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


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#4141

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:05 AM

Another week where Jimmy Roberts sounds great, and Joanne Castle's music starts before Lawrence has finished intoducing the number. Now, what is it exactly, that's so disconcerting about Natalie Nevins? Is it just her looks, or the frozen expressions, or the creepy way she holds her hands? I don't like to comment about people's looks, but she's rather disturbing to watch.
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#4142

BX60

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 6:24 PM

This show was pleasant, but nothing special. I fast forwarded through Natalie, Joe, and Arthur. Arthur is WAY more entertaining on fast forward than in real time. I DID sit through "Singin' In The Rain" with Jack, Bobby, and Arthur. As ususal Jack and Bobby were always a full step ahead of Arthur.

Other than the usual fast forward crowd, this show didn't have anything else objectionable. It was a 1967 show, and I was expecting better, but I still give it a B.

Knuckles491, Natalie was TV's Dingbat five years before the Edith Bunker character hit the airwaves. Have you ever heard Natalie talk? Her looks certainly don't help, and the way she uses her hands when she sings reminds me of the kids on a Jerry Lewis Telethon. She does certain songs very well, especially with The Blenders. She would have been better on radio.

Here's a clip of Natalie playing the flute fairly well, then ruining it by talking to Lawrence, and redeeming herself with The Blenders:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=8sCy4H9w1e0
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#4143

juanruiz

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 7:52 PM

Not a bad show. But even a mediocre one from the 60s far surpasses the later ones. One of the Lennons must have been pregnant, as they were stuck behind a hedge. Larry Hooper once again showed he could never master lip-synching. A strange interlude for the American Cancer Society. Norma's vibrato still irritates me.
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#4144

OhioGrandad

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 8:40 AM

One of the Lennons must have been pregnant, as they were stuck behind a hedge.


There was a multi-post discussion over in the Welknotes group about which Lennon was pregnant. The consensus is that Janet was the guilty party. I think its funny that LW wanted his viewers to believe that his "Welk Girls" were all virgins.
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#4145

juanruiz

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 6:55 AM

The Lennons themselves have admitted that a central cause of their estrangement from LW and the show was his attempt to keep them frozen in time as teenagers as regarded songs and dress. This despite the fact they were all married with children.
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#4146

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 8:48 AM

Boy, BX60, that Natalie interview clip is painful to watch, but I must admit she sounds great on the flute. Here's a crazy story....back in the mid 60's I was a college girl in Boston. My friends were real party girls, me not so much. One Saturday night we were standing in the cold on Marlborough St., waiting to be picked up by some friends we knew, and we were supposed to go to some party where there would be drinking, and most likely, marijuana smoking. A lot of the apartment houses on the street have bow windows, and while we were waiting, I looked into the living room of one place. The people had on the Lawrence Welk show, and all I could think of was, "I wish I was in there with those people."
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#4147

John C

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 10:18 PM

My grandma was from Boston. I remember being over at her house on Marlborough Street one Saturday evening, and of course she was watching Lawrence Welk. Back then I thought the show was corny, and I asked her if I could change the channel. She told me to shut up and go pull the shade down because there was some girl looking into her living room.
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#4148

BX60

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 7:56 PM

Knuckles491, Lawrence made the mistake of letting Natalie speak on another show, too. He seemed more put out with her on that one than on the clip I posted.

I liked her "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon" with the Blenders very much.

I doubt if Orie Amadeo's wife got too jealous over Natalie's gushing over him.

It didn't matter where I was on Saturday night when I was a kid. If I was home, my grandmother's house, my aunt's house, or friend's house, if it was Saturday at 7:00, we watched the Lawrence Welk Show.

