Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Musical Family Hair of the Week

From the Silver Champagne Special era....it's Warren Luening tooting his own horn about his sharp 'do!


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Maestro on the Mike Douglas Show

And it's the dueling accordionists, Lawrence Welk and Jimmy Stewart!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Here's Jimmy Roberts with one of his most requested songs, especially among the ladies....



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ya'll come

There's a party going on to celebrate the holiday season....

These Hors D'Oeuvres look delicious!

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's the Parade of the Toy Soldiers

Which means that the Christmas season has officially begun....


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tis' the season to be thankful

We at Welk Musical Family like to wish your family a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Musical Family Hair of the Week

Our country gal Ava Barber shows off her new perm....


Monday, November 22, 2010

Just a reminder that Thanksgiving is this week....

You might want to get started on grocery shopping to feed your hungry relatives coming over.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lennons After Dark

When the sun goes down, the nightlife heats up at the Andy Williams Moon River Grille.....

So grab yourself a margarita and lets chill!

Here's the Lennon Brothers and Gail....

That's Dan, his wife Gail, Bill and Joe Lennon.

Now we see Gail performing with the Buzz Boyz....

Later on, Ralna English drops by and sings a duet with Mike Cathcart at the piano.

All this while Kathy Lennon is watching....


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Musical Family celebrates ten years of Welknotes

Featuring Ralna English & Kathy Lennon....

Jo Ann Castle with Welknotes founder and leader Judy Shaw

....and the English Sisters; Sharon, Ralna and Jane!


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Branson 2010 pictures are now up!

Three days of Peace, Love and Champagne Music.....with members of the Lennon family and the Music Makers.

Just click on the picture above to experience a celebration that's 55 years in the making!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We have one of our former members in the studio audience tonight....

Here's Barbara Boylan and her kids David and Dee Dee with Myron Floren.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Musical Family Hair of the Week

Today it's Dee Dee Lennon from 1968 off to the Wild Blue Yonder with the appropriate hairstyle....

Up, up and away!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lennonpalooza 2010 - The first 55 years of singing excellence

They all came, related by blood and musical talent....

They are the Lennon Family, at least the ones that make Branson their home.

And they all came, joined by Welknotes and the Lennon Sisters Fan Club for Lennonpalooza 2010 at the Stage Door Canteen at the Welk Resort.

On this autumn Sunday afternoon in the Ozarks, the Lennon Sisters of Kathy, Janet, Mimi, Dee Dee and Peggy joined via the Skype webcam from her home in California were honored by family, friends and fans alike for 55 years of singing and being famous.

There was singing, trivia, fans asking questions, memories, love and a musical guessing game of Stump The Lennons. It was fun for all, with a nice brunch to keep everyone's stomachs happy.

And there was cake too!

I had a great day today, capped off in the evening by a terrific dinner at Mickey Gilley's Texas Cafe, you oughta try their Chicken Fried Steak and the best Chili Con Queso and chips around!

Tomorrow, I began my long journey home where I begin the work on putting the vacation pictures on my webpage.

It was a wunnerful, wunnerful vacation, Branson is truly Heaven on earth.

Knock Three Times if you think I had a great Saturday in Branson

Today was all about the Lennon Sisters and Tony Orlando, I went to see their Christmas Show at the Champagne Theater.

This was the first time I saw Tony perform live, he is without a doubt the consummate performer, he has the ability to draw the casual audience member into the show with his stage presence and his charisma.

In other words, he was terrific!

So was Kathy, Janet and Mimi....but what was cool is that we got to see the girls at the Lennon Sisters Fan Club hospitality room

Here's the girls tonight on stage....

....and here's Tony, who taught us how to tie yellow ribbons on oak trees

And finally, the Lennons and Tony with a jolly Leon Russell look-a-like in a red suit....

And after some midnight pizza from Domino's, it's off to bed!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Average Day in Andy Williams World where red sweaters never go out of style

The title of this post best sums up my first full day in Branson, with some Champagne thrown in....

So here are the highlights in a nutshell.

Today was Welknotes 10th Anniversary Luncheon at Andy Williams Moon River Grille, where I got to meet my friends from Welknotes.....

....such as my friend Art Oliver with the lovely and talented Ralna English

After that, it was back to the resort for a quick swim and relaxing in the hot tub at Splash-O-Rama and then back to the Andy Williams compound, this time at the Moon River Theatre where the icon himself did his Christmas Show like the ones you used to see on television.

From what I saw tonight, he still has it.

Then it was back to the Moon River Grille for dinner and a nightcap, and musical entertainment by Gail Lennon and the Lennon Brothers.

Now it's time for bed, and more Branson adventures to follow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The blogmaster has returned to Branson

Well, I made it back to the place Bart Simpson once described as Las Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders.

I liked what they did to the Welk Resort, the Splash-a-Torium is fantastic and after spending almost fourteen hours in a car, the pool and hot tub felt good!

Branson looks really great at night, with the Christmas decorations and stuff, however, trying to take pictures at night is next to impossible.

I will check in tomorrow, with more pictures and fun, right now it's time for milk n' cookies and it's off to bed! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

R.I.P Bob Smale (1931-2010)

I just heard today from my friends Mark and Judy that the talented pianist and arranger from the Welk Orchestra Bob Smale passed away yesterday.

We at Welk Musical Family.com send our condolences to the Smale family and the Champagne Music Makers.

In his memory, we bring you Bob playing his version of Chopsticks from the 1972 episode "Childhood Memories"

Champagne Book of the Month Club: Ah-One, Ah-Two! Life with My Musical Family

Right now, as I prepare to head for Branson tomorrow, it's that time again for another installment of the Champagne Book of the Month Club.

