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>
From its move to network television in 1955 until the very early 1960s, the show's primary sponsor was Dodge. The Dodge name would be part of the set and during some performances, the shots would be framed so that the Dodge name would be unobstructed. As was common in the 1950s, the name of the primary sponsor would be part of the show's official title. During this period, this show's official title was "The Lawrence Welk Dodge Show." See more »
When I was a 5 or 6 year-old child in the 1960's in South Dakota, I would watch The Lawrence Welk show with my parents on Saturday nights. Then when I was a teenager in the 1970's, I didn't think it was a "cool" show. When my daughter was a 5-6 year old child in the 1990's, we would dance together to The Lawrence Welk show. Now that she's a teenager in the 2000's, she thinks, as I did 30 years earlier, that it's not cool (although I think her term is "lame"). But I still enjoy watching it on PBS. It would be interesting to wonder whether my daughter will also start watching it again for nostalgia reasons when she's in her 30's and 40's and remember watching it with her Dad 30 or 40 years earlier (assuming it's still on PBS then).
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