Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kirsten Weingartner

One of the highlights from my Branson trip earlier this month was of course I got to see the Live Welk Reunion Show.

The band had plenty of talented musicians that provided the excellent music, one of them is violinist Kirsten Weingartner

Here's Kirsten doing a spendid version of "Wild Dog", Joe Livoti would be very proud of her.

From a Google search of her, she's spent eleven years as violinst for the Live Welk Show at the Welk Theater and has performed with several other orchestras such as the Omaha Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks just to name a few.

If you get a chance to see her perform, do so. It's well worth your time.



Monday, September 29, 2008


It's been a while we heard from the Lennon Sisters....

Here's Peggy, Kathy and Janet from 1964 singing "Hummingbird" courtesy of our friends from YouTube


Sunday, September 28, 2008

TV themes we would've loved to hear on the Welk show

There are so many to choose from, and that's why I'll be posting regularly on this subject.

Great television shows are known for it's iconic theme songs, and the Champagne Music Makers have performed many of them on the Welk show over the years (Happy Days, The Tonight Show, My Three Sons, etc...)

And there are some that we would have loved to hear the Maestro's band play,

....one of them is the theme for Coronation Street.

A quick refresher course not familiar....Coronation Street is a popular British soap opera that has aired on ITV since 1960. If you live close to the Canadian border here in the good ol' USA....it's also aired on CBC...or in my case, their Windsor affiliate (Canada likes the show too!)

It takes place in the northern working-class English town of Weatherford, and it has famous characters such as Ken Barlow, Ena Sharples, Bet Lynch, etc....more can be read from it's Wikipedia article.

But it has a great theme song done Big Band style composed by Eric Spear, click here to listen to it.

After listening, you can agree it would be tailor-made for Lawrence Welk and his orchestra....I can just picture the trumpet solo either done by Mickey McMahan

...or Johnny Zell

....and it's great clarinet solo by Henry Cuesta


The ABC curtain call

This week, it's the last show on the ABC network from 1971 and just before Lawrence and his music makers make the switch to syndication, here are some highlights for the Alphabet Newtork viewers!

The reeds section playing "Say It With Music", under the iconic Geritol sign...

Cissy King and Bobby Burgess dancing to "Moon River".....

Two fellows who were on the Welk show from the start in 1955, the Maestro and Buddy Merrill....

Tanya Falan singing "That's Amore"....

That's all this week, and I like to dedicate this post to the memory of Paul Newman....I must have enjoyed his Newman's Own popcorn several times while watching Lawrence Welk.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another awful Rocket loss

Just got back home from a Saturday's night worth of college football at the Glass Bowl, and UT went down in flames....again, 35-16 to Florida International University.

And what's worse, I got the annual changing-of-the-seasons allergies which means I have been coughing and sneezing with the headache on the side.

That really sucks....

Oh well, even when the football team isn't looking good, my alma mater...the University of Toledo is a pretty campus, so here are some pictures I took Thursday when I went bicycle riding,

The Centennial Mall with the bell tower in the background....

The icon itself.....the famous Bell Tower

The Student Union with the fountain in front.....

Savage Hall, where the Rockets play basketball.....

...and the Glass Bowl, site of many triumphs courtesy of the Midnight Blue and Gold.

Tommorrow, I have a rundown of this week's episode of Lawrence Welk.

And like UT, it's a good one!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Lynn Anderson

It's Lynn's birthday today, and here we go with the haikus....

I beg your pardon
Lynn promised a rose garden
Not a bed of thorns


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Arthur Duncan

It's Arthur Duncan's birthday today, and here's a haiku for him!

Take one step forward
And take another step back
Arthur's feet can fly


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guy Hovis

Today is Guy Hovis' birthday, here's a haiku written for him...

He's from Tupelo
Just like another singer
You know who he is

Happy Birthday Guy!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet the Music Makers

Ever wanted to know who was in the Lawrence Welk Orchestra back in 1955? Now you can thanks to YouTube!

Live, from Chicago that year....here's the boys in the band introducing themselves in poetry and song!


Monday, September 22, 2008

It's up to Guy & Ralna to Beat The Clock!

Representing the Green section, Guy Hovis and Ralna English!

As they try to Beat The Clock!

Thanks to a great heads-up from a loyal fan of Welk Musical Family.com, I found out that GSN aired this episode featuring Guy & Ralna from the Monty Hall hosted revival this early Monday morning.

