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


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#4171

juanruiz

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 7:05 PM

OK, this time around, they did "California Here I Come" with "...bloom in the spring." This has been discussed before.
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#4172

John C

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 9:45 PM

BX, the band definitely looked synced to me. Vocal may have been live. DId they ever do that?

I also noticed how much smaller the band seemed.
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#4173

BX60

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 2:54 PM

I noticed the "Spring" lyric, too. I prefer that one.

Less than two weeks for the 1956 black and white show!
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#4174

BX60

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 2:57 PM

I watched the 1981 show last night without too much use of the fast forward button. I had seen it before, and it was a pretty good show. First and foremost, the best thing about the show was the Oddball Twins were not there. I still had to skip the Ostriches by themselves, though. Tom Netherton needed a root job on his hair. I was surprised to see just how dark his natural hair color truly is. I fast forwarded slowly through his number, and realized that was a fun thing to do. There was no sound, AND I could see the sweat coming out his upper lip at first, and then spreading until his whole face glistened at the last note of the song in time lapse-like photography.

Choe and Chimmy were delegated to the chorus only. I sat through Kathie and Dick's duet, but I certainly would not have called them a great team. The whole time I looked at Kathie I anticipated Buck Owens and Roy Clark to follow, "Pickin' and Grinnin". Skeets Herfurt and Russ Klein did a great job advertising for the Escondido Toupee Shop without saying a word. The Escondido Hillbillies also got the FF button.

I did like Michael, Gail, and Ron. They were the only good thing to hit the Welk show since 1965. Ralna was "electrifying" doing TWO numbers. That stay in the funny farm gave her the jolt she needed to perform again.

I liked the instrumentals tha were on this show. I figured a kid could not hide under a piano from Bob Ralston. Bob could trick him by continuing to play the piano while under it making a grab!

All in all, I give this show a B-. It would have gotten a B if they had shown previews for next week's black and white show from 1956.
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#4175

John C

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

May God help me. I enjoyed Ralston's performance last night, especially and ironically since he was "doing" Liberace. Just proves he'll bend over backwards to give satisfaction.

BX, I agree "Glow Worm" was musically satisfying, and that Tomboy's sweaty countenance provided most of the entertainment during his number.

Lastly, Bobby proved that enough prancing can ruin any dance number. The Mousketeers choreographer apparently ruined him for life. "No, Bobby -- bigger! Bigger!"
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#4176

BX60

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 5:12 PM

I almost passed out when Mary Lou commented that one could not help but think about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers while Bobby and Butch danced their number. I didn't think of Fred and Ginger as I fast forwarded through that number. Fred Astaire was elegant, and thin. Ginger Rogers was a female!

Thankfully Arthur did not have a solo. It was painful enough trying to keep up with Jack and Bobby.

Edited by BX60, May 6, 2012 @ 5:41 PM.

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#4177

MikeO

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 6:09 PM

.....he was "doing" Liberace. Just proves he'll bend over backwards to give satisfaction.

Wasn't that Ralson's porn name; Ben Dover ?
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#4178

juanruiz

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 10:03 PM

Not a bad show considering the year. Anyone know what the function of the buttons on the left side of the accordian is?
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#4179

John C

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 9:20 AM

Juan, those are bass and pre-set chord buttons. When you have an accordion, you are a one-man band.
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#4180

OhioGrandad

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

Seeing Bob Ralston splayed out on his back made me wonder what Tom was thinking about at that moment. Any guesses??

As to Mary Lou's dopey comments about Bobby and Butch....I assume she is reading from cue cards. I wish that just once she would be honest and ask "who writes this sh*t anyway".
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#4181

John C

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 4:50 PM

Oh yes, I forgot to mention Guy and Ralna's aggravated murder of "When I'm 64." It was disgusting the way they substituted the names of their own wretched offspring in one of the verses, rather than "Vera, Chuck and Dave." What colossal gall to think they can improve a Beatles song!
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#4182

juanruiz

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

"What colossal gall to think they can improve a Beatles song!"

Probably no worse than getting rid of "beer."

"As to Mary Lou's dopey comments about Bobby and Butch"

I imagine Mary Lou would extol the virtues of North Korea if paid a check.
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#4183

MikeO

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

I imagine Mary Lou would extol the virtues of North Korea if paid a check.

