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Peggy Lennon

Happy Easter everyone....and also, we all like to wish Peggy Lennon a very wunnerful and Happy Birthday as well!

Peggy, the second oldest of the Lennon Sisters, has been part of the Welk show from 1955 to 1968....and was married to trumpet player Dick Cathcart from 1964 until his death in 1993. After singing with her sisters at Welk Branson during the 1990s, Peggy retired from show business in 1999. She now lives happily in Northridge, CA with her second husband Dr. Bob Felt, and enjoys spending many Easters (just one of many occasions) with her kids and grandkids.

Happy Birthday Peggy.....and Happy Easter as well!
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Saturday, April 07, 2007

And now....another moment of Dave Edwards

Saturdays are meant for the sax....and Dave has that message down!

Easter is tommorrow, hope yours is much more warmer than it is where I live...
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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Play Ball!

Good times are here once again in Toledo, the back-to-back International League Champion Mud Hens open their season tonight....although it is on the road in Louisville, and our home opener is next week.

Anyone ready for a three-peat?

One quick Welk note....for all you Guy & Ralna fans out there, you can be on board to Alaska with them this June....just click on GUY & RALNA CRUISE
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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Picture of the day (4-4-07)

Easter Sunday is approaching.....Jo Ann Castle and her "Chicks" are out looking for some eggs and playing the piano too!
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Alice Lon.....country gal

Decked out in her buckskins and stetsons, Champagne Lady Alice Lon leads her fellows in song from a vintage 1950s black & white episode.
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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Musical Family of Nations

This week, it's a trip around the world! Actually, the episode is "Musical Family of Nations" which originally aired on November 29, 1975 and the wraparounds are hosted by accordianist Tim Padilla....whom I saw and met at last Tuesday's concert!

The gang opens the show with, "It's A Big Wide Wonderful World" followed soon after by Myron Floren paying homage to Norway with a Norwegian polka, "Johnny Oslo Shadish" with a little dancing by Cissy King and Bobby Burgess.

Well ladies....you like the Happy Norwegian's legs? Lets move on with the show.

Guy & Ralna sung about the "Family of Man" while the trio of Gail, Sandi and Mary Lou sang about "Wonderful Copenhagen". Tom Netherton did a great job with Wayne Newton's signature hit, "Danke Schoen" and the Maestro got into the act himself twice, playing "Over the Waves" at the squeezebox and later leading the audience with a rousing "Du Du Leigst Mir Im Herzen".

And what musical family of nations show wouldn't be complete without Tanya, when she is joined by her Italian friends Bob Lido, Charlie Parlato and non-Italian Bob Davis for "Eh Cumpari". It always leaves you with a smile on your face!

The orchestra did great with the following instrumentals, Henry Cuesta played "Granada" on his clarinet, George Cates conducted the band with a medley of Jewish songs, complete with Cissy & Bobby Dancing, and Arthur Duncan danced to the Sea Jam Blues.

Ken Delo, with everyone dressed as bananas, sang Alouette....which in my little opinion, was kinda a tribute to the Montreal Alouettes, a Canadian Football team. And there's Jimmy Roberts singing to an English folk song by Ben Johnson, "Drink To Me With Thine Eyes" with Charlotte Harris at the cello and Bob Ralston at the piano.

Ava Barber sang about poor Ol' Calija, we then visited Galway Bay with Joe Feeney and Anacani sang "Love Me With All Your Heart" or "Cuando Calienta El Sol" in Spanish. The gang then comes together for the finale with "I Give My Thanks To America"...a nice way to put a kabosh on this international show.

Next week is the Easter show from 1980, should be a good one for the forthcoming Easter holiday....see you all then!


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