Monday, June 28, 2010

Strike Up The Band

The year was 1964....

Beatlemania has struck the land as the British Invasion of American Music was in full force.

In the midst of all this, Lawrence Welk and his Music Makers carry on by striking up the band, which happens to be this week's episode.

Highlights from the classic black & white episode include....

....behind the scenes at a taping of Norwegian Bandstand

....the coal mines hiring zoo animals to replace striking miners

.....and the Maestro discussing the Designated Hitter rule with the Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick.

STRIKE UP THE BAND - May 16, 1964

1. STRIKE UP THE BAND - the orchestra
2. MY WONDERFUL ONE - Norma Zimmer & Jimmy Roberts
3. THE BUNNY HUG, VALENTINO TANGO, LAMDEB WALK & THE TWIST - danced by Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan
4. THIS COULD BE THE START OF SOMETHING BIG - Bob Ralston at the piano
5. SNUGGLED ON YOUR SHOULDER (CUDDLED IN YOUR ARMS) - sung and danced by Dick Dale and Dee Dee Lennon

6. A BLUES SERENADE - the orchestra
7. SUGAR BLUES - Norman Bailey on trumpet
8. COTTON FIELDS - Larry Hooper with Buddy Merrill and Neil Levang on guitar
9. SLIPPED DISC - Jack Imel on the marimba and Mahlon Clark on clarinet

10. THE HAPPY NORWEGIAN - Myron Floren and Jo Ann Castle on accordion with Buddy Hayes on tuba, Johnny Klein on drums, Neil Levang on banjo and Buddy Merrill on guitar
11. I LOVE THEE - Norma Zimmer
12. JOHNNY OSLO SHADISH - danced by Bobby and Barbara with Myron and Jo Ann on accordion
13. MOCKINGBIRD HILL - Kathy, Janet, Dee Dee and Peggy Lennon
14. THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE - Charlotte Harris an her cello with flautists Orie Amodeo, Bill Page and Russ Klein

15. LITTLE GREY HOME IN THE WEST - Joe Feeney with Frank Scott at the piano
16. AMERICAN PATROL - Jo Ann Castle at the honky tonk piano with Johnny Klein at drums and Neil Levang at banjo
17. SIXTEEN TONS - sung and danced by Bobby Burgess, Jack Imel and Arthur Duncan
18. I AM THE UNITED STATES - spoken word recitation by Aladdin
19. THE NATIONAL EMBLEM MARCH - the orchestra

This was a delightful, timeless episode, and I am very impressed with how well the video quality has held up after forty six years since it was first recorded.

Also, this was an rare example of early videotaping that survived, considering that back in 1964 it was a new and expensive way of recording. It was not uncommon for networks to tape over, or wipe programs in order to save money. Supposedly, producers and executives did not have the foresight to archive television programs which meant some episodes or even entire television series were lost forever.

However, Lawrence saw the value of preserving episodes of his show, and we are all thankful for his decision to this day.

There were many milestones in this week's show. It marked Dee Dee Lennon's return to the show after a four year hiatus of raising her family. This was also one of the first episodes that Arthur Duncan appeared as a regular member of the cast after guesting many times. And it was also great to see Ford Frick, who at the time was Commissioner of Major League Baseball attending the show as a member of the studio audience.

I wonder if the Maestro was pleading on Roger Maris' behalf of granting him true ownership of baseball's single season home rum record?

Anyway, until the next new episode comes along....keep a song in your heart and learn how to hit those tricky curveballs!

1 comment:

Shebear29 said...

By any chance do you have a copy of the words to I AM THE UNITED STATES - spoken word recitation by Aladdin

Thank you for your help.