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And Ah-one, Ah-two: The Lawrence Welk Show


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#1

BK1978

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 2:05 AM

I was shocked to see that this was a thread on here. My grandmother used to force my mother to watch this crap when she was a kid. And I have watched it once or twice. And no offense to everyone on here but it is just not my cup of tea and I love old shows.
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#2

jolly_roger

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 5:53 AM

I used to watch this show all the time when I was a kid, but I can't bring myself to look at it anymore. The big, fake smiles just creep the hell out of me.

When I was in college (late 80's), a girl briefly convinced me that Welk did a cover of Duran Duran's "Rio," complete with swingin' trumpet section. She even mimed how the trumpet players would all stand up and sway back and forth while they played the melody. Ah, the naivety of youth!
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#3

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 7:48 AM

She even mimed how the trumpet players would all stand up and sway back and forth while they played the melody.

OMG, that sounds hilarious. All those cool cats clad in those shiny polyester suits moving along to the beat... :-)
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#4

mcmaenza

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 11:30 AM

Okay, I admit to watching this show on PBS on Saturday nights. I used to watch the show every week growing up with my grandmother, and the show reminds me of those memories. Yes, it is very sanitized compared to other things we see today, but that's okay. The music was good, they loved what they were doing, and it shows.

TV could use a bit more variety (via variety shows) these days.
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#5

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Jan 15, 2004 @ 6:27 PM

An interesting bit regarding TV Guide's initial review of the show. From the Complete Directory to Nighttime TV Shows:

Lawrence Welk's Champagne Music was first heard on network television as a summer replacement program in 1955. The critics were not impressed. Reviewing the program at the end of the summer, TV Guide remarked smugly: "The program lacks the necessary sparkle and verve to give it a chance against any really strong competition. But it has been a satisfactory summertime entry..." That proved to be the misjudgment of the year.


How he decided who was popular and who was not:

Much of the appeal of the program lay with its close-knit family of performers. Practically every player in the band was given a chance to solo from time to time, though some were seen more often than others. Welk, who was highly sensitive to viewers' letters, kept a "fever chart" on which each comment on a performer, pro or con, was carefully tallied. Performers with a lot of favorable comments were featured more, and those in disfavor with the letter-writing public tended to disappear from view. The viewer, too, was part of the "family."


Edited by TheCustomOfLife, Jan 15, 2004 @ 6:30 PM.

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#6

Kaboom

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 7:37 AM

How he decided who was popular and who was not:

Thank you for posting that! That was very interesting to find out. My aunt and I used to wonder why certain singers were always showcased while some others that we liked were rarely given solos. I'll have to remember to tell her how and why that happened.

On a completely unrelated note, just before I drifted off to sleep last night, I actually thought "and ah one, and ah two, I wonder if someone's posted in this thread today..." I think I need help... :-)
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#7

Quag

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 9:54 AM

Welk, who was highly sensitive to viewers' letters, kept a "fever chart" on which each comment on a performer, pro or con, was carefully tallied. Performers with a lot of favorable comments were featured more, and those in disfavor with the letter-writing public tended to disappear from view.


That was so interesting, TheCustomofLife. I had no idea; but looking at the shows with a fresh eye, I can see that. It's also obvious that LW liked most of the singers to work in pairs or small groups. Few soloed (Norma Zimmer [when she wasn't paired with Jimmy], Arthur Duncan, Joe Feeney, Tom Netherton, and Tanya Fallon Welk come to mind; but the rest seem to have worked in duos and trios. And, yes, I know I shouldn't even know this. How nerdy am I?)
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#8

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Jan 17, 2004 @ 12:49 PM

Information about Welk's formula from the aforementioned book:

The Welk formula was good, old-fashioned, melodic music, unadorned and straightforwardly presented. Old folks loved it. This was the one place on TV--probably in all of modern media--where "I Love You Truly" could be heard sung completely straight. Moreover, everyone on the show was completely good, clean, and wholesome (or else they were fired). Welk himself had about as much stage presence as Ed Sullivan, but that did not stop either of them. The maestro read stiffly through the brief introductions, and his thick accent was the butt of endless jokes. But when he played his accordion (which was rarely) or danced with one of the ladies in the audience, viewers loved it.


