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Lawrence Welk

Biography

It could or may possibly not be true that Lawrence Welk may be the most widely used easy listening musician ever, but it’s difficult to think about anyone who’s more prominently from the genre. Welk’s long-running Television variety present was an enormous achievement in its period, and continues to be an enduring preferred in reruns. Even though Welk documented prolifically, his accurate musical legacy was constructed with the doggedly innocuous, wholesome visual of his display. He was an improbable tv celebrity — his solid German accent and on-camera tightness could have been crippling liabilities for most other hosts. However Welk was beloved regardless of — or, maybe, due to — those restrictions, due to the fact he understood his target audience and paid close focus on what it desired. Along the way, he created a well balanced of familiar performers whose regular looks were eagerly expected by his audiences. Demanding and particular, Welk place them through demanding rehearsals, and aggressively enforced the inoffensive, non-threatening tone that produced the show therefore palatable for audiences of all age groups. For those who regarded as themselves remotely hip, that firmness produced Welk’s name associated with sanitized entertainment, and a straightforward focus on for derision. He and his functions were frequently dismissed as hopelessly rectangular, by converts fluffy or sentimental, and reflecting an idealized purity that didn’t actually can be found anywhere. He also drew criticism for the intense scarcity of minority performers on the display, seemingly another sign of its kowtowing to white-bread Middle America. However that important conservatism helped supply the Lawrence Welk Display an amazingly long lasting charm; after it dropped its network slot machine, it spent greater than a 10 years in syndication with better success than ever before, and found new lease of life when its reruns became the principle source of income for many community tv stations in the united states. Welk was created on March 11, 1903, in the tiny, heavily German city of Strasburg, ND. His parents acquired fled the unrest in Alsace-Lorraine, the disputed boundary area between Germany and France, and resolved on a little plantation in the outskirts of city. Among eight kids, Welk slipped out of college within the 4th grade to focus on the plantation, and spoke next to nothing but German until his teenage years. He discovered to try out polka music on his father’s accordion, with age group 13, he started performing expertly at regional dances and interpersonal occasions. Four years later on, he persuaded his father to get him his personal accordion; in trade, he guaranteed to focus on the plantation until he was 21, also to provide all his musical income towards the family members up compared to that stage. Upon turning 21, Welk used music full-time, playing in a variety of polka and vaudeville-style rings around the region. He eventually created his personal quartet, the Lawrence Welk Novelty Orchestra, and in 1927 made a decision to mind south to New Orleans searching for work. Along the way, the group halted in Yankton, SD, and was provided a one-week offer to execute on regional radio; these were such successful that these were agreed upon to a long lasting contract. Welk’s music group remained headquartered in Yankton for another a decade, playing both locally and all around the Midwest; they experienced several name adjustments, like the Hotsy Totsy Kids, the Honolulu Fruits Gum Orchestra, and the largest Little Band in the us. In 1937, Welk transferred the group to Omaha, and it shortly grew right into a ten-piece clothing, playing swinging dance music within the so-called “sugary band” design. A 1938 gig on the William Penn Resort in Pittsburgh prompted one enthusiast to evaluate Welk’s light, bubbly music to champagne, and Welk followed the tag after that, describing his audio as “champagne music.” In 1940, on the height from the big-band period, Welk guaranteed a reserving for his group on the Trianon Ballroom in Chicago; it demonstrated such successful that Welk transferred his family members to Chicago and finished up using a ten-year residency right now there. The waning recognition of big rings subsequently pressured Welk to return on tour to create ends fulfill. In 1951, he produced an effective appearance on the late-night Television show in LA. The thought of working in tv captured his creativity, and led him to go to L.A. the next yr. The Lawrence Welk Display made its nationwide debut in 1955 like a midseason substitute on ABC. On the next couple of years, it amassed more than enough of a pursuing to become among the network’s most widely used shows, making capture phrases away from Welk’s oft-repeated “wunnerful, wunnerful” and “ah-one and-a two.” Its brand visual design was constructed around low-budget cardboard props, shiny pastel shades, and bubble-blowing devices. Welk performed the assignments of web host and bandleader, populating his play list with pleasurable agreements of well-established criteria and pop strikes. The emphasis was generally on music his market would already understand, though he and musical movie director George Cates do display comic novelty tracks as well as the polka music Welk got developed with aswell. Welk developed a solid foundation of recurring presented performers, the very best known which included accordionist/associate conductor Myron Floren, ragtime pianist Jo Ann Castle, performing group the Lennon Sisters, Dixieland clarinetist Pete Fountain, Irish-style vocalist Joe Feeney, faucet dancer Arthur Duncan (the show’s lone African-American regular), dancer and previous Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess (who experienced a succession of feminine dance companions), along with a presented feminine vocalist dubbed the Champagne Woman. Welk founded his reputation like a hard-nosed disciplinarian in early stages. He hardly ever allowed comedians to seem on the present, for concern with an off-color joke sliding through, and he refused alcoholic beverages and cigarette items as sponsors. In 1959, he terminated the very first Champagne Female, Alice Lon, for exhibiting too much knee throughout a telecast. Irate audiences wrote directly into protest the firing, and Welk attempted to employ her back again, but she’d have none from it; her substitute was Norma Zimmer, who continued to be using the show for a long time. Burgess’ feminine dance partners had been subject to exactly the same forms of whims, and Fountain — probably probably the most talented regular — apparently left what Welk experienced was an inappropriately jazzed-up Xmas song. More difficult for some modern-day audiences may be the show’s watered-down managing of ethnicity; without really offensive because of its time, a number of the cultural theme shows will be regarded disturbing by today’s criteria, and dancer Duncan’s mannerisms emerged set for criticism because the civil privileges period dawned. On the other hand, Welk have been managing a successful career being a documenting artist. He previously released information in his start, but normally he strike a whole brand-new plateau once he previously the energy of tv behind him. Between 1956 and 1963, 19 of Welk’s LPs reached the very best 20, and ten of these made the very best Ten. Welk attained his greatest reputation on record using the Dot label through the early ’60s, spearheaded with the smash instrumental strike “Calcutta,” which became his just number 1 — and, for example, TOP — one in 1961. The associated LP of the same name also reached number 1, and five even more albums — Last Time, Yellow Parrot, Moon River, Youthful Globe, and Baby Elephant Walk and Theme Through the Brothers Grimm — climbed in to the Top Ten on the next 2 yrs. Although Welk by no means equaled that operate of achievement, he continuing to graph albums frequently up through 1973. In 1971, ABC canceled The Lawrence Welk Display, sense that its market was growing as well aged to attract marketers. Welk quickly guaranteed a syndication offer that positioned his display on over 200 channels around the united states, and kept directly on generating it up through 1982. Because the ’70s wore on, lots of the aged performers retired or shifted, to be changed by similar works that essentially implemented the show’s long-established blueprint. But even when there have been fewer specific standouts, the display still stuffed an audience specific niche market that otherwise proceeded to go largely ignored. Pursuing his pension in 1982, Welk resolved in Santa Monica, CA, and shortly established a mixture resort/pension community, the Lawrence Welk Nation Club Community, in Escondido. He also obtained a massive music posting catalog, and also other property holdings. Beginning in 1987, some open public tv stations started airing reruns from the Lawrence Welk Display, towards the delight of the elderly viewing foundation. Because the ’90s wore on, general public Television found rely increasingly more around the Lawrence Welk Display like a staple moneymaker during pledge drives, therefore ensuring its continuing availability and recognition well after Welk’s moving: he passed away of pneumonia on, may 17, 1992. The music group he once led continuing to perform in the Champagne Music Theatre in Branson, MO.