I've told this story before, but when I got my first job as an usher at a movie theatre in the 60s, I worked on Saturday night, and quit watching Lawrence Welk. I really gave the show no more thought until the late 80s when I watched an old 1963 "Jack Benny Program" on CBN. His guests were Lawrence Welk and the Champagne Music Makers. When the curtain came up, it seemed like a bunch of old friends came to see me. I shocked my wife when I could name most of the orchestra by name. It made me feel nice to see Jerry Burke, Dick Dale, Bob Lido, Aladdin, Bill Page, and the rest of the orchestra. I started watching the reruns on PBS, and am now one of the Welk show's biggest fans. I WAS dismayed when I saw the mid 70s to 82 shows, though. I could not beliee how low Lawrence sunk in the decades I missed his live show.
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#4149

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 8:06 AM

John C, that is hilarious. BX, I know what you mean about the late 70's shows. The Otwell/Aldrich harmonies just bother me. I have to change the channel when they're on. Ava Barber sings with such effort, and she has at least 32 eyebrow raises per song. Bobby and Elaine make me miss Cissy. Kathy Sullivan's pitch misses the mark ever so slightly in each song. Tom emotes every syllable, Mary Lou grates when she sings those squeaky novelty songs......but I still watch faithfully.
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#4150

MikeO

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 5:46 PM

The Otwell/Aldrich harmonies just bother me.


They have harmonies ???

I thought they were delivering turnips and just happened to fall off the truck.

Edited by MikeO, Apr 20, 2012 @ 5:47 PM.

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#4151

juanruiz

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 7:42 PM

"Mary Lou grates when she sings those squeaky novelty songs."

I remember when she did "On The Good Ship Lollipop" in a babydoll dress à la Shirley Temple half way up her thighs. Never could figure out how LW approved that.

Edit: Just found it

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=uz7u_tQ06WA

Edited by juanruiz, Apr 20, 2012 @ 7:45 PM.

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#4152

John C

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 7:54 PM

Knuckles, welcome. If you're like me, you come here for the Welk info but stay for the humor.
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#4153

John C

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 2:23 PM

Last night's 25th Anniversary show was a blur. I mean that literally, because I FFed through 90% of it. I believe the only spot I enjoyed was that trombone solo, and I had to FF through the song to get to that. Then again, I hate anything with too much pink. And Mary Lou Metzger is starting to get to me. She's just too damned perky. That's my report.
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#4154

BX60

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 7:17 PM

I saw this the last time they aired it. It was a 1980 show, so we can't expect much. I didn't watch it this time around because I recorded it last time, but I remember liking "The Anniersary Waltz", and "Say It With Music", which whas the first number on the first national Welk show in 1955. Butch was there, the Oddballs and Ostriches, Kathie (Hee Haw logo model) Sullivan, The Escondido Hillbillies, and the other syrupy sweeties, so it could have been better.

Don't forget, the Mothers Day show will be a black and white show from 1956!!!!!
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#4155

juanruiz

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 7:26 PM

The 25th was just one more indication of the show's decline over the years. It's tough when the best pieces are mediocre at best. Ah well, at my age I've become stoical, and can put up with it.
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#4156

BX60

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:18 PM

WELKIPEDIA

Bob Ralston

Robert (Bob) Ralston was a longtime member of Lawrence Welk's Musical Family. He was a pianist, organist, and arranger during his 21 year association with Welk. He was also an inventor, inventing an ocarina like instrument with an organ type keyboard. When asked why he invented it, Ralston answered: "I always wanted to finger and blow a small organ".

Early Lfe:

Bob was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ralston. Mr. Ralston died when Bob was an infant, so he was raised by his mother, Mary. Mary worked for Walt Disney Studios, and was the voice of Minnie Mouse. Mrs. Ralston and Mr. Disney became friends, and Walt would often invite Mary and Bob to the studio to watch the animators create the cartoons. Walt Disney once observed: "Even as a kid, Bob showed no interest in the cartoon business. He found nothing interesting or fun in anything we did unless it was a Donald Duck cartoon that featured Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie."

