Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing the old year out....bringing the new year in

And now, here's the ladies with a very special message....


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas '66

Hope your holidays was wunnerful, wunnerful like mine! Especially when the Welk episode du jour was the Christmas episode from 1966.

Highlights from the show include......

Bobby and Barbara get treated like a bunch of rag dolls.

Little Chris Feeney playing Stairway To Heaven on the accordion......

......and Lawrence getting all the little kids to sing.

CHRISTMAS SHOW - December 24, 1966

1. JINGLE BELLS - Dick, Bob, Myron, Peggy, Norma, Jimmy, Lawrence, Jo Ann, Joe, Natalie and Larry
2. MARCH OF THE TOY SOLDIERS - Barbara, Janet, Kathy, Dee Dee, Bob, Bobby, Jack and Arthur
3. RAGTIME COWBOY JOE - Steven Clark with his father Buddy Clark on bass
4. WHITE CHRISTMAS - Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts
5. DOLL DANCE - danced by Barbara Boylan and Bobby Burgess

6. STAR CAROL - Kathy, Peggy, Janet and Dee Dee Lennon
7. OVER THE RIVER - Mimi, Annie, Katie and Theresa Lennon
8. O HOLY NIGHT - Joe Feeney with Bob Ralston at the organ
9. JINGLE BELLS - Chris Feeney on the accordion
10. THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS - Joe Feeney's children

11. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A PAIR OF SPOONS - Jack Imel and his children with Myron Floren on accordion
12. AVE MARIA - Natalie Nevins
13. RING THOSE CHRISTMAS BELLS - danced by Arthur Duncan
14. HIGH ON THE HOUSETOP - Larry Hooper
15. FROSTY THE SNOWMAN - Jo Ann Castle on piano

16. HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING/IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR/JOY TO THE WORLD - Aladdin, Norma, Jimmy, Bobby, Barbara, Kathy, Dick Cathcart, Janet, Larry, Natalie, Bob Ralston, Bob Lido, Dee Dee, Arthur and Joe
17. YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS - recited by Aladdin Pallante
18. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE - Janet, Kathy, Dee Dee, Peggy, Mimi, Annie, Danny, Pay, Joey, Kippy and Billy Lennon
19. SILENT NIGHT - Norma Zimmer with Jo Ann, Dick, Natalie, Barbara, Steve Smith, Kathy, Greg Dixon, Janet, Bob Duncan, Peggy, Larry and Dee Dee
20. JINGLE BELLS - all the children plus Santa passes out the presents

It was nice seeing the Music Makers and their children celebrating the simple joys of Christmas, which tends to get lost in today's emphasis on the uber-hyper, in your face materialism that is so common.

1966 marked the final Welk Christmas show for Aladdin Pallante, who eventually retired from the show halfway in the new year after a heart attack. Although both Larry Hooper and Dick Dale played Santa exceptionally well, no one did it better than good ol' Aladdin.

And his spoken word recitations, such as "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus", they were truly inspirational and well done.

Oh, and he was a terrific violinist as well.

Until next week, or in this case next year as 2011 comes to a close, keep a song in your heart and take it easy on the egg nog. A little Christmas cheer can go a long way!



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas everybody!

Santa has brought goodies for all the good little boys and girls!


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Welk Christmas from 1981

Thirty years ago, the last annual Christmas show (with the exception of specials afterward) of the series aired.

Here's a look back that should bring some holiday cheer and memories.

Keep a song in your heart, and be good little boys and girls 'cause Santa knows!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Same Song, Separate Voices; made for television version

I finally got to watch the Lennon Sisters pledge special last Sunday, let me just say I was not disappointed at one bit.

As you well know, the title of the special comes from the Lennon's best selling autobiography of the same name. It's a retrospective of their career in showbiz starting from their Christmas Eve debut on the Welk show to today.

And along the way, they made plenty of fans and friends, some whom are interviewed on this special.

Famous folk like Kathie Lee Gifford.....

.....and Andy Williams to name a few.

But the stars of the show are the Lennon Sisters themselves.