Quick Facts


Full Name Lawrence Welk
Died May 17, 1992, Santa Monica, California, United States
Profession Actor, Impresario, Television producer, Accordionist
Education MacPhail Center for Music
Nationality German, American
Spouse Fern Renner
Children Donna Welk, Shirley Welk, Lawrence Welk Jr.
Parents Christina Welk, Ludwig Welk
Siblings John Welk, Eva Welk, Barbara Welk, Louie Welk, Ann Mary Welk, Anton Welk, Mike Welk, Agatha Welk
Awards Academy of Country Music Award for Man of the Year
Music Songs Bubbles in the Wine, Calcutta, Ain't She Sweet, Baby Elephant Walk, Pennsylvania Polka, Champagne Time, Beer Barrel Polka, Theme from The Brothers Grimm, Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn, Julida Polka, Linger Awhile, Emilia Polka, Oh Happy Day, Yellow Bird, Champagne Polka, Tinker Polka, Start The Day Right, Jenny Lind Polka, Moonlight Bay, Woodchopper's Ball, Dakota Polka, One O'clock Jump, Apples and Bananas, Winchester Cathedral, Canadian Sunset, The Chicken Dance, Friendly Tavern Polka, German Waltz Medley, Clarinet Polka, Song Of The Islands, The Kit Kat Polka, Helena Polka
Albums Lawrence Welk And His Champagne Music, Champagne Dance Party, Songs Of Faith, Mr Music Maker, Christmas Memories, Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours, Baby Elephant Walk, TV Western Theme Songs, 22 Country Music Hits, Sing-A-Long Party, Dance With Lawrence Welk, Polkas On Parade (Digitally Remastered), Scarlet O'Hara, Live at Lake Tahoe, Into the Fifties, Great 60's Hits, Blue Tango - Essential Masters, Lawrence Welk Gold - Original Vintage Recordings, The Great Overtures In Dance Time, Quiescent Point, Level Of Emotion, Walt Disney Favourites, Yellow Bird/The World's Finest Music, Jingle Bells, Be With Me, Popular Culture, Greatest Hits, Bubbles In The Wine, Merry Christmas with Lawrence Welk, Blowball, All Too Delicate, Moon River, Song Of The Islands/I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles, Sweety And Lovely, I Love Big Bands, Explore, The Greatest Hits Collection, Spring Caper, Dateline Rome, Lawrence Welk Presents Dick Kesner And His Stradivarius Violin, Christmas Classics, Looking Back (feat. Johnny Desmond), 16 Most Requested Songs, Strictly For Dancing/Last Date, Express Yourself, To Mother, The Starlit Hour, Turn Of The Year Masquerade, At Madison Square Garden, Reminiscing, Play For You
Nominations People's Choice Award for Favorite Musical Performer
TV Shows The Lawrence Welk Show


