|Occupation:||TV Show Host|
|Birth Day:||March 11, 1903|
|Death Date:||May 17, 1992 (age 89)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Lawrence Welk died on May 17, 1992 (age 89).
With the net worth of $150 Million, Lawrence Welk is the # 10280 richest person on earth all the time follow our database.
His father scraped together money from his farming job and bought him an accordion.
On his 21st birthday, having fulfilled his promise to his father, Welk left the family farm to pursue a career in music. During the 1920s, he performed with various bands before forming an orchestra. He led big bands in North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, including the Hotsy Totsy Boys and the Honolulu Fruit Gum Orchestra. His band was also the station band for the popular radio programming WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota. The Lawrence Welk Orchestra scored an immediate success and began a daily radio show, which lasted from 1927 to 1936. The radio show led to many well-paying engagements for the band throughout the midwestern states. In 1927, he graduated from the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Although many associate Welk's music with a style quite-separate from jazz, he recorded one notable song in a ragtime style in November 1928 for Gennett Records, based in Richmond, Indiana: "Spiked Beer", featuring Welk and his Novelty Orchestra.
In addition to the above-mentioned "Spiked Beer", Welk's territory band made occasional trips to Richmond, Indiana, and to Grafton, Wisconsin, to record a handful of sessions for the Gennett and Paramount companies. In November 1928 he recorded four sides for Gennett spread over two days (one side was rejected), and in 1931 he recorded eight sides for Paramount (in two sessions) that were issued on the Broadway and Lyric labels. These records are rare and highly valued.
From 1938 to 1940, he recorded frequently in New York and Chicago for Vocalion Records. He signed with Decca Records in 1941, then recorded for Mercury Records and Coral Records for short periods of time before moving to Dot Records in 1959.
Welk's big band performed across the country, but particularly in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. In the early 1940s, the band began a 10-year stint at the Trianon Ballroom in Chicago, regularly drawing crowds of several thousand. His orchestra also performed frequently at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City during the late 1940s. In 1944 and 1945, Welk led his orchestra in many motion picture "Soundies," considered to be the early pioneers of music videos. Welk collaborated with Western artist Red Foley to record a version of Spade Cooley's "Shame on You" in 1945. The record (Decca 18698) was number 4 to Cooley's number 5 on Billboard's September 15 "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records" listing. From 1949 through 1951, the band had radio programming on ABC, sponsored by Miller High Life, "The Champagne of Bottle Beer".
In 1951, Welk settled in Los Angeles. The same year, he began producing The Lawrence Welk Show on KTLA in Los Angeles, where it was broadcast from the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach. The show became a local hit and was picked up by ABC in June 1955.
As Welk's show targeted mainly older viewers, it seldom played recent music with which the audience might not be familiar. On December 8, 1956, two examples on the same broadcast were "Nuttin' for Christmas," which became a vehicle for Rocky Rockwell dressed in a child's outfit, and Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", which was sung by the violinist Bob Lido, wearing fake Presley-style sideburns.
Reflecting the controversies about the quality of Welk's music among the cognoscenti, in 1956, musical satirist Stan Freberg, known for his love of jazz, wrote and recorded a biting Welk satire, "Wunnerful! Wunnerful!" Freberg impersonated Welk. Recorded with some of Hollywood's best jazz musicians, arranged by Billy May to sound like authentic Welk, the single mocked Welk's accordion work, his sometimes-stumbling patter between songs and the music of such Welk favorites Rocky Rockwell ("Stony Stonedwell"), Champagne Lady Alice Lon ("Alice Lean") and Larry Hooper ("Larry Looper"). Welk was not amused, and when he met Freberg years later, claimed he never used the "Wunnerful! Wunnerful!" term. Ironically, it became the title of Welk's 1971 autobiography.
Despite its staid reputation, The Lawrence Welk Show nonetheless kept up with the times and never limited itself strictly to music of the big-band era. During the 1960s and 1970s, for instance, the show incorporated material by such contemporary sources as the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Neil Sedaka, the Everly Brothers and Paul Williams (as well as, in the most notorious example, Brewer & Shipley), all arranged in a format that was easily digestible to older viewers. Originally produced in black and white, in 1957 the show began being recorded on videotape, and it switched to color for the fall 1965 season.