First Music Lesson:

Bob took piano lessons at age 8 at the San Francisco Piano Conservatory For Young Boys. He did very well. He played piano better than anyone, even achieving professional status by the time he was ten, yet he stayed there until he turned 21, when he could no longer study there because he was an adult.

Love Finds Bob Ralston:

Bob met the love of his life in his Dutch wife Fietje. She was "fresh" off a plane from Holland by way of Denmark, and spotted Bob playing the piano at the airport lounge. Fietje said it was love at first sight when she spotted Bob. They started dating, and after Fietje made one last trip to Denmark for about a week, they married. Fietje did volunteer work while Bob brought home the bacon from the Welk show. She delighted in telling Dutch folk stories at the pubic library, especially the famous one of the little boy who saved Holland from flooding by sticking his finger in the dike.

Welk Show And Beyond:

After the Welk show Bob pursued other interests. Fietje got into photography, specializing in low light applications. Bob was unheard from for 8-11 years, and missed the Welk specials filmed in that era. He resurfaced, jogging near San Quentin in California one day, when Larry Welk spotted him. Larry commented that Bob looked good in stripes, and then told Bob of his dad's passing, and hired him for his new Champagne Theatre in Branson. He's been playing the organ there ever since. When asked how things have changed over the years, Bob commented on how big Joe Feeney's kids had gotten over the years. Besides his gig at the Champagne Theatre, he an Fietje spend their time babysitting, and photographing the Lennon Sister's grandkids.



Here's a GREAT YouTube clip I had never seen before. It must be from 1963-65, when the show was still fantastic. it's Champagne Medley Tme, and Jm Roberts, Bob Ldo, Aladdn, Larry Hooper, Norma Zimmer, and the three Lennon Sisters sing "`Goodnight Ladies". There's also a nce Sinclair gasoline promo, too.

There is more good entertainment in this less than 5 minute clip than the full hour of any Welk show produced after 1975.


http://www.youtube.c...feature=related












w

Edited by BX60, Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:20 PM.

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#4157

John C

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:39 AM

Thanks, BX. Great clip that improved my day! Where can I buy Sinclair gas? Apparently it comes from dinosaurs.
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#4158

MikeO

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Nice one, BX.

.....the famous one of the little boy who saved Holland from flooding by sticking his finger in the dike.

Too easy! I'm not touching this one!

;-)

There is more good entertainment in this less than 5 minute clip than the full hour of any Welk show produced after 1975.

True, dat!
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#4159

BX60

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:42 PM

MikeO. I wanted to add to the dike story, too, but thought if it was any more graphic it would get pulled.

John C, Sinclair was pretty much nationwide in the 60s, including here in San Antonio. I used Sinclair gasoline, because the station near my house not only would fill my tank, clean the windshield, and check the oil and tires, they would vacuum the floorboard of the car, too! Their gas was 31.9 cents per gallon then, and we also got trading stamps to boot! Arco bought out the vast majority of Sinclair stations across the nation in the early 1970s. Arco stayed around these parts maybe five years or so, then left this area of the country. I think there still are Sinclair statons in the northwest US.
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#4160

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:20 AM

It's funny, I don't remember the show ever being sponsored by Sinclair. I remember Dodge, of course, and Geritol and, as Lawrence used to say, "Poli Gribba".
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#4161

BX60

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:59 AM

Another sponsor for a while was Universal Appliances. I also was shocked to see that the Welk show was also sponsored a while by the Consolidated Cigar Corporation, maker of El Producto cigars.

Welk made it clear in 1955 he would not be sponsored my beer or cigarette manufacturers, but he allowed cigar commercials on his show!

Here's my least favorite "Goodnight Ladies" ending, and credits with a mention of the Consolidated Cigar Corporation from 1964:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=l8fbZTWvizw

Edited by BX60, Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:11 PM.

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#4162

MikeO

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 11:23 AM

.....but he allowed cigar commercials on his show!

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar....... :-)
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#4163

BX60

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:27 PM

>>>>>>Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar....... :-)<<<<<<<

Unless you're Bill Clinton.