So I went ahead, programmed the DVR and was able to watch if our favorite singing married couple from the Welk Show can win some money!

I'm guessing that this episode aired back in 1980, they mentioned they been married for eleven years.

Here, they try to win money for the studio audience such as rolling a soccer ball into some narrow goalposts....

....and Ralna rolling some hula hoops while Guy tries to catch them, with a broomstick, blindfolded.

Here's Ralna playing the Bonus Shuffle, with some high stakes at stake.....

And Guy is playing a very unusual bonus game.

Oh sure, it looks easy.....


Elaine Balden

Today is Elaine's birthday, here's a haiku I've written for her...

Check out how she moves
Elaine is Bobby's new girl
Do you wanna dance?

Happy Birthday Elaine!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jimmy McHugh

Hope your Sunday morning is a good one so far, UT lost a double overtime heartbreaker to Fresno State (...if you're gonna go for two, run it in!)....but that's another story.

In the meantime, my local PBS completed it's two weeks of pledge drives to bring Welk again, this week it's a salute to the music of Jimmy McHugh!

Here are some of the highlights.

The ladies here are singing "I Feel A Song Coming On".....

Skeets Herfurt playing "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" on the sax.....

Jimmy Roberts, with Bob Smale at the piano, singing "I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me".....

Anacani with the Maestro doing things the "South American Way"

And here's some of our singers with "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening"

That's all folks! Next week is another classic, the ABC Finale from 1971, should be a good one.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

....and speaking of Steve

The results of my recent poll are in, with 90% percent of the vote (45 out of 50 total votes)....

Steve Smith is the winner in a landslide! (Who Is Your Favorite Blender?)

Coming in second is Greg Dixon at 6% (3 votes) followed by Bob Duncan and Johnny Johnson with a vote a piece (2%).

Thanks for voting, the newest poll is up!


Steve Smith's birthday

And here's a haiku written just for you!

The ladies love Steve

First singing with the Blenders

then going solo


Friday, September 19, 2008

It's haiku time again

Here goes nothing......

Hey Mister Myron

Play us one of your polkas

For me and my girls


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Big Switch....by Ralna

Still watching the Welk Show with an old fashioned antenna? Unless you get a digital converter box by Febuary 17, 2009, you're outta luck.

Maybe Ralna English can convince you...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Welk Stars Reunion....now online!

Sorry it took so long, but I have great news! My vacation to Branson and the Welk Stars Reunion concert is now up and running online!

It's chocked full with pictures of the show, aftershow, candid moments with the Music Makers and the sights and attractions that made Branson famous.

Just go to WELK STARS REUNION SHOW and let the fun begin!


And now, some Champagne wisdom....

The inspirational picture is all the rage on the internets....here's my own Lawrence Welk version I created.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You need some Tanya really bad....

....to brighten your day with some great music, beauty and talent.

Here's the Maestro's Italian daughter-in-law with "Besame Mucho"....

....are you listening to this Sanjaya Malakar?


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down

Friends, I think it's time for some classic Welk musical numbers from YouTube....

Here's one from 1971, Clay Hart and the pretty girls sing their own rendition of The Band's and Joan Baez's "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down."


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Big City USA

This week's show is titled "Big City USA", which first aired January 9, 1982. My local PBS did air it (pledge drive) but maybe yours did.

Here are some highlights....

Anacani sings "Spanish Harlem".....

Elaine and Bobby dance to "City Lights"

Kathie Sullivan sings about "Kansas City".....

....and the gang dances to "Chicago"

You gotta love the ladies of Welk dressed as flapper girls of the 1920s....

That's all this week, stay cool and stay dry!


Dick Dale's birthday

And I have a haiku prepared for him on this special day....

Next Dick Dale will sing

One Dozen Roses and then

play the saxophone


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rockets in the rain

Just returned home from Ypsilanti, where in the rain saw my University of Toledo Rockets play the Eastern Michigan University Eagles.

Here's our hero, Rocky the Rocketeer....

And the bad guys.....Eastern Michigan's eagle mascot Swoop,

The place, EMU's Rynearson Stadium, where it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained......

Our heroes in blue and gold, where they took care of business....to the tune of a 41-17 victory (HOORAY!)

And the Blue Crew (UT's super fanatics) roar with their approval....

No Welk tonight on my local PBS, will be watching Ohio State-USC tonight in it's place....but will have highlights from this week's show (Big City USA) tomorrow.

College Football and Lawrence Welk....life doesn't get any better than this