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|One of television's most enduring musical series, The Lawrence Welk Show, premiered on ABC television July 2, 1955. It was a summer replacement program, and when it aired the critics were not impressed.
Mr. Welk's show went on to last an astonishing 27 years. His format was easy-listening music, what he referred to as "champagne music," and a "family" of wholesome musicians, singers, and dancers.
|1723 - Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi was hired at the Pieta girls school in Venice to compose and perform two concertos per month.
1808 - Birth of English viola player Henry Hill. Founded the Beethoven Quartet Society with Thomas Massa Alsager.
1897 - Birth of American composer William Herbert Brewster.
1900 - Premiere of the orchestral version of Sibelius' tone poem Finlandia. Robert Kajanus conducted in Helsinki.
1910 - Birth of American composer Earl Hawley Robinson in Seattle, WA.
1956 - Elvis Presley recorded Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel for his new record label home, RCA Victor.
1968 - Death of German composer Hanns Wolf in Fuessen.
1983 - Premiere of Libby Larsen's Deep Summer Music. Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Giunta.
1991 - Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time was released.
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|The show ran on ABC for its first 16 years. It was known during its early years as The Dodge Dancing Party. It later became known as The Lawrence Welk Show.
Lawrence Welk was born March 11, 1903 to Alsatian immigrant parents near Strasburg, North Dakota. Welk dropped out of school in the fourth grade. The family did not speak English at home, and Welk was 21 before he learned the language.
Welk's father taught him to play the accordion, and by the time he was 13 Welk was earning money playing at local social gatherings. When he was 17 his father bought him his own accordian. Welk continued to earn money playing, and promised to stay on the farm until his 21st birthday. He moved out that very morning, having fulfilled his word.
Welk had no money and only spoke German, but he had a tremendous desire to succeed. He formed a band, and also bought and ran several small businesses, which failed. As Welk led bigger bands, though, he bagan to see success.
By 1938, his band had grown to 10 pieces, and Lawrence managed to get it booked in at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. It is said that here is where Welk found the name “The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk.”
After Welk's premiere in 1955, he refused to advertise for beer or cigarettes. He scrupulously censored what he considered off-color lyrics . . . seeking to produce a consumately wholesome show.
Welk ABC canceled the show in 1971, not because of lack of popularity, but because it was "too old" to please advertisers. ABC's cancellation did little to stop Welk, who lined up more than 200 independent stations for a successful syndicated network of his own, and held top ratings for another 11 years. After Lawrence retired in 1982, the show still continued to attract a huge audience. Today, the show is one of the most popular features of public television, where it has continued to air since 1987.
March 11, 1903 and died May 17, 1992
|Can You Guess?
Lawrence Welk's popular TV show featured popped onto our screens with a interesting image. Can You Guess what champagne-related picture popped up?
Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer!
|Did You Guess?
The opening image was bubbles!
Did you see the Color Clues?