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 He is a first cousin, once removed, of Montana governor Brian Schweitzer. Lawrence's mother, Christiana Schwahn, was the sister of Brian's paternal grandmother, Franziska Schwahn.
2 Ex-father-in-law of Tanya Welk.
3 Co-founder (with Randall Wood, former owner of Dot Records) of Ranwood Records in 1967.
4 He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6613 Hollywood Boulevard and for Television at 1601 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
5 Dropped out of school in the fourth grade to work on the family farm. At age 21, he left home to make his way in the music business.
6 Registered his car with a vanity license plate that read "A1 AN A2".
7 His show was initially cancelled by ABC-TV in 1971, after 17 years as a Saturday night perennial on the network, because of a question of viewer demographics. Advertisers and networks were convinced that they should gear their shows to younger, urban audiences, who were thought to have the buying power, and Welk's audience was simply considered too old. In what was then considered a bold move, Welk began producing shows for first-run syndication, and by the start of the 1971 fall season he was back on the air, where he remained until he retired eleven years later. Ironically, many of the stations that carried his show were local ABC affiliates.
8 Parents, Ludwig and Christina Welk, emigrated from Alsace-Lorraine via Russia to Strasburg, North Dakota, where Lawrence was born.
9 A common misconception is that Welk did not learn English until he was 21. In fact, he began learning English as soon as he started school. The part of North Dakota where he lived had been settled largely by Germans from Russia; even his teachers spoke English as a second language.
10 In the early 1990s, the U.S. Congress refused federal funding to restore Welk's boyhood home in Strasburg, N.D., as a museum. His many still loyal fans, hearing of this, donated the money themselves, and to this day the Welk Home and Museum has been restored and maintained entirely by private funds.
11 Served as his own producer for most of his years on TV, via Teleklew Productions. The name was made up of "tele" for television and "klew" was Welk spelled backwards.
12 Founder of the still-thriving Lawrence Welk Resort and Country Club in Escondido, California.
13 A good judge of talent, Welk's discoveries included Lynn Anderson and Pete Fountain, both of whom got their starts with his band.
14 Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1989.
15 Recorded prolifically before and during his TV years, primarily for Columbia, Coral, Dot and Ranwood, scoring a #1 single and album with "Calcutta" in 1961.
16 Welk's show was originaly entitled "The Dodge Dancing Party," after his first national sponsor. His longest-lasting sponsors were two over-the-counter medicines, Geritol and Serutan ("That's 'nature's,' spelled backwards!").
17 Welk's son, Larry Welk (aka Lawrence Welk Jr), is owner/operator of the "Welk Resort" in Branson, Missouri.
18 Welk's grandson, Larry Welk (aka Lawrence Welk III), is an airborne traffic and breaking news reporter in "Sky Nine" helicopter for KCAL-TV, Ch 9, Los Angeles.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Founder 2016 performer: "Calcutta" a/k/a "Tivoli Melodie"
Rules Don't Apply 2016 writer: "Bubbles in the Wine"
Atop the Fourth Wall 2014-2015 TV Series 3 episodes
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 2015 performer: "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" / writer: "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"
Manhattan 2014 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Freaky Deaky 2012 performer: "Music To Watch Girls By" written by nm0708240
Yes Man 2008 performer: "Emperor Waltz"
Chocolat 2000 performer: "Start The Day Right"
Family Guy 2000 TV Series music - 1 episode
The Simpsons 1998 TV Series music - 1 episode
Swingers 1996 performer: "Champagne Time"
Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 performer: "Around The World", "Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight", "I'll Never Smile Again", "Kit Kat Polka" / writer: "Kit Kat Polka"
Lost in America 1985 performer: "Bubbles in the Wine" / writer: "Bubbles in the Wine"
Heaven Help Us 1985 performer: "Clarinet Polka"
The Lawrence Welk Show TV Series performer - 2 episodes, 1972 - 1979 writer - 1 episode, 1967
Green Acres 1970 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk 1939 Short writer: "Bubbles in the Wine"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Here's Lucy 1970 TV Series Lawrence Welk
Shower of Stars 1957 TV Series
Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music 1950 Short Lawrence Welk - Band Leader