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#9

joanie42

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Posted Jan 17, 2004 @ 1:34 PM

Back in the late '70s, when I was in high school, I remember having to watch this show whenever my grandfather came to visit. He LOVED the show, and I thought (being the know-it-all teen) that it was horrible. And now I'd give anything for the opportunity to sit down and watch TV with him, but he's long gone...
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#10

Maire

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Posted Jan 25, 2004 @ 5:09 PM

Joanie, I was going to post the exact same thing, except we watched with my grandmother who loved it so much. Whenever I am flipping around and catch it in syndication I think of her and how I miss her. It also makes me sad to think of how my kids never watch anything that is not a kid show. So much of what I look back on fondly now are movies and shows that I enjoyed with my whole family: Ponderosa, Ed Sullivan, Laugh-In, Sonny & Cher etc. We had no choice as kids.
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#11

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Posted Jan 25, 2004 @ 10:09 PM

I also watched this on Saturday nights with my Nana, alternating between LW and Hee Haw. Good times, good memories. I even sing the ending song from the show to my son every night as a lullabye at bedtime. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but the little guy loves it...
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#12

Wile E.

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Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 6:37 PM

I can't believe there's a thread for this show. I catch it at 7 pm on Saturdays. I'm usually getting ready for the evening, so I turn the sound down just for the visuals and play some CDs.

A couple of weeks ago, there were singers on a merry-go-round. Some were sitting on the horses, some were standing and dipping their knees. They spun and bobbed through a shiny cloud of pink and purple ... the set, the merry-go-round itself and their wardrobes. And they had on white shoes. It was really pretty trippy and disturbing.

It was accompanied, in my house only, by Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way."

I enjoyed it very much.
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#13

Paper Chaser

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Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 6:45 PM

I can't believe my first ever post on TWOP (after years of lurking) is to come out of the Welk Closet™.

I too used to watch this show as a child with my grandmother, and thus the soft spot. I used to have a crush on the twins (did they have names?) and my grandmother had this intense and irrational dislike of Ana Cani (sp?).
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#14

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Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 6:59 PM

my grandmother had this intense and irrational dislike of Ana Cani (sp?).


Heh. That's a funny mental image, of your grandma grumbling under her breath every time Ana Cani comes onscreen. Isn't Ana the gorgeous latina with the big brown eyes? She's one of my favorites. I think she is the most beautiful of the Welk harem, and she has a lovely voice, as well.

It's been a few weeks, but did anyone catch the Christmas show, where each castmember introduced their family? It was priceless, seeing all the dorky kids and spouses on parade. I was totally taken aback, however, whenever someone mentioned the year: 1982. If you had asked me, I would have guessed the year at about 1970. I didn't even know they were still making Welk shows in the 80s.
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#15

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Feb 1, 2004 @ 12:39 PM

1982 was the final year the shows were made. That may very well have been one of the final episodes.
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#16

Kaboom

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Posted Feb 2, 2004 @ 8:32 AM

I used to have a crush on the twins (did they have names?)

Me too! I would always shuush whoever was talking so I can hear them sing.

Heh. That's a funny mental image, of your grandma grumbling under her breath every time Ana Cani comes onscreen.

My mom wouldn't exactly grumble when Ana Cani was on, but she would have this look on her face that was incredible. Like she had just eaten something really rank or something. My aunt and I liked Ana Cani, probably because she was one of the few Hispanics on the tube at the time (does Huggy Bear count?).
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#17

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Posted Feb 2, 2004 @ 1:58 PM

I used to have a crush on the twins (did they have names?)


That would be the Ottwell twins, who were usually paired with the Aldridge sisters.
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#18

txm79

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 2:54 AM

Wow, I didn't know LW was on into the 80s.