This special covers all the goods, not just from the time as members of the Musical Family, but when they worked with other showbiz heavyweights like Perry Como, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Durante and of course, Moon River Boy himself...... all the trials, tribulations, tragedy and the joy of discovering Branson are covered too. If your public television station is carrying the special during it's pledge drive, make a date to watch it, or tape it, or do both.

It's just like reading the book, only it has moving pictures!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Can't believe it's December already

Seems like yesterday the calendar flipped to January and 2011 began....

Where did the time go?

I did find out that the new Lennon Sisters special will air on WBGU this Sunday at 6pm, talk about an early Christmas present.

Let the mayhem that is the holidays (Christmas, New Years, etc) began!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving '81

It's time to give thanks this week!

For family, freedom, the food we eat, and this weekend's Lawrence Welk episode which is the Thanksgiving show from 1981.

Here are the highlights,

Elaine kicks Bobby in the schnozz.....

Charlie Parlato discovers that girls dig trumbetta players.....

.....and Lawrence gets served.

THANKSGIVING - November 21, 1981

1. THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS - Ron, Michael, Ken, Bobby, Gail, Anacani, Elaine, Mary Lou, Roger, Sherry, Jim, Ava, Jimmy, David, Sheila, Arthur, Joe and Kathie
2. A HOUSE WITH LOVE IN IT - Guy Hovis and Ralna English
3. ON MOONLIGHT BAY - the orchestra
5. TURKEY IN THE STRAW - danced by Bobby Burgess and Elaine Balden

6. WHOLE LOTTA THINGS TO SING ABOUT - Sheila & Sherry Aldridge and David & Roger Otwell
7. LOVE LIFTED ME - Henry Cuesta on clarinet
8. BY AND BY & IN THE SWEET BY AND BY - Gail Farrell, Ron Anderson and Michael Redman
9. A HOLIDAY FOR STRINGS - the orchestra conducted by George Cates
10. SEVENTY SIX TROMBONES - the orchestra

11. BE THANKFUL - Joe Feeney with backing vocals by Ava, Kathie, Sherry, Gail, Ralna, Mary Lou, Anacani, Sheila, David, Roger, Jim, Guy, Michael, Ron and Jimmy
12. BACK IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD - sung and danced by Arthur Duncan and Ken Delo
13. SINGING HYMNS IN THE EVENING (BY THE FIREPLACE) - Kathie Sullivan with Bob Ralston at the Hammond organ
14. WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE - the orchestra

15. YOU'RE THE REASON GOD MADE OKLAHOMA - Ava Barber and Jim Turner
16. BABY FACE - Bob Lido with Gail Farrell, Sheila Aldridge, Sherry Aldridge featuring Bob Havens on trombone, Russ Klein on saxophone, Charlie Parlato on trumbetta and Jack Imel on drums and musical spoons
17. THE SKATERS WALTZ - Myron Floren on accordion with Lawrence and Mary Lou Metzger dancing
18. WE GATHER TOGETHER - Ralna English with vocal backing from the cast

It's true, we all have plenty to be thankful for. Friends, Family and Good Health.

Until next time, keep a song in your heart and may your Thanksgiving turkey be plump, juicy and delicious!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Salute to Fred Astaire

Time to put on your top hat and tails along with your dancing shoes because this week, the Champagne Music makers pay tribute to Fred Astaire!

Here's some of the highlights from the show.....

Gail and Ava team up while wearing dresses combining Ol' Bavaria and Big City Sophistication....

Jack Imel plays with his marimbas....

......and George Cates plays with his baton.