Here's a nice clip from 1963. It's Champagne Medley time again. This one features onne of my favorite Welk musicians, Bill Page on the bassoon.

It looks like the commercial from their "alternate sposor", Geritol had just ended, and we can see above the bandstand that this week's show was brought to us by Universal Appliances.

http://www.youtube.c...&feature=relmfu

The Welk shows would have been much more enjoyable had they retained Champagne Medley for the finale for the entire show's run.

Edited by BX60, Apr 26, 2012 @ 7:59 PM.

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#4164

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

BX, maybe you don't like that 1964 "Goodnight Ladies" excerpt because they're singing in a really low key, and it doesn't have the same brightness as before. Larry can't even get down to those low notes. Fun to watch, though.

OOPS! I just checked an older version of Goodnight Ladies, and it's in the same key.
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#4165

BX60

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

Knuckles491, I didn't like that version because of the way the singers came in with their parts. Too much just Jim and Norma. I LOVE the Lennon Sisters,and Norma, but Alice Lon, Jim Roberts, Larry Hooper, Bob Lido, and Aladdin had that number nailed! I LOVED Alice Lon blowing a two handed kiss to us as they left to let Lawrence sign off. Norma's hand jesture at the end was strange, and seemed to say "get lost". It was not the classy end of the show I was used to.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=1zak2P40oN0

Edited by BX60, Apr 28, 2012 @ 5:28 PM.

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#4166

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 6:22 PM

Oh, my, can it be? I thought the Aldrich/Otwells were wonderful tonight. I liked hearing the boys sing alone with their guitars, and the song was nice, too.
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#4167

MikeO

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:09 AM

Oh, my, can it be? I thought the Aldrich/Otwells were wonderful tonight.

Were you drinking? Hearing-aid not turned up?

Maybe you've had a stroke! ?
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#4168

Knuckles491

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

Hi, MikeO. I know, I usually hate them. What bothers me about their singing is the fact that they don't sing as a quartet. When the Blenders sing, there's that perfect 4-part barbershop harmony. The Otwells harmonize with each other, and the girls harmonize with each other...put it all together and it's a mish mash of overblown sound.

Edited by Knuckles491, Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:22 AM.

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#4169

John C

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

I agree, Knuckles. A mish-mash. Anyway, it was interesting seeing them all playing instruments except ol' Wall-Eyed Ostrich, but I guess her trombone was in the shop.

Interesting that Guy got a solo spot, and that he was chosen for "Rhinestone Cowboy." That number was supposed to go to Tom Netherton, but Tomboy was indisposed that week, having sat on something.

The dancing in this show was especially bad. Bobby and Whatsername's routine about California was strictly from hunger, and Arthur didn't even bust a decent windmill.

Ironically, though, I did enjoy the "Nutcracker" number. I generally hit the FF when I see George Cates start waving his stick, but I was making a sandwich at the time, and I wound up enjoying it. That is, until Welk started prancing around the dance floor. What a big show-off. Also enjoyed Henry Cuesta's performance. I would have enjoyed the Hotsy-Totsy Boys if they hadn't been syncing. How hard is it to mic a small combo?! Welk got lazy.

Anyway, I give this show a C. The sandwich got a B+ (ran out of Miracle Whip).
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#4170

BX60

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

I fast forwarded through most of it, ESPECIALLY the Ostriches and Oddballs. I liked the instrumental numbers. Bobby's dance routine could have been worse. He could have been teamed with Butch. The Nutcracker medley was very nice, but he didn't have enough orchestra to do it justice. It needed more stings like when he had six violins, a viola, and a cello back in the 60s. He also needed more brass. It was a 1979 show, so it certanly could have been worse. I give it a C.

Are you sure "Runnin' Wild" was synched? Bob Lido had a microphone that he tried hard to sing into

Edited by BX60, Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:25 PM.

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