Who watches Lawrence Welk?

It’s on PBS here in Arkansas. I’m not dissing it - I like lots of corny music.

I used to watch it when I was 6, because my grandmother did. It was exotic, to me. :slight_smile:

Stoners do.

My grandfather did, as did anyone else who was in the house at 7 PM on a Saturday. Anyone else could watch whatever they wanted in any other timeslot, but Welk was non-negotiable.

When we burned his favorite living-room chair after his funeral, we all imagined we heard the Goodnight song bubbling out of it.

I remember when Welk’s recording of “Calcutta” was big on the charts back in the, what, 1960s? :dubious: :confused:

I listen to cheesy lounge music on occasion,* but when I do, I lean more toward the likes of Dean Martin and Engelbert Humperdinck. :o

Still, I do enjoy watching Welk’s token Negro tap-dancer.** He was still going strong in the '90s, when he did a classy number in an episode of Columbo. :cool:

*Usually very late at night, when I’m feeling really depressed. :frowning:

**Once introduced as “a fine gentleman and a credit to his race.” I kid you not! :smack:

Waaal, when ol’ Gran-Pappy done gots hisself put in the Home, t’weren’t nothin’ BUT Mr. Welk on the tee-vee.
Seriously. Gramps was in the Alzheimer’s ward, but we’d catch glimpses of TVs in other common areas… I never saw ANYTHING else on. No Murder She Wrote, no Bob Newhart or Dick Van Dyke, no Happy Days. Unless there’s a 24/7 channel I don’t know about, I suspect someone had Welk DVDs looping non-stop.

Now, were all those bubbles (and bubbly performers) a comfort, or did they accelerate the loss of hope? We need to fund that research.

It’s on our PBS station right before something else I like to watch, so sometimes I have it on. I watched it with my parents when I was a kid, and I gotta say that even now it fascinates me. A few months ago, they ran the very first show, which was on July 2, 1955. I was age 6. It really is a window into a different era.

I don’t know what “corny” music is, but his band played standards from the American songbook that were popular then and will never disappear.

Something I’ve wondered, and maybe sometime who will look into this thread may know-- what was Welk’s standing among his contemporaries, band leaders, and musicians? Was he considered a good band leader?

I sometimes watch it but never listen to it. It’s on the TV with the sound turned off while I listen to music I like. I like the 50s-60s fashion and hairdos in a ha-ha look at what people thought was cool back in the day kind of way. I’ve tried to listen to the audio but can’t last more than about 30 seconds. It’s kind of weird when the music I’m listening to syncs with the video.

He was allowed to conduct the studio orchestra when he was a guest on The David Frost Show.

They played the show’s jazzy theme music under his direction. It was … interesting. :dubious:

I used to laugh when all of the old geezers in the audience got up to dance. Now I just feel depressed because I realize I’m as old as they were then. :frowning:

I was in S. Florida when he died . Local paper had the lead story on page 1 : “Maestro Lawrence Welk Dies” They knew their readers. :slight_smile:

Muzak for God’s waiting room. :cool:

My view of it is tainted by the fact that I knew some of the performers.

They were the most cynical people I’d met, but not in a good way. In an “I’m smiling but I’m empty inside.” way. They would sing and dance with gusto, but as soon as they trotted offstage, that persona would collapse. Now I sincerely hope there were also sincere folk on stage with the Maestro, but those weren’t the ones I met.

Unfortunately the PBS station WLIW on Long Island, NY stopped running its Saturday night 6PM showing of “Mr Wunnerful” a year ago. 14 years ago the “New York Times” had an article on how reruns of “Lawrence Welk” were the most watch syndicated program on PBS and the viewership on Saturdays was higher than MTV, VH1 or BET. Of course those people went out Saturday nights but the old folks were the ones sending in money to PBS


I watched it sometimes because 1) he presented a form of music that has largely disappeared and 2) it brings back memories of my grandmother would watch him on her television set. Much like on the “Sopranos” Paulie reunites with his aunt/mother watching Welk with her.
In the past on Welk threads there was a poster who mentioned that Welk’s autobiography is surprisingly good and engrossing. I never have tracked down a copy to see if that is true.

Ugh.
I love PBS, but Welk is just strange to me.
Nope. Not watching.

He’s got nothin on the Shmenges.

You mean the Lennon Sisters weren’t really virgins?!? :eek:

I read, years ago, that the some of the musicians on the Welk show considered it their “day job” and played much cooler gigs after hours. No doubt, a lot of them had serious chops. They must have been chomping at the bit to do more adventurous stuff.

I had no idea that it was still on tv. I used to watch it with my grandparents. I strongly associate it with successfully pestering them into letting me watch my first episode of Star Trek TOS. :smiley:

This clip is actually pretty cool. Note the acoustic guitarist shown around 1:37. How could anyone hear him?