Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Vintage Champagne from the Paley Center in pictures

These are from the webpage, and they are terrific!

Just click on the logo above to view them.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And yes, they have just begun (to dance that is)

From the 1971 episode Musical History Makers, while Tanya is singing the Carpenters hit song "We've Only Just Begun", here are some shots of the Music Makers dancing in the background.

See if you can recognize any of them in the dim lighting....


Monday, March 28, 2011

Mairzy Doats and Other Delights

From 1957, the Silver Champagne Era, here's a cute novelty tune title Mairzy Doats.

Featuring Jack Martin....

....and Janet Lennon!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

It was 31 years ago when Lawrence Welk celebrated 25 years on television

Now that the pledge drives have ended, it's back to the regular cycle of Welk show airings.

And this week was the 25th anniversary show from 1980.

That's gonna hold enough Geritol to feed the entire population of Wood County....

I can hear the sounds of the violin in the background, must be from Bob Lido's fiddle.

Forget about The Bachelor, our own Dick Dale has to fight 'em off with a stick!

....and even in the midst of all that, Charlie Parlato stands tall (on a box)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Champagne Artwork

Here's two of my latest drawings of the Musical Family.....

Mickey McMahan playing his trumpet

Jimmy Roberts, singing for the ladies as always.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Norma's back in the saddle again

Our Champagne Lady never ever horses around!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is much better than Alpo or Beggin Strips

Proof that Man's Best Friend, like the ladies, enjoy the company of Jimmy Roberts....


Monday, March 21, 2011

Dances With Lennons: Project Branson High School

Tonight is the season premiere of Dancing With The Stars by the way...

Although Janet Lennon is not in this year's cast, she does put on her dancing shoes in this following You Tube video!

This was from last year, when Janet danced with a local high school student named Corey. It was a fund raiser in which the proceeds went to the Branson High Schools Project Graduation.

And those kids sure can cut a rug!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Curt Ramsey Quintet in the library

With Charlie Parlato, Norma Zimmer, Steve Smith, Curt and Dick Cathcart


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Up, Up and Away!

With Kathy, Lawrence and Dee Dee


Friday, March 18, 2011

March Madness, Champagne Style

Here is what's going on in the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament from a Lawrence Welk Champagne Music Makers perspective....

Yesterday was a great day for both Sandi Griffiths, Mary Lou Metzger and Kathie Sullivan because their respective schools, BYU, Temple and Wisconsin all won.

And today, Tennessee plays Michigan. You can bet your bottom dollar that Jim Turner will be pulling for his beloved Vols to move on to the next round!

Best of luck to all the Musical Family alma maters, and who knows? Perhaps a National Championship is in the cards!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the blessing of light be on you....

....and may your feet be filled with rhythm when you dance.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Here's Joe Feeney with the Maestro

They are performing for the folks in the audience....


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wait until you try our new Extra Crispy recipe.....

When chickens and other forms of poultry take over the Welk show, this is what happens....


Monday, March 14, 2011

There's that new dance called the Black Bottom

And it's really catching on in all the night clubs and speakeasies around town!

Here's the Musical Family Kids to show you how to dance to it....


Sunday, March 13, 2011

On this day, 40 years ago

In 1971, Brewer & Shipley's song One Toke Over The Line first entered the Billboard Charts.

It eventually would peak at #10.

But the song's real influence would go beyond just the pop charts.

Dick Dale and Gail Farrell made the song on the Welk show as a "Modern Day Spiritual".

And the world became a better place because of it....


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Champagne Book of the Month Club: You're Never Too Young

It's time for us Welk fans to spring into March with this month's edition of the Book of the Month Club!

And today, we'll profile You're Never Too Young

This installment of the famed Welk-McGeehan collaboration was first published in 1981. In it, the Maestro shares his personal secrets for finding the fountain of youth, and they are quite attainable.

Here's one of them.....dancing! Which does not come of as a surprise.

Also in this book, he talks about how he became an actor, in part of appearing in a documentary movie of his life made for his Welk Escondido Resort's newest addition, a theater and a museum.

Of course, he gives an update on his Musical Family, most notably how the Mixed Trio of Gail Farrell, Ron Anderson and Michael Redman became a reality.

There's also a story of the Champagne Music Makers taking on Las Vegas when they were booked at the MGM Grand Hotel and with that the success and pitfalls from that experience.

Towards the end of the book, Lawrence explains about the importance of friendships in life and examines his friends alphabetically from A-Z.

Personally, I think this book is delightful and inspiring. His life lessons featured can apply to anyone and it really brings new meaning to the phrase "Keep a song in your heart"

I recommend You're Never Too Young with my rating of Five Champagne Glasses. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's March 11th, you know whose birthday it is....

The Maestro would be 108 years old today.

Happy Birthday Lawrence!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ken Delo, popular on two continents

I may have mention this before, but did you know Ken Delo was very popular in Australia?

Before joining the Welk show, Ken teamed up with his partner Johnathon Daly with a successful nightclub act and television show in the Land Down Under.

They also won a Logie Award, which is Australia's version of the Emmys.

Here's the Martin & Lewis of Australia in action from the mid-1960s.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A few questions I like to ask

It's for those especially who are critical of public broadcasting and those who want to defund it.

After spending time in the library doing research, here's the questions I like to ask all you critics out there....

What is your beef with public broadcasting?

If it's about cutting government spending, why is it OK for you guys to spend trillions on defense, oil subsidies and tax breaks for the wealthy, but you want to defund NPR & PBS whose annual federal funding for public broadcasting is only $1.35 per American taxpayer?

Eighty percent of Americans polled said that federal money for public broadcasting is money well spent, so why do you have a problem with that?

And I know some of you critics out there watch and enjoy the Lawrence Welk Show like the rest of us. If you cut off the purse strings for public television, where you going to go if you want to watch the Welk show? 

Don't hold your breath and expect commercial television to pick up the torch, especially since many of the different channels out there would rather air "original programming" which is another word for "dirt cheap reality shows".

And another thing, public broadcasting provides educational, informative, intelligent and cultural programming seldom found on commercial television. Do you have a problem with the populace being educated, informed, intelligent and enlightened?

For me, this is all nothing but partisan grandstanding by those who roam the Halls of Congress. It's nothing more than trying to score points for a political ideology without regards for the consequences on the populace as a whole.

And I don't like it one bit.

Please visit 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting to learn more and what you can do.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Paczki Day!

This is what we in the Upper Midwest live for....

....and happy Mardi Gras too


Monday, March 07, 2011

Champagne Music's own version of the Mod Squad

The mixed trio of Gail, Ron and Michael!

Led by their fearless leader Gail Farrell....

......with Ron Anderson providing the muscle

.....and Michael Redman, who like MacGyver is very resourceful.


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Lawrence Welk's Big Band Splash

And now the time has arrived for the 15th Lawrence Welk public television pledge special, Big Band Splash.

With your host Doc Severinsen!

It was an entertaining program, filled with clips from several episodes from the show featuring the band and the Musical Family performing the classic songs from that era.

Big Band icons like Glenn Miller, Harry James, The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington were featured.

It was also nice that the special featured many of Welk's orchestra in the spotlight, such as Dave Edwards on the saxophone playing Contrasts made famous by Jimmy Dorsey.

I also liked Bob Ralston's rendition of Paul Whiteman's Rhapsody In Blue, in which every time I hear it, for some reason thoughts of the old United Airlines commercials with Gene Hackman narrating come to mind.

And what can I say about the trumpet section's arrangement of The Dipsy Doodle....

Johnny Zell, Mickey McMahan, Charlie Parlato and Norman Bailey were all outstanding!

But that was just a sample of the fine instrumentals featured in the program, many of the featured singers had the spotlight such as Tanya Falan's excellent version of the Sammy Kaye song Daddy.

Other singers featured were Mary Lou Metzger and Champagne Lady Alice Lon with different versions of Harry James' "You Made Me Love You". The differences were that Mary Lou went with the Dear Mr. Gable route while Alice from Dallas just sang it straight up.

I was disappointed that the special did not feature any Sandi, Gail and Mary Lou numbers. Their version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters in my opinion would be considered big band and would have been a good fit.

But Toot Toot Tootsie by Bob Lido and the Hotsy Totsy Boys? That, by the way was the final number featured in the special, and by the way, I always thought Al Jolson was more Music Hall than Big Band.

Oh, and here's an extreme close up of Bob Havens and his trumpet.

Doc himself was featured, when he guested on the Welk show in 1972 playing the theme song from the movie "Love Story".

His performance and talent was picture perfect excellence and well done, but for his wardrobe.....we'll the jury is still out on that.

In all, it was a wunnerful, wunnerful special.

And no pledge special would be complete without Bob Allen and Mary Lou in the studio with the pledge breaks.

So until next time, keep a song in your heart and may the only Blues in the Night you get are the St. Louis Blues playing hockey. 

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Guitar pickin' with Neil Levang

In the solo spot.....

.....and with Buddy Merrill.