SALUTE TO FRED ASTAIRE - September 27, 1980

1. IT'S S'WONDERFUL - Sheila, Sherry, Anacani, Gail, Kathie, Ava, Curt (Ramsey), Jimmy (Roberts), Ken, Jim, David, Roger, Joe
2. THE CARIOCA - danced by Bobby Burgess and Elaine Balden
3. A FINE ROMANCE - Guy Hovis
5. I GUESS I'LL HAVE TO CHANGE MY PLAN - the orchestra

6. SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES - Tom Netherton with Bob Ralston at piano
7. I LOVE A PIANO - Ava Barber and Gail Farrell also on piano
8. LIMEHOUSE BLUES - Jack Imel and his marimbas
9. THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT - Jim Turner and his guitar
10. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE - the orchestra

11. DANCING IN THE DARK - the orchestra conducted by George Cates
12. HOW ARE THINGS IN GLOCCA MORRA? - Joe Feeney with Bob Ralston on Hammond Organ
13. BLUE SKIES - Bob Havens on trombone and Arthur Duncan dancing
14. THREE LITTLE WORDS - Sheila and Sherry Aldridge with David and Roger Otwell

15. I GOT MY LOVE TO KEEP ME WARM - the orchestra
16. YOU AND THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC - Kathie Sullivan with Myron Floren on accordion
17. CHEEK TO CHEEK - Ken Delo
18. I LOVE LOUISA - Myron Floren on accordion with Ava, Kathie, Gail, Sherry, Anacani, Sheila, Joe, Roger, David, Jim, Guy and Jimmy along with Bobby and Elaine dancing

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Both Ralna English and Mary Lou Metzger do not appear in this episode.

I knew that around the time of taping (mid-1980) that Ralna's absence was attributed to personal issues going through, but I was surprised that Mary Lou also didn't appear. This is one of the very rare occasions during her tenure that happened.

Still, this week's episode was a fun, pleasant and fitting salute to one of Hollywood's greatest song-and-dance men like Fred Astaire. They just don't have talent and class today like they did back then.

Until next time, keep a song in your heart and may the days of your lives be s'wonderful!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Same Song, Separate Voices

There's a brand new pledge special coming to PBS on November 26th....

And in the spotlight, the Lennon Sisters!

Which in my opinion about flippin' time....

Promo - Lennon Sisters: Same Song, Separate Voices from Polly O. Entertainment on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

You're Never Too Young

As we approach the autumn of this year, and our years....Lawrence and his Music Makers remind us in this week's episode that you're never too young.

Actually, it's the title of his 1981 bestselling book, co-written with Bernice McGeehan, but it is still great advice to live by!

Highlights from this week's episode include.....

Mary Lou catching up on her reading....

Kathie and Ken catching up on old times.....

and David, Guy, Roger and Jim sing a particular Oak Ridge Boys diddy.....

.....about this gal.

YOU'RE NEVER TOO YOUNG - December 5, 1981

1. YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG - Bobby, Elaine, Guy, Ralna, Gail, Ron, David, Sheila, Ava, Sherry, Roger, Kathie, Joe, Anacani, Norma, Jimmy (Roberts), Mary Lou, Jim, Ken & Michael
2. YOUNG AT HEART - Tom Netherton
3. ISN'T IT ROMANTIC - The orchestra
4. CINCO ROBLES - Anacani
5. MAGGIE BLUES - Bob Havens on trombone

6. YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME - Joe Feeney with Bob Ralston on the Hammond organ
7. PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART - Sheila & Sherry Aldridge with David & Roger Otwell
8. PICK YOURSELF UP - Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzger
9. MEDLEY OF SONGS FROM SNOW WHITE - The orchestra conducted by George Cates
10. SING SING SING - Paul Humphrey and Jack Imel on drums with Arthur Duncan dancing

11. MEMORIES - Norma Zimmer
12. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - Gail Farrell, Ron Anderson and Michael Redman
13. YOU NEEDED ME - Guy Hovis and Ralna English
14. I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT - danced by Bobby Burgess and Elaine Balden

16. ELVIRA - Jim Turner with David Otwell, Guy Hovis and Roger Otwell
17. KIDS - Kathie Sullivan and Ken Delo
18. ROLL OUT THE BARREL - Lawrence, Myron Floren & Joey Schmidt on accordion featuring Bobby, Elaine, Sheila, Sherry, Gail, Mary Lou, Jimmy, Ron, Michael and Joe

Until next week, remember to keep a song in your heart and always try to get by.....with a little help from your friends!