I have childhood memories of this show because my best friend's Grandma Betty loved this show so much. It was hilarious. She had to be at home Saturday's at 6 for the reruns or all hell would break loose. I'd go over there for dinner with my friend's family sometimes and she would shush us all if we were talking during it. I still watch it sometimes just to think of Grandma Betty. I usually start out watching being really amused and making jokes, but somehow I get sucked into it.
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#19

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 8:59 AM

She had to be at home Saturday's at 6 for the reruns or all hell would break loose.


I'm in my 30s; but if it's wrong to raise hell if I don't see my weekly dose of LW, then I don't want to be right!

Last Saturday, LW was a salute to the Indianapolis 500 hosted by Norma Zimmer. Funny, but only the first song had anything to do with the Indy 500. Norma still looks good, and she said that she still skis and travels.

Although I love watching LW no matter what year they show, I prefer the shows between 1967 and 1976. The shows after 1976 seemed to be running out of steam; and the performances seem kinda lackluster, IMO.
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#20

lexualhealing

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 1:11 PM

Awwww. *hugs this thread* I watched Lawrence Welk on Saturday evenings in the late 70s as a kid. It came on right before Hee Haw and right after the Muppet Show. *
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#21

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Posted Feb 23, 2004 @ 11:46 AM

Saturday's ep was a salute to "This Colorful World." Gah, I love the corny themes.

Among other color-related songs, Tom Netherton sang "Blue Velvet." I have mixed feelings about Tom's singing. He sounds good in his lower register (mmmmm, deep rich bass), but there's just something that makes his singing hard to listen to. I don't know if it's the overenunciation or the smarmy eyef***ing to the camera. *shrugs* I dunno.

And watching Saturday's show, something dawned on me. Upthread we complained about how Arthur Duncan was pigeonholed as the black tapdancer. I also realized that Anaconi is almost always pigeonholed as the Mexican senorita. Tonya Fallon-Welk, though Italian, only occasionally is cast as the token Italian. Just a thought.

Anybody have favorite themes? I like the holiday-themed shows. (The Halloween one is good. Ralna's version of "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" is nice.) I also like the salutes to America. There were several, I think.

Edited by Quag, Feb 23, 2004 @ 11:53 AM.

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#22

JRV

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Posted Mar 16, 2004 @ 4:30 PM

It's interesting to note that when LW finished his 16-year run on ABC-TV, albeit for low ratings, he went syndicated and was actually seen on more stations than before.

See: http://www.imdb.com/...749/plotsummary
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#23

DocHopper

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Posted Mar 17, 2004 @ 8:56 PM

Aww, I want to hug this thread too! I used to spend a lot of weekends with my grandparents, and they always watched this on Saturday. I hated it, and used to get so bored and squicked out by the completely corny songs and costumes.

And now I'd cut off a limb to be sitting with my grandparents watching this show.
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#24

It Does Not Follow

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Posted Mar 18, 2004 @ 10:05 PM

My grandparents never made me watch this "glimpse into hell"; strangely, I became hooked on it all on my own. Especially some of the dance sequences involving toothy Mary Lou.
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#25

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Jun 3, 2004 @ 11:36 AM

I just saw the episode dedicated to the Armed Forces a week or so ago with Jack Imel hosting. He was definitely one of the most vibrant presenters I'd seen in a while. Everyone else is all boring when they go, "Here, look at my wife and kids!" At least he seemed really funny.

I can't place a timeframe on that Armed Forces episode, though. It had Jo Ann Castle AND Sandi and Salli, so I'm thinking 1968.
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#26

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Posted Jun 4, 2004 @ 8:13 AM

TheCustomofLife, I didn't realize Joann Castle was on as long as '68; but you're probably right. I hate when they don't say what year the show is. I can usually guess within a year just based on the hairstyles and clothes, but I like to see if I'm right.