During its network run, The Lawrence Welk Show aired on ABC on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. (Eastern Time), moving up a half-hour to 8:30 p.m. in the fall of 1963. In fact, Welk headlined two weekly prime-time shows on ABC for three years. From 1956 to 1958, he hosted Top Tunes and New Talent, which aired on Monday nights. The series moved to Wednesdays in the fall of 1958 and was renamed The Plymouth Show, which ended in May 1959. During that time, the Saturday show was also known as The Dodge Dancing Party. During this period, the networks were in the process of eliminating programming that was seen as having either too old an audience, did not appeal to urban residents, or both (the so-called Rural Purge). As The Lawrence Welk Show fit into this category, ABC ended its run in 1971. Welk thanked ABC and the sponsors at the end of the last network show. The Lawrence Welk Show continued on as a first-run syndicated program shown on 250 stations across the country until the final original show was produced in 1982, when Welk decided to retire. While many longtime TV shows suffered a serious ratings drop during the counterculture movement of the late 1960s, The Lawrence Welk Show survived largely intact and even had increased viewership during this time.
Welk had a number of instrumental hits, including a cover of the song "Yellow Bird." His highest charting record was "Calcutta", written by Heino Gaze, which achieved hit status in 1961. Welk himself was indifferent to the tune, but his musical director, George Cates, said that if Welk did not wish to record the song, he (Cates) would. Welk replied, "Well, if it's good enough for you, George, I guess it's good enough for me." Although the rock-and-roll explosion in the mid-1950s had driven most older artists off the charts, "Calcutta" reached number 1 on the U.S. pop charts between 13 and 26 February 1961; it was recorded in only one take. The tune knocked the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" out of the number 1 position, and it kept the Miracles' "Shop Around" from becoming the group's first number-1 hit, holding their recording at number 2. It sold more than one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
In 1961, Welk was inducted as a charter member of the Rough Rider Award from his native North Dakota. In 1967, he received the Horatio Alger Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. He later served as the Grand Marshal for the Rose Bowl's Tournament of Roses parade in 1972. Welk received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1980.
In 1967, Welk left Dot Records and joined its former executive Randy Wood in creating Ranwood Records. Welk bought back all his masters from Dot and Coral, and Ranwood became the outlet for all of Welk's many artists. They started with a huge reissue of old Dot albums in 1968 to get them started on the right foot. Wood's interest was sold to Welk in 1979. In 2015, Welk Music Group sold the Vanguard and Sugar Hill labels to Concord Bicycle Music while retaining ownership of the Ranwood catalog. Welk's estate licensed the Ranwood catalogue to Concord Music Group for 10 years.
In another episode, the Lennon Sisters and Norma Zimmer performed the Orlons' #2 pop hit "The Wah-Watusi" with the bass singer Larry Hooper wearing a beatnik outfit. This stood in comparison to the contemporary American Bandstand, which catered to a teenager audience and featured the latest acts. In a 1971 episode, Welk infamously billed the Brewer & Shipley single, "One Toke Over the Line" (performed as a duet by Gail Farrell and Dick Dale), as a "modern spiritual"; social conservatives of the era saw it as subversive. Later in the 1970s, however, Welk's programs often included current adult contemporary songs performed by his singers, including "Feelings" and "Love Will Keep Us Together" (made famous by Morris Albert and Captain & Tennille, respectively), and current songs were included up through 1982, the final year of production of the show.
After retiring from his show and from the road in 1982, Welk continued to air reruns of his shows, which were repackaged first for syndication and, starting in 1986, for public television. He also starred in and produced a pair of Christmas specials in 1984 and 1985. In addition, he owned a restaurant and club in Escondido, where he filmed lead-ins for reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show.
Welk was married for 61 years, until his death in 1992, to Fern Renner (August 26, 1903 – February 13, 2002), with whom he had three children. One of his sons, Lawrence Welk Jr., married fellow Lawrence Welk Show performer Tanya Falan; they later divorced. Welk had many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Welk completely retired from all public appearances in 1992 at the age of 89. He died of pneumonia on May 17 in his Santa Monica apartment, surrounded by his family. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, in Culver City, California.
In 1994, Welk was inducted into the International Polka Music Hall of Fame.
In 2007, Welk was a charter member of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Lawrence Welk among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
Lawrence got married to Fern Renner on April 16, 1931 and they had three children together.
Currently, Lawrence Welk is 118 years, 1 months and 8 days old. Lawrence Welk will celebrate 119th birthday on a Friday 11th of March 2022. Below we countdown to Lawrence Welk upcoming birthday.
Happy 117th Birthday Lawrence Welk
Today is the 117th birthday of Lawrence Welk. I remember him from my childhood and every once in a while, I come across his show and watch for a moment. One interesting fact that I learned while re…