One of the Common Taters is not familiar with Lawrence Welk! How can this be?!
Actually, it's probably quite common for people to not remember Lawrence Welk as his core audience was the elderly - and that was back in the 1970's when Lawrence wasn't much of a spring chicken himself. (That's not completely fair. He was a Big Deal in the 50's and had quite a career. He was also a financial genius who did very well in music publishing and real estate, making him the second wealthiest entertainer in Hollywood after Bob Hope.)
I remember The Lawrence Welk Show.
As a small child, my parents would drop me off at my maternal grandmother's house so they could get much-needed Time Away From The Child. (I would kill for some of that, by the way.) Grandma had a routine. We would hunker down in front of the TV with Corn Curls (a generic version of Cheetohs -the fluffy kind) and Ginger-ale and commence to watch The Lawrence Welk Show.
Now, what is sad is that I continued to watch this program - on my own - (what a flippin' geek!) as late as high school. To make my geekiness even worse is that I rarely watched television and can honestly claim that I have never even seen some of the most popular and longest running shows of the 1980's. I recognize titles, of course, but that's about it.
Don't ask me why! I don't know! I suspect it's because it was familiar. Although just now, I did a LW search and disovered a whole bunch of clips from the show - which is just crazy.
Lawrence Welk on YouTube? You gotta be kiddin' me.
Anyway, upon watching one of them, I think I understand now exactly where my love of harmony comes from. This show was a singer's platform, and everything was about clear, classic harmony. You can goof on everything else, but the harmony is plentiful and as good as it gets. Check out the Lemmon Sisters at the start of their career (when they were kids). Or as adults.
It wasn't all a bed of roses, though. I never did learn to appreciate Norma Zimmer, the Champaign Lady. (She was an operetically trained soprano with a heinous childhood - I know this because we got Grandma her autobiography for Christmas one year and I read it when she was finished - does the Geekiness never end?!) And I found the accorion music annoying, although Myron Floren was a Nice Guy. His daughter married Bobby Burgess, who ballroom danced with Cissy every week to the band's accompaniment. Bobby, by the way, was a former Mousketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club (the real one, the first one, the one with the Spin and Marty serial, for heaven's sake).
Wanna see Bobby and Cissy perform during Cissy's first performance on the show? Go here.
Go see Gail and Dale singing One Toke Over the Line, a "modern spiritual" as LW calls it. I find this amusing. And it makes me wonder what would happen if you were to drop acid and watch these two, or Guy and Rhonna, or, heck, the 16-member mixed ensemble performing a Beatles medly (which they did). I wonder if you'ld ever get all your wits back, or would it just be too bizarre to handle?
I am a little disturbed that I can remember every stinkin' word from the closing song:
Good night! Good night!
Until we meet again!
Adios, au revoir, auf weidesehn 'til then.
And tho' it's always sweet sorrow to part...
You know you'll always remain in my heart!
Good night! Sleep tight!
And pleasant dreams to you!
Here's a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true.
And now 'til we meet agaiiiiiin....
Adios, au revoir, auf weideseeeeeehn....
I just know I'm going to be an old lady on my death bed unable to recognize my own child, but she'll say, "Goodnight, Mama," and I'll respond with this song, letter-perfect.
I better start teaching it to her now so she won't freak.