Today, we will profile Ah-One, Ah-Two! Life with My Musical Family.

Originally published in 1974 by Prentice-Hall, it's a follow up to Wunnerful, Wunnerful! that talks about the Maestro's triumphant return to television after being canceled by the ABC Network. He teams up again with Bernice McGeehan to give the reader all the drama that went on, and how they were able to get the show on syndication.

The book also talks about life on the road, when the Musical Family go on their summer concert tour across the USA, including their successful show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

One of the most intriguing aspects in the book was when Lawrence and the Music Makers went through a period of apathy and low morale shortly after going into syndication and how it came to a head at a meeting of the production staff.

Dramatic stuff indeed, but there are some lighter moments too...

There's the origins of "The Wig Bit" which was popular on the live shows, the time he flirted with rock 'n' roll and went "hippie", how he trains his Musical Family and celebrating his seventieth birthday.

It's a terrific book, filled with heart warming stories and then some! And perfect reading if one has down time on vacation.

Like I'll be doing in Branson.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Musical Family Hair of the Week

Cissy King from 1972, nothing is short about her short, blonde hair....


Monday, November 08, 2010

Songs of the 1970s I would loved to have seen

Having watched this past Saturday's episode of the Lawrence Welk Show where they featured the popular songs from the 1970s, I thought that there were many more iconic songs from that decade that would have sounded great on the program.

Yes I agree that "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree", "Nadia's Theme", "I Write The Songs" and "It's Impossible" covered by the Music Makers are outstanding, but I would like to have seen them mix it up a bit.

So here's a partial list of the 70s songs I would love to have featured on the Welk Show.....

HOTEL CALIFORNIA (The Eagles) would be sung by Jimmy Roberts with acoustic guitar backing by Neil Levang

KUNG FU FIGHTING (Carl Douglas) sung and danced by Bobby Burgess, Jack Imel and Arthur Duncan while showing off their Bruce Lee karate moves....

LOW RIDER (War) would give the orchestra a chance to show their funky side, especially Johnny Zell in the brass section

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY (The O' Jays) I could see Sandi, Gail and Mary Lou singing that song, dressed as bank tellers

INSTANT KARMA (John Lennon) would be sung by Joe Feeney with Bob Ralston playing the Thomas organ and backed vocally by the mens and ladies chorus

SWEET HOME ALABAMA (Lynyrd Skynyrd) has to be sung by Ava Barber

BRAND NEW KEY (Melanie) perfect as a novelty song for Larry Hooper

GYPSIES, TRAMPS AND THIEVES (Cher) is just tailor made for Ralna English as her next solo spotlight number

DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY (Thelma Houston) will give Tanya Falan a chance to go disco

SUMMER BREEZE (Seals and Crofts) just sounds right with the Aldridge Sisters and the Otwell Twins performing it.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Something from this week's episode caught my eye

This was from the group's arrangement of Nadia's Theme...

It looks like the girls are mad at Gail for something, or they are about to stage an intervention.

Anyway, it just looks a little awkward.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Now it's Arthur Duncan's turn to dance

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

Doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah.....

Friday, November 05, 2010

Dancing into the weekend

With Bobby and Elaine.....


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tahoe Highlights '72

On this day, 1972, some 38 years ago....the Lawrence Welk Show aired the episode Tahoe Highlights nationwide.

It was a fun, nostalgic and musical show.

The epsiode shows off the Musical Family's acting skills, like Tanya's impression of Sophie Tucker, Ken Delo's impression of Al Jolson, Dick Dale's version of Dean Martin and Guy Hovis doing his Elvis Presley.

So that's how the Elvis impersonator craze got started.... 

Here are the musical numbers that were featured.

TAHOE HIGHLIGHTS - November 4, 1972

1. JUKEBOX SATURDAY NIGHT - Ralna, Guy, Cissy & Bobby (also dancing), Tanya, Joe, Gail, Ken, Mary Lou, Arthur 
2. AUTUMN LEAVES - Bob Ralston at the piano with Charlotte Harris at the cello 
3. JUST BECAUSE - Myron Floren at the accordion danced by Cissy and Bobby with Lawrence cutting in and sung by Dick, Kenny, Bob Lido and Charlie
4. GREEN EYES - Guy Hovis & Ralna English
5. THE CARIOCA - danced by Bobby Burgess & Cissy King 

6. CAN'T HELP SINGING - Norma Zimmer
7. LET'S DANCE - Henry Cuesta on clarinet with orchestra
8. SOME OF THOSE DAYS - Tanya Falan
9. CIRIBIRIBIN - Johnny Zell on trumpet
10. MY BLUE HEAVEN - Jimmy Roberts

11. ONCE IN LOVE WITH AMY - danced by Cissy King, Mary Lou Metzger, Bobby Burgess & Jack Imel and sung by Guy, Charlie, Ken and Joe
12. THE NEW LOW DOWN - danced by Arthur Duncan
13. CHEROKEE - danced by Jack Imel, Arthur Duncan and Bobby Burgess
15. THE WALTZ YOU SAVED FOR ME - danced by Lawrence & Cissy with backing by the string section

16. EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY - Dick Dale with Bob Smale at piano with visual assist by Mary Lou Metzger, Gail Farrell, Ralna English & Tanya Falan
17. PARODY OF ELVIS PRESLEY - Guy Hovis on guitar
18. BOO HOO - Sung by Kenny Trimble, Charlie Parlato & Dick Dale with pianists Bob Ralston and Bob Smale, the saxophone and brass sections
19. BE MY LOVE - Joe Feeney with Arthur, Ken, Jimmy, Dick, Mary Lou, Gail, Norma, Ralna, Tanya