Lawrence Welk Show Pbs 2023 – Lawrence Welk was a beloved band leader with a unique style of music known as champagne music that was loved by many. He toured the country with his band and had his own television show for decades. The son of German-speaking Ukrainian immigrants, Lawrence worked hard and achieved personal success. This is his story.
Lawrence Welk was born in 1903 in Strasburg, North Dakota, the sixth of eight children. Her parents were Ludwig Welk and Christiana Schwan. The family was Roman Catholic, and Lawrence’s parents were German immigrants from Odessa (then Russia, but now Ukraine). His parents immigrated to the United States in 1892.
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The Welk family ended up in Ukraine in 1808, when Lawrence’s great-grandparents, Moritz and Magdalena Welk, immigrated from the German-speaking region of Alsace-Lorraine. Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer was once a first cousin removed from Lawrence. His mother and Schweitzer’s grandmother were sisters.
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The Welk family lived in North Dakota on a farm that is now a tourist attraction. So they spent the first year in North Dakota in an upside-down wagon covered with hay for warmth. In this wagon they spent the cold North Dakota winter. After becoming farmers on the frozen plains of North Dakota, the family had more children.
Farming life in North Dakota was not easy in those days. So young Lawrence dropped out of elementary school in the fourth grade and worked full-time on the family farm.
Despite these challenges, Lawrence loved music and knew from an early age that he wanted to pursue it. Lawrence receives a contract from his father, who gives him a $400 accordion ($5,411 in today’s money). In exchange for an expensive accordion, Lawrence promised his father that he would work on the family farm until he was 21 years old. If he had earned it at the time other than on the farm, this money would have gone to his family. After the age of 21, he was free to do whatever he wanted and keep the money he earned.
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Interestingly, because Lawrence grew up in a German family, although he was born in the United States, he did not learn English until he was 21 years old. Lawrence was never comfortable speaking English in public. That’s why he always had a distinct German accent when he was in show business. Although Lawrence achieved world fame, he was a particularly symbolic figure in the German-Russian community of the northern Great Plains region of the United States, whose success was seen as the American Dream among his Germanic peers.
Lawrence didn’t wait to start her music career. On his 21st birthday, the promise he made to his father was fulfilled and Lawrence left the city to pursue his dream of a career in music. He started as leaders in North and South Dakota. He also fronted a band at radio station WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota.
While leading local and regional orchestras, Lawrence assembled his own orchestra, the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. The band was an instant hit and quickly got a gig on the daily radio show. These concerts lasted from 1927 to 1936. These gigs led to many well-paying gigs in the Midwest. In 1927, Lawrence also graduated from the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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In the 1930s, Lawrence toured with a band specializing in dance and “sweet” music. Soft music was a subgenre of jazz. It differed from the rhythmic and loud traditional jazz of the time because it had light, melodic notes. At first, the band drove from gig to gig because they couldn’t get hotel rooms. They slept in their cars and changed their clothes.
Touring with his band, Lawrence became the king of “champagne music”. The name was given to his music after the band played at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A dancer at the concert described the band’s music as “light and bubbly” like champagne. The hotel claimed to be the first place Lawrence and his band used a bubble machine. The machine was a pillar of the building, and it dates back to the premiere of the film in the 1920s.
“We still play champagne-style music, which means light and rhythmic. We focus on the melody; the chords are played approximately as written by the composer. We play with a steady rhythm so that the dancers can follow it.”
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Champagne music was Lawrence’s signature, and his reputation in the industry led to his own television show, which ran for decades. Lawrence is a beloved entertainer for generations.
As for his personal life, in 1931 Lawrence married Fern Renner, with whom he had three children and eventually many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lawrence and Fern were married for sixty-one years before Lawrence moved out in 1992.
Lawrence was a shrewd businessman and a world-class musician. In addition to investing heavily in valuable real estate, he came up with several objects that received an American design license. These inventions:
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Lawrence was a Roman Catholic and attended church daily. He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Lawrence retired from touring with his band and TV show in 1982. Although he retired, he allowed PBS to continue the show in reruns. Individual episodes are bundled together. He produced and starred in two of his own Christmas shows in 1984 and 1985. At a restaurant and club he owns in Escondido, California, Lawrence also recorded new premieres for reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show. Other regulars on his show have taped their premieres over the years, and the show is the latest of those premieres today on PBS.
Lawrence Welk died of pneumonia in 1992 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. He was eighty-nine years old, and surrounded by family and friends in the apartment he shared with his wife when he passed away. Millions of people around the world still love it. Did you know that The Lawrence Welk Show is celebrating more than 60 years on television? No other primetime show can claim that distinction, and it’s still in production!
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The Lawrence Welk Show airs weekly on 217 public television stations nationwide and has more than three million weekly viewers and more Saturday night viewers than BET, MTV and VH-1 combined. According to Nielsen Ratings, The Lawrence Welk Show is the highest-rated series on public television.
Lawrence Welk: The Music Man of Television was the first public television special (1987) and started Welk’s obsession with public television. Because of his success, Bob Allen sent him weekly on national public television.
Produced 13 Welk specials, including Champagne Toast to Big Bands (1991), The Lennon Sisters: Remembering Is Easy (1992), From the Heart: A Tribute to Lawrence Welk and the American Dream (1993), The Lawrence Welk Anniversary Special: Wonderful moments and Memories” (1994), “Lawrence Welk: Then and Now” (1995), “Lawrence Welk Family Christmas” (1995), “Lawrence Welk: To America”. With Love (1997), Lawrence Welk’s Favorite Holidays (1998), Lawrence Welk’s Songs of Faith (1999), Lawrence Welk’s Milestones and Memories (2000), Lawrence Welk: God Bless America (2003), Lawrence Welk’s Precious Memories5 (2000), and Welk Stars: Through the Years (2009).
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Produce the show for national distribution. The finales (episodes starring Welk) are taped each year and feature members of the original cast of The Lawrence Welk Show presenting that week’s program. Stars tell the audience about their lives, careers, etc. at this intersection. Arthur Chester Duncan (September 25, 1925 – January 4, 2023) was an American dancer, also known as Tertainer Tertainer.
From 1964 to 1982, Lowres was best known as a performer on The Welk Show. This made her the first African-American to appear on The Betty White Show in 1954 (despite her opposition) and with White’s help. regularly on different television.
Duncan left show business at age 13 and became a member of a dance quartet that performed at McKinley High School in Pasadena.
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Arthur Duncan took dance lessons from Willie Cowan and Nick Castle. Duncan claimed that Castle was the biggest influence on him and his musical talent.
Although Duncan could be relied upon for good rhythm and great finish, he rarely repeated himself and was not a “casual dancer”.
This stress led to a tension in his speech, “twisted between cunning and fear, the smile of a man disturbed by a pistol at his back.”
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