Did anybody see last week's show with the new wraparound? Tim (I forget his last name) is a new guy, not from the old show. I think this is the first time I've seen a host that wasn't in some way connected to the old show. It was interesting and fresh, but I still prefer seeing the original cast host, even when they showcase their families and sing and stuff. That just gives me a bathroom/snack (but not together) break.

My kingdom for all the LW shows on dvd.
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#27

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Jun 4, 2004 @ 10:38 AM

TheCustomofLife, I didn't realize Joann Castle was on as long as '68


Well, I knew Sandi and Salli started in 1968, and Jo Ann Castle was on from 1959 to 1969. It's really fun memorizing books, and I am officially a dorkazoid. And a half.
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#28

SuspiciousMind

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Posted Jun 4, 2004 @ 10:03 PM

Hello, fellow Welk-Nerds!

My sister just found this thread today, and I could kiss her feet for doing so! I was shocked to see a TWoP forum for my dear LW!! I agree with all the other posters that the show really takes those of us of a certain age back to a good time in our lives. As for watching it now, I really have no explanation as to why my life stops at 6:00 every Saturday night and I MUST SEE THE SHOW (when it's not pre-empted by our local PBS affiliate, that is)...I just know that that's how it is for me!

Yes, OETA still puts out the newsletter and it's $10.00 for a year's subscription (four issues). It's full of good news and good pix of the WelkStars ™. I think I found them by Googling, and they're really sweet at OETA.

I love the comment someone made about Tom Netherton rubbing them the wrong way. At first I dug him because I thought he was cute, then I realized that he's never "real" -- when he hosts the show he talks about his activities, but there's no depth or feeling to it at all. And I wish he could just speak normally instead of sounding like "Mr. Announcer Man." I got my paws on his autobiography and it was just the same -- very surface stuff. (/end snark). I'm sure he's a very nice guy and all, but the other WelkStars ™ seem a lot more real.

Oh, one more snark: Do Clay and Salli (especially Salli) rub anyone else the wrong way, too(/okay, true end of snark)?

All that being said, though, I do love LW and the oasis of decency the show represents. You gotta hand it to LW for doing things his way, no matter what everyone else around him was doing. I respect the hell out of him for that.
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#29

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Posted Jun 5, 2004 @ 6:21 PM

Awwww. *hugs this thread* I watched Lawrence Welk on Saturday evenings in the late 70s as a kid. It came on right before Hee Haw and right after the Muppet Show.


[Sigh] Saturday afternoons circa 1980... [deep breath] I'm here to step out of the Welk Closet and proclaim my champagney bubbles pride! Thank you TheCustomOfLife for starting this so-shockingly-uncool-it's-even-cooler thread!

I used to get in so much poo with my best friend -- with whom I was pathologically obsessed with The Muppets and who could tolerate HeeHaw -- for my insistence on enjoying Lawrence Welk. He would actually leave the room where we were watching tv & go outside (horrors!) if I could not be swayed, which I could never be...

I can still torture him with my simple rendition of "Eres Tu" ala Ana Coni (my favorite!)... There's nothing like a latin number via Lawrence Welk... [another deep sigh]

I used to also totally live for Bobby & Cissy because Bobby had been on The Mickey Mouse Club which was also in reruns at the same time AND because my grandmother had seen Bobby & Cissy perform in an exhibition concert at her "country club" (the rec center on the AirForce base in town). So I fancied myself to be following Bobby's career...

I have watched the show occasionally but now that I have discovered this thread I will likely become more of a devoted watcher. Especially with the encyclopedic Quag & TheCustomOfLife around to assist us mere mortals!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Uh1AndUh2...
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#30

TheCustomOfLife

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Posted Jun 7, 2004 @ 7:18 PM

The only thing I hate after all these years is how horrible Welk was as an announcer. "Thank you *awkward pause* Sandi and-a *pause* Salleh. Now it is time *awkward pause* to per-so-nah-lee thank our men *pause, squint at cue cards* in uni-form. *screeching halt, pause* Here's our verrrreh own Larry *pause* Hoo-per singing the praises *pause* of the Nayyyyyyyy-veh."

