Renowned bandleader Lawrence Welk began his own variety series in 1955... and it has never stopped running. Each program was straightforward musical numbers from Welk's band (many of which had featured solos at one point or another), as well as vocal selections and dance numbers from the show's cast. Most of the introductions to the performances, read stiffy by Welk, were kept short. Many of the shows revolved around a certain theme (e.g., "The Music Man" or the Fourth of July), with appropriate songs and dance numbers. The most famous of the featured singers were the Lennon Sisters (Dianne, Janet, Kathy and Peggy), who were featured most every week for 13 years. At the end of each show, Welk would invite women from the audience on stage to dance with him as the theme, "Bubbles in the Wine" (and later, "Champagne Fanfare") played. The show enjoyed a 16-year network run on ABC, and later a succesful 11-year syndicated run. Just months after the original series ended, older shows (from ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
In 1971, on one particular broadcast, the "gospel" segment, performed by Dick Dale and Gail Farrell, was a song entitled "One Toke Over The Line'", which does mention "Jesus" and "Mary," but which is in fact an obvious drug - themed song. See more »
When the show is shown in syndication on PBS, it contains color presentation clips filmed and hosted by surviving members of the Welk musical family. This is presumably done to pad the show out to the length it would be with commercial breaks. See more »
I'm a mere 16 year old, however my best friend and I love this show. Almost in a freakish sense. There's something timeless about the show that makes it a pleasure to watch, week after week. If you don't watch it... well you should... it's entertaining, enjoyable, and the retro- ness of it all is truly magical. Many of my Saturday nights are spent watching this show with friends on our local public television station. The music is always cool, and the variety of music that is featured makes it a very different show each week. Lawrence Welk is very gifted in his role of band-leader. I am quite happy that PBS is still showing it, and you should check it out. You will always find something you know on the show, and if not, you will grow fond of what you do hear.
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