Quite frankly, Mary Lou never struck me as being completely sincere about anything; she just "gushes" too much.

She's still trying to act like the ingenue she was 40 years ago. It's not very becoming on a woman in her early 60's.

I'm also surprised that she wound up as a Welk spokesperson. She always struck me as a rather insignificant member of the cast; never impressed me as being anything special.

I find it rather sad that some people have to rely on things they did 40 years ago to keep a "career" alive.
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#4184

juanruiz

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 6:34 PM

"I'm also surprised that she wound up as a Welk spokesperson."

I guess she was the lesser of all evils.
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#4185

John C

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 11:15 AM

Last night's 1956 show was a most satisfying program! The band was playing live, as far as I could tell, and unless my eyes deceived me, I spotted a French horn among the trombones. Very snappy playing throughout. My favorite bits would have to be Buddy Merrill's "Blue Suede Shoes" and the Lennon Sisters' knockout a cappella version of "Kentucky Babe." And what a treat to see and hear Alice Lon. Welk was crazy to fire her; she makes Norma Zimmer sound like a mangy alley cat with asthma, as Uncle Bill would say. Only things I didn't like were the "Whispering Sands" thing, which struck me as creepy, and Jimmy Roberts' performances. But then again, he's never been a favorite. Regardless, this show gets an A plus.


Soapbox Alert: It irks me to think that back then you could count on a great show every week, and these days we're lucky to get a couple a year. Mary Lou's pre-show comments suggested it was a big deal to dig this show out of the archives. Why should that be? Whoever prepares the old Welk programs for public TV surely has access to all of them. Except for a little extra knob-twisting, it should be just as easy to serve up a show like Mothers' Day 1956 as it is to shovel Tomboy and the Ostrich Sisters at us yet again.
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#4186

Knuckles491

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 2:57 PM

Sounds like it was a good show. I can't watch for 3 weeks, as my PBS station is having an stupid auction.
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#4187

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 3:33 PM

That was George Thow playing the French Horn. I was surprised to see Lawrence play the organ with no accompaniment, and all the musicians dancing to his playing. This show had nothing that stood out over other shows from the 50s, except maybe Norman Bailey's wife singing with Norman behind her on the trumpet, but it was ALL GOOD as every black and white show I have seen. I have quite a few b&w shows, and this one is not one of my all time favorites, but it certainly beats out ALL shows from the color era. I give this one a good solid A.
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#4188

juanruiz

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 7:51 PM

It's this kind of show that makes me want to boycott the nonsense they put on the rest of the year. This was so good it defies description. I wonder if LW was aware of how badly his shows declined over the decades.

Edit: Anyone know who Norman Bailey's wife was? She was too professional to just come out of the audience.

Edited by juanruiz, May 13, 2012 @ 7:56 PM.

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#4189

MikeO

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Posted May 16, 2012 @ 5:02 AM

Anyone know who Norman Bailey's wife was? She was too professional to just come out of the audience.

I wondered the same thing..... She had the style and demeanor of a big band singer. Perhaps that was in her background. I enjoyed seeing her.


While I'm on the subject of Big Bands -- which is what LW pretended to be -- WHAT do you (anyone?) suppose made Lawrence put such an emphasis on "country" during the last years?

There was Ava Barber, Jim Turner, Clay Hart, Lynn Anderson, The Oddball Twins, Guy and Ralna. (Who am I missing?) Any ONE of them would have filled the bill for the genre -- without turning it into "Hee Haw."

My guess is that Lawrence was pissing on his own values in the hopes of getting ratings, as "country," which I dislike, seems to have a broad fan base. Can't say I respect that.

I agree, this 1956 show was like watching a different show altogether. Very high quality performances. What it morphed into over the years was a pathetic joke. Disgusting.

End of Rant.....
_

Edited by MikeO, May 16, 2012 @ 5:02 AM.

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#4190

juanruiz

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 9:42 AM

"She had the style and demeanor of a big band singer."

That was my supposition. Maybe they met during his career in a band.

As for country, which I don't really care for either, I think he was trying to exploit its growing popularity.

Edited by juanruiz, May 17, 2012 @ 10:58 AM.

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#4191

Knuckles491

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 1:12 PM

Clay Hart country? He's from Providence, Rhode Island. A real New Englander.
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#4192

BX60

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 1:24 PM

You missed the Ostrich Sisters, MikeO. I have no idea why Lawrence went SO BIG into country. Lynn Anderson was a good find, and though over the years she's spent more time in jail than she did on the Welk show, I think Lawrence got a lot of good feedback and ratings from people who liked country music at the time Lynn was on.

When Lawrence started his show in 1955, he had in his mind what the show should be, and refused suggestions to change it, even threatening not to do the show if the changes would be implemented. He was right. Unfortunately he sold out in his later years, and the show may have been more up to date FOR THAT TIME, but it had no lasting power. A 1955 show is more up to date, and enjoyable to watch in 2012 than a 1982 show is.

Trumpet player Mickey McMahon's wife, who was obviously a band singer back in the day also made a couple of appearances singing on the Welk show.

The early Welk show band had talent beyond just their musicianship. Rocky Rockwell, Buddy Hayes, Larry Hooper, Dick Dale, Bob Lido, and others were featured as singers, too. The only people that were JUST singers at the beginning in 1955 were Alice Lon, and Jim Roberts. The Lennon Sisters came along on Christmas Eve, 1955. Joe Feeney came on in 1957, and the show slowly went down from there.
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#4193

MikeO

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 6:06 PM

You missed the Ostrich Sisters, MikeO.

Actually, I didn't include them on purpose, because I don't know WHAT they hell they did.

They were paired with the Oddballs because Lawrence had a penchant (obsession?) for paring people up. So, they became "country" by default.

They were just there. Nothing about those girls stays in my mind. They were the blandest, most generic "singers" ever!

Clay Hart country? He's from Providence, Rhode Island. A real New Englander.

Well, he sang "country," didn't he?
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#4194

Knuckles491

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 6:47 PM

Sure, Clay Hart sang country, and I liked him. Much better than Jim Turner, who was always a little flat.
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#4195

juanruiz

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 9:09 PM

LW died 20 years ago today.
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#4196

juanruiz

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Posted May 19, 2012 @ 9:48 AM

Everyone be sure to wish Bobby a happy 71st birthday today.
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#4197

MikeO

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Posted May 19, 2012 @ 5:54 PM

LW died 20 years ago today.

Remind me to light a candle before a statue of St. Mary Lou of the Gams.

Everyone be sure to wish Bobby a happy 71st birthday today.

Remind me to light another candle before a statue of St. Butch!
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#4198

OhioGrandad

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Posted May 19, 2012 @ 9:45 PM

I thought tonight's Cole Porter show was pretty good. There seemed to be more instrumental numbers than usual, which is a good thing. I only had to FF through Norma, Joe and Arthur. Of course, this program was aired before the "hillbillies" were hired. Also, Guy and Ralna seemed be relatively happy. Evidently, they had not started hating each others guts yet. I noticed that Tanya was featured more than usual. She sang her first number in the audience (ala Ken Delo) while making some really creepy gestures with some of the elderly men in the crowd. She had to share her second number with a 19 year old Anacani who had just joined the musical family.

I was reading some of the posts in the Welknotes Group on Yahoo the other day. There was a lot of discussion about how to get Bobby Burgess on Dancing with the Stars as a coach or mentor for the contestants. Some members felt he should be on the show as a contestant, but others said that would not be fair because he is "too good of a dancer and would probably intimidate the other performers". The scary thing about all of that is these people are serious.
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#4199

John C

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Posted May 19, 2012 @ 10:15 PM

This show was disappointing, having followed that great show last week. I FF'd through almost all of it. There were just too damned many singers, and no snappy small-combo numbers. Juxtaposing those two shows makes me wonder just when the program went wrong, and why his "musical family" had a population explosion.
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#4200

juanruiz

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Posted May 20, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

I don't get the show til tonight, but in regard to the changes over time, someone commented in one of the wrap-arounds that LW just kept hiring more people. As with the country music stuff, he also seemed to go youth-crazy, as if that would bring in the teeny-boppers to his audience.
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