Lawrence Welk - Popular host o the long-running
weekly musical program THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW/ABC/1955-71 (followed
by his syndicated series which ran until February 24, 1982.).
Leaving his Strasburg, North
Dakota farm at the age of twenty-one, Lawrence Welk took his talent
with the accordion on the road playing hotels and ballrooms with a
variety of bands including "The Hotsy Totsy Boys," Lawrence Welk's
Novelty Band" and The Fruit Gum Orchestra."
One week in 1938 some
letters arrived from fans who listened to his band on the radio. One
of the letters suggested that his music sounded "Bubbly." And so the
very next week, the announcer introduced the band as "Lawrence Welk
and his Champagne Music."
Lawrence Welk first appeared on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles where he
performed weekly at the Aragon Ballroom at Pacific Ocean Park. He
later began a 27-year reign of THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW His last TV
show concluded with Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show
As of 1990, reedited tapes of his earlier shows with new
introductions were aired on PBS stations nationwide. In 1992,
Lawrence Welk died of pneumonia at his Santa Monica beachfront condo
at the age of 89.
According to a quote in People Weekly (6/1/92
p.103) Bernice McGeehan who co-authored Welk's autobiography
"Wunnerful, Wunnerful" said, "He was not in pain; He just went to
sleep. He had a lovely, long, full life, and we're grateful he
The Lawrence Welk Museum located within the Lawrence
Welk Resort Village, north of San Diego (built 1980) highlights his
TRIVIA NOTE: One of Lawrence Welk's
trademark openings was the exploding sound of a champagne cork made
by popping his index finger against the inside of his mouth and
followed by the effervescent sound of fizzling bubbles. N.A. Fisher
invented the bubble machine used to create the thousand of
champagne-like bubbles that soared above the bandstand on his TV
series. See also
NICKNAMES: "The Champagne Lady"
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