On closer inspection, it looks like the Jack Imel-hosted special was a splicing of two episodes, one of which was purported to have never been aired on PBS before:

Armed Forces Day/Memorial Day (Never aired on PBS) May 20, 1967

1 - What's More American than...: Arthur, Jack, Kathy, Diane, Jimmy, Natalie, Barbara, Bobby, Steve
2 - Maria: orchestra featuring Myron Floren on the accordion
3 - A Nightingale Sang in Barkley Square: Norma Zimmer
4 - Astaire & Rogers Medley: I Won't Dance/ The Continental/ The Carioca/ Cheek to Cheek: sung and danced by Bobby Burgess & Barbara Boylan
5 - Let the Rest of the World Go By: The 4 Lennon Sisters
6 - It Had to Be You: Bob Ralston at the piano
7 - Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning: Larry Hooper with Charlie Parlato
8 - S'Wonderful: orchestra
9 - I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen: Steve Smith
10 - Give My Regards to Broadway: danced by Arthur Duncan
11 - Pack Up Your Troubles (in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile): Jo Ann Castle at the honky tonk piano
12 - Charmaine: Jimmy Roberts with Mahlon Clark on saxophone
13 - A String of Pearls: orchestra
14 - The White Cliffs of Dover: Joe Feeney with Jack Imel on the harmonica
15 - The American Patrol: Myron Floren on the accordion with guitarists Neil Levang & Buddy Merrill
16 - (How Ya Gonna Keep'em) Down on the Farm: Bob Lido & Aladdin assisted by Joe and Arthur
17 - Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines: sung and danced by Bobby Burgess & Jack Imel with small group of musicians and chorus: Arthur, Joe, Bob L., Aladdin, Jo Ann Barbara, Steve, Norma, Larry, Kathy, Natalie, Diane
18 - Mister Wonderful: Natalie Nevins
19 - The Army Air Force Song/ As the Caissons Go Rolling Along/ Song of the Coastguard/ From the Halls of Montezuma/ Anchors Aweigh: orchestra
20 - What's More American than...: Arthur, Jack, Kathy, Diane, Jimmy, Natalie, Barbara, Bobby, Steve


Veteran's Day & Tribute To I. Berlin, Host: Myron Floren Nov. 8, 1969

1 - This Is a Great Country: Bobby, Jimmy, Dick, Ken, Sandi, Salli, Cissy, Charlotte
2 - I'll Be Seeing You: Norma Zimmer
3 - Soft Lights and Sweet Music: orchestra
4 - Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay: Clay Hart
5 - Strike Up the Band: Sandi Griffith & Salli Flynn
6 - Somewhere My Love (Theme from Dr. Zhivago): Bob Ralston at the organ
7 - A Nightingale Sang in Barkley Square: Ken Delo
8 - A Shine on Your Shoes: danced by Arthur Duncan
9 - Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree: Salli Flynn & Dick Dale
10 - (How Ya Gonna Keep 'em) Down on the Farm: danced by Bobby Burgess & Cissy King
11 - Medley: The American Patrol/Dixie/Yankee Doodle Dandy: Myron Floren on accordion
12 - The White Cliffs of Dover: Joe Feeney with Myron Floren on accordion
13 - Don't Give Up the Ship: Danced by Bobby, Arthur & Jack with singers Joe, Larry, Dick, Jimmy, Ken
14 - Doin' What Comes Natur'lly: Ralna English
15 - Remember? Norma Zimmer & Jimmy Roberts with violinist Joe Livoti
16 - A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody: orchestra
17 - How Deep Is the Ocean? Tanya Falan
18 - Alexander's Ragtime Band: Bob Lido with the Hotsy Totsy Boys, the whole cast and Bob Havens on trombone
19 - Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning: Larry Hooper
20 - Yesterday When I Was Young: orchestra with Neil Levang on guitar
21 - God Bless America: Norma Zimmer and men chorus


Edited by TheCustomOfLife, Jun 7, 2004 @ 7:24 PM.

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