Monday, February 28, 2011

Just a reminder.....

Spring is just around the corner....

And the baseball season is not too far away!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm one of 170 million Americans, are you?

These are indeed tough times for all, and an old friend needs your help.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives voted to eliminate funding for public broadcasting which means the future of PBS and NPR is very uncertain.

Actually, it's more than uncertain, not only the very existence of PBS and their member stations is threatened, but for us Welk fans, it could mean no more Lawrence Welk Show every Saturday night.

Like I said, I know these are times to tighten the belt and sacrifices have to be made, but public broadcasting is NOT one of them.

You are the public in public broadcasting, and you can make a difference!

Like your fellow blogmaster, become one of 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting.

There is still a shimmer of hope, the Senate has not voted on the cuts yet. Contact your U.S. Senator (phone, letter, email) and tell him or her that you support public broadcasting and it ought not to be defunded.

Visit their webpage at 170 Million and they can help you out!

And even if your station doesn't carry Lawrence Welk, please consider supporting public broadcasting anyway. The benefits and goodwill outweighs the costs, and you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Champagne Five - Favorite Covers of Oscar Nominated Songs

Tomorrow night is the Academy Awards, where the movie industry celebrates what Hollywood has done the past year....

And here, the Music Makers salute the songs that were nominated for an Oscar, and some of them actually won the coveted statuette.

So on this version of the Champagne Five, here are my top five favorite covers of original Academy Award nominated songs sung by the Musical Family.

5. THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN - Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts do an excellent job with this 1954 Oscar winner from the movie of the same name. They just seem to be a perfect fit for the lyrics and the melodies featured.

4. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? - This 1969 Best Song nominee was originally written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the movie The Happy Ending. Ken Delo, sitting by the camera, does a great, melancholic solo of this tune.

3. RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN' ON MY HEAD - You may know it by B.J. Thomas' version that won the 1969 Oscar, but Sandi & Sally do a great upbeat and sunny version of it dressed as Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.

Let's see Paul Newman and Robert Redford top that!

2. GEORGY GIRL - An Oscar nominee from 1966, the Music Makers do a great arrangement as an instrumental accompanied by vocal arrangements from Guy, Ralna, Norma, Jimmy, Bobby and Cissy. Bob Ralston provides great work at the harpsichord and the reed section's flute sounds give this version a pleasant beat and a good rhythm tune.

1. SECRET LOVE - You may know this 1953 Oscar winner from Calamity Jane as a romantic love song. It has been covered on the show many times before as a melancholic solo piece, but I love how this is arranged as a jazzy and upbeat vocal group number. Bob Ralston strikes again with his keyboard work and contributions from the trumpet section makes this classic an enjoyable and easy listening piece.

We'll that's my two cents, only thing left is wait for the envelope with this year's winners.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Movie Night here at the Welk studios!

But be sure to check the picture rating first....

"No security measures is gonna keep us from being in that new Adam Sandler movie!"

"Fine time for the studio's AC to go out, it's really hot in here!"

"Dick, can it wait? I'm in the middle of filming."

"The fellas think we're watching Jackass 3D? They'll be surprised we switched the reels so we'll be really watching The King's Speech."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another Year, Another Birthday.....

Yes I'm getting older, but wiser.

And the cake gets better with each passing year....


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Take Your Girlie To The Movies

The gang is out at the local movie palace for the latest Hollywood blockbuster...

And the Academy Awards are this weekend, so here's the Music Makers from 1970 with "Take Your Girlie To the Movies"


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun in the sun with Lawrence

Here's the Maestro at the accordion putting on a show....


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joe Livoti and Neil Levang

These two make great music together....


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Arthur Duncan and his fancy feet

Of course, he has to have music to accent his tap dancing.....

Here, he's joined by Russ Klein on saxophone.....

.....and Charlie Parlato on trumpet


Friday, February 18, 2011

America at play is always fun!

The Champagne Music Makers prove it in this episode from 1976...

"Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive...."

"Okay Norma, press the gas and will be in Mexico in no time!"

"Excuse me, do I need a ticket for your fantastic voyage?"

"Please don't let this week's episode be pre-empted by another pledge drive...."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Lennon Sisters - When they were three

Featuring Kathy, Janet and Peggy....


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Anacani from 1981

She'll help you get through this Tuesday, and rest of the week....


Monday, February 14, 2011

The end of another weekend....

For you romantics out there, today is Valentines Day....

But for the rest of us in the real world, today is just Monday....

Back to work everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Day in Welk History: Lawrence Welk Tops The Charts

It was exactly fifty years ago today on February 13, 1961 that one of the greatest milestones in Welk history took place.

The Maestro's instrumental version of Calcutta became the Number One song in America for the week according to the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.

And it played an important role in Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan getting on the show, where they became important members of the Musical Family.

And here's Bobby and Barbara from '61 dancing to Calcutta!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh what the hell, just strike up the band.....

It's more than just music, music, music here at the Welk studios....

"So, what kind of stuff you keep down there?"

"I got my eye on you, so no sour notes from you!"

"Pull my finger!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Scenes from an Italian restaurant

It's Friday gang, let's go eat out tonight! I know this little place that has the best Italian food....

"So what will it be, the three cheese lasagna or the Chicken Alfredo with pesto sauce?"

And for your dining entertainment, our own Barney Liddell and Dick Dale will play a medley of Katy Perry songs....

"I see you enjoyed the Spaghetti Bolognese, you got a little sauce on your nose."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Skeets Herfurt

Yeah, I know he looks like Captain Kangaroo.....

but admit it, he knows how to play the saxophone very well!


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Champagne Book of the Month Club: This I Believe

And for the month of February, I bring you This I Believe.....

The latest in the line of Welk-McGeehan books was first published in 1979. Here, the Maestro shares his beliefs about God, country, family and work into a philosophy for successful living.

And it contain more inside fun inside information on his show and his Musical Family. One is where he takes you through a typical tape day, how an episode is produced and made. It was also around that time the Aldridge Sisters and the Otwell Twins joined the show, so their story of how they joined is chronicled.

And there's also a story where he plays golf in a charity tournament with players from the then-Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, it's one story you don't want to miss out!

And the rest of the book is wunnerful, wunnerful too....I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Kathie Sullivan....Golden Thrush

I did find out that a thrush is a bird by the way....

Which makes alot of sense, Kathie Sullivan is quite the songbird....

....and it's also an informal term for a female singer, which Kathie also happens to be.

At least the Welk show staff wasn't referring to the agricultural aircraft known as the Ayres Thrush, otherwise I would have been concerned....

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Salute to Vincent Youmans

That's the episode shown this Super Bowl weekend, here are some of the highlights.....

Sandi and Sally look snazzy in their outfits, which also can be at the car wash for washing and buffing....

The Maestro gets in a polka dance with Cissy.....

Judging from the look of Ralna's face, Guy must be in her dog house, so he's trying to get back in her good graces by singing....

.....and Kenny the Sailor Man gets acquainted with the locals.

And here's my Super Bowl prediction: