Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salute to New York '77

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today.....

You must have guessed by now that this particular Lawrence Welk episode, half of you saw last Saturday while the other half saw the Saturday before that, is all about the city so nice they named it twice.

New York, New York.

Here are some of the highlights.....

Norma Zimmer paints happy little trees.....

Joe Feeney and Myron Floren guest star in a very special N.Y.P.D Blue.....

......and Mary Lou Metzger's dogs are barkin'

SALUTE TO NEW YORK - October 15, 1977

1. NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Anacani, Gail, Sandi, Mary Lou, Cissy, Arthur, Jimmy, Ken and Bobby
2. TAKE THE "A" TRAIN - the orchestra
3. MANHATTAN - Tom Netherton with Bob Smale at the piano
4. AUTUMN IN NEW YORK - Norma Zimmer
5. 42nd STREET - tap danced by Arthur Duncan

6. CAB DRIVER - Larry Hooper with Charlie Parlato, Dick Dale and Bob Lido
7. MATCHMAKER - Donna, Audrey, Jo Anne, Valerie and Michelle Semonski
8. THE BROADWAY MELODY - danced by Cissy King and Bobby Burgess
9. GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY - Joe Feeney with Myron Floren at the accordion
10. THE WALTER WINCHELL RHUMBA - Gail Farrell, Sandi Griffiths and Mary Lou Metzger

11. PENTHOUSE SERENADE - Kathie Sullivan and the saxophone section
12. THE LULLABY OF BROADWAY - the orchestra
13. PUT YOUR SHOES ON LUCY - Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzger
14. SPANISH HARLEM - Anacani

16. MANHATTAN SERENADE - Bob Ralston and Bob Smale at the piano with the orchestra
17. MANHATTAN SERENADE (REPRISE) - Bob Ralston at the Thomas Organ
18. BUTTONS AND BOWS - Ava Barber
19. MEDLEY OF NEW YORK SONGS: IN OLD NEW YORK/THE BOWERY/SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK - Norma, Jimmy, Gail, Joe, Anacani, Ken, Sandi, Tom with dancers Cissy, Bobby, Arthur, Mary Lou and Jack

This was a fine salute to the Big Apple, and considering the year the show was taped, Gotham needed a pick-me-up for it's psyche. New York had weathered through a financial crisis (Ford to New York: Drop Dead), the Son of Sam murders, and a power blackout just to name a few.

To quote Howard Cosell from the '77 World Series, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning."

But at least for one episode, the Musical Family made New Yorkers feel good about themselves again, and the city has once again reclaimed it's spot as the best in the world.

Until next time, keep a song in your heart and keep that Empire State of Mind all over. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Salute to the Mardi Gras '66

Funny how programming works....

Last week, half the country got the New York episode while the other half got the Mardi Gras show.

Today, we'll recap Mardi Gras in Champagne Style.

Here are some of the highlights.....

The Lennons play Queen For A Day......

Natalie Nevins wears a really big hat.....

 .....and Myron Floren joins the Orange County chapter of the 4H club.

MARDI GRAS - February 19, 1966

1. BROTHERHOOD OF MAN - Dick Cathcart, Jo Ann, Dick Dale, Natalie, Jimmy, Charlotte, Larry, Kathy, Bobby, Janet, Joe, Barbara and Charlie
2. STREET OF DREAMS - Bob Ralston at the piano
4. CIRIBIRIBIN - special guest Warren Luening on trumpet
5. I DREAMED - Janet, Dee Dee, Peggy and Kathy Lennon
6. FRASQUITA SERENADE - Joe Livoti on violin with Frank Scott at the piano
7. TOGETHER, WHEREVER WE GO - Jack Imel, Arthur Duncan and Bobby Burgess

8. MAPLE LEAF RAG - Frank Scott at the piano
9. MR. WONDERFUL - Natalie Nevins
10. IRVING BERLIN MEDLEY - the orchestra
11. TIJUANA - Charlie Parlato and Dick Cathcart on trumpet, Frank Scott at harpsichord, vocals by Jo Ann Castle, Norma Zimmer, Kathy and Janet Lennon and danced by Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan
12. I LOVE LIFE - Joe Feeney
13. DARK EYES - special guest Kenny King on the accordion
14. CLARINET POLKA - Jo Ann Castle, Kenny King and Myron Floren on the accordion

16. HIGH SOCIETY - danced by Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan
18. DOWN YONDER - Jo Ann Castle at the honky tonk piano
19. WHILE WE DANCED AT THE MARDI GRAS - Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts
20. JAMBALAYA - Bob Lido with Neil Levang and Buddy Merrill at the guitar
21. SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE - the orchestra and the singers

Even though there were no college girls flashing their goods for beads, and no signs of public intoxication on Bourbon Street, this episode in all parts an accurate portrayal of the pageantry that is Mardi Gras.