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lawrence Welk's 12 Days of Christmas 1983 TV Special executive producer / producer
The Lawrence Welk Show 1951 TV Series producer

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Gleason 2002 TV Movie composer: song "Bubbles in the Wine"
The Lawrence Welk Show 1955 TV Series composer: theme music - 1955-1970

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lawrence Welk's 12 Days of Christmas 1983 TV Special

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lawrence Welk's 12 Days of Christmas 1983 TV Special written by

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
KTLA at 40: A Celebration of Los Angeles Television 1986 TV Movie Himself
Lawrence Welk's 12 Days of Christmas 1983 TV Special Host / Musician
Hour Magazine 1982 TV Series Himself
The Lawrence Welk Show 1955-1982 TV Series Himself - Host / Himself / Host / ...
The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1981 TV Special Himself - Honoree
The Alan Hamel Show 1979 TV Series Himself
The Mike Douglas Show 1971-1979 TV Series Himself - Bandleader / Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1964-1979 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
Mickey's 50 1978 Documentary Himself
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1978 TV Series Himself
ABC's Silver Anniversary Celebration 1978 TV Special Himself
Good Morning America 1977 TV Series Himself
The Merv Griffin Show 1976 TV Series Himself
The Good Old Days of Radio 1976 TV Movie documentary Himself
Dinah! 1974-1976 TV Series Himself
The 24th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1972 TV Special Himself - Presenter
The Dick Cavett Show 1968-1972 TV Series Himself
The David Frost Show 1970-1971 TV Series Himself
Jack Benny's Birthday Special 1969 TV Special Himself
The Joey Bishop Show 1967-1969 TV Series Himself
The Hollywood Palace 1968 TV Series Himself
What's My Line? 1967 TV Series Himself - Mystery Guest
The Andy Williams Show 1962-1964 TV Series Himself / Football coach
The Jack Benny Program 1962 TV Series Himself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself - Music Bandleader
Here's Hollywood 1961 TV Series Himself
Disneyland '59 1959 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Plymouth Show 1958 TV Series Himself
The Christophers 1957 TV Series Himself
This Is Your Life 1957 TV Series Himself - Guest of Honor
Person to Person 1956 TV Series documentary Himself
The Modernaires with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra 1952 Short Himself
The Lawrence Welk Show 1951 TV Series Himself - Host
The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra 1949 Short Himself
Champagne Music 1946 Short Himself - Orchestra Leader
The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk 1939 Short Himself - Orchestra Leader

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
My Music: Starlight Ballroom 2015 TV Movie Himself
Baseball, Dennis & The French 2011 Documentary
My Music: The Big Band Years 2009 TV Movie Himself
Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures 2007 TV Movie documentary Himself
Lawrence Welk: Milestones & Memories - A Musical Family Reunion 2001 TV Movie Himself '
Television: The First Fifty Years 1999 Video documentary Himself
Things That Aren't Here Anymore 1995 TV Movie documentary Himself
EBN: Commercial Entertainment Product 1992 Video short Himself (uncredited)
All You Need Is Love 1977 TV Series documentary Himself
The Lawrence Welk Show 1968-1971 TV Series Himself - Host
Jazz Ball 1956 TV Movie documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Television On 8 February 1960. At 1601 Vine Street.
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Recording On 8 February 1960. At 6613 Hollywood Blvd.


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1 We cater to the people who want a melody as it was originally written. Our audiences want songs that tell a story. We don't want any song with questionable moral standards.

#Trademark
1 "An-a one, an-a two."
2 Theme song: "Champagne Time" (1970 - 1982)
3 Theme song: "Bubbles in the Wine" (1955 - 1970)

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