Also from this episode was an example of the musical talent from NORAD, first with Warren Luening, who was no stranger to the Music Makers having played first in the Maestro's "Junior Band" on the spinoff Top Tunes And New Talent (aka The Plymouth Show) in the 1950s.

And on accordion is the talented Kenny King.

NORAD, which is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, in addition to protecting the skies for the United States and Canada, has provided exceptional musical talent through their band, the Commanders. In addition to Luening and King, other Commanders alumni have found work in the music industry. Johnny Zell, Dave Edwards and Richard Maloof before joining the Welk orchestra, cut their military and musical teeth in NORAD.

And we at Welk Musical Family salute the fine men and women that have served protecting the skies.

Hope you guys had a wunnerful Mardi Gras, and a excellent Paczki Day as well. I'll be back later this week with the rundown of the New York show. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Wig Bit

Some things in life causes people to lose their hair....

And then there's the wig bit on the Lawrence Welk Show.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Yet another Welk tumblr page is what America needs

This one is a pictorial salute to all the colorful clothes that Lawrence and his Musical Family worn on the show throughout the years.

Just click on the picture above to see what the fashion world is raving about!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Salute to Italy

For those who wanted to get away from the madness that is the Super Bowl, there's the splendor and beauty of Italy.

And that of course, is the theme of this week's Lawrence Welk episode!

Highlights from the show include.....

.....Jo Ann Castle and Aladdin showing their true feelings towards each other

......Kathy Lennon pushing a cart full of flowers

....and Dick Dale going to great lengths for that last stromboli.

MUSICAL TOUR OF ITALY - October 8, 1966

1. FUNICULI, FUNICULA - Steve, Bob, John, Greg, Janet, Norma, Jimmy, Charlotte, Bobby, Barbara, Peggy, Dee Dee and Aladdin
2. NEAPOLITAN NIGHTS - Norma Zimmer & Jimmy Roberts
3. TIK-A-TEE, TIK-A-TAY - Aladdin with Joe Livoti and Bob Lido on violin, Charlie Parlato on trumpet, Orie Amodeo on flute, Joe Rizzo and Tommy Petrini on bass
4. SANTA LUCIA - Janet, Dee Dee, Kathy and Peggy Lennon
5. TARANTELLA - danced by Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan
6. O SOLE MIO - Joe Feeney with Lawrence on accordion

7. CARNIVAL OF VENICE - Jo Ann Castle at the piano with Neil Levang on mandolin and Jack Imel on drums
8. ARRIVEDERCI ROMA - Kathy Lennon
9. OH MARIE - Bob Lido with Neil Levang on mandolin, Joe Rizzo on bass and Jack Imel on drums
10. ANEMA E CORE - Jimmy Roberts
11. TORNA A SURRIENTO - Joe Livoti on violin

12. VIENI VIENI - The Blenders featuring Greg Dixon, Steve Smith, Bob Duncan and John Johnson
14. ISLE OF CAPRI - Bob Ralston at the piano
16. CIRIBIRIBIN - danced by Arthur Duncan, Bobby Burgess and Jack Imel

17. TOSELLI'S SERENADE - the orchestra
18. MAMA - Kathy Lennon
19. THAT'S AMORE - Aladdin and the entire cast
20. VIENI SU - Dick Dale (also on clarinet) with Neil Levang on mandolin
21. FUNICULI, FUNICULA (Reprise) - Aladdin and the entire cast

It was a fun episode, capture the cultural flavor of Italy to a tee.

One thing I did notice, having a solo number on the show is something every member of the Musical Family strives for, considering the number of singers in the cast, but having two solo numbers is quite rare and a treat too.

Just ask Kathy Lennon.

We're all used to her being part of the Lennon Sisters, but I think as a soloist, she's very underrated. The fact that the Maestro and the producers entrusted her with not one but two songs on the same show is a testament to her talent as a singer.

She has a very, pretty voice. You just can't find genuine talent and heart like that anymore.

Until next time, keep a song in your heart and whenever that moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, don't panic, that's just amore.