Where do you watch it? I would probably tune in just because I remember my grandfather watching it every Saturday.
My mother’s sister, Maria Luisa, or Tia Licha as we called her, was a HUGE fan of Anacani on the Lawrence Welk show.
Watched with my Granny on many a Saturday evening.
Wow, she’s gorgeous!
You forgot Arthur Duncan, Joe Feeney, Norma Zimmer & Jimmy Roberts, Alice Long, Dick Dale, Aladdin, Tiny Tim, Ken Dilo, Tom Netherton, Larry Hooper, Anacani, Jack Emmel, Mary Lou Metzger, Elaine & Barbara who were Bobby’s dancing partners, Henry Cuesta, the Otwel twins, the other 4 sisters, and… Oh yikes, I’m forgetting them too…
Arthur Duncan was the tap dancer. He & Ken Dilo worked together in Australia. When Ken became part of The Lawrence Welk Show, he persuaded Lawrence Welk to hire Arthur Duncan. Lawrence did, and he was the first African-American entertainer on the show. I loved him tap dancing. He did duos or trios on the show:
as well as solos:
Anacani was lovely but TBH some of her dresses were too low cut imo.
Your local PBS station might have The Lawrence Welk Show. Here in southeastern PA WHYY (Ch. 12), WLVT (Ch. 39) and NJTV carried the show. It used to be on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET but I think they moved it to Sunday.
They were just talented people using their fine skills. Yes, they were a bit of a throwback to the 1930s and 1940s when their style of entertainment was more prevalent, but there were a lot of middle-aged and elderly people who remembered and appreciated that style and were glad to see it on TV. I also don’t remember the show ever disrespecting either of them, or any cast member.
Regarding stereotypes of black dancers, I’ve always found it odd that people will think that about black tap dancers or Cotton Club-type jazz and jitterbug dancers (at least one of whom had such great skills that people were seeking him out in the 80s and 90s when he had totally retired from entertainment, just to get lessons from him), but when it’s Michael Jackson or the girls dancing in the numerous hip-hop videos, nobody bats an eye. I’m more focused on the dancer’s skills and abilities than on whether they are a stereotype or what racial background they are. To me it’s like sports, like the ability to make a great play in basketball or football, and nobody ever points to ball players of color as being stereotypes.
I couldn’t have known it when I was a child and Lawrence Welk was regularly on the TV at my grandparent’s house, that Lawrence Welk would become a thread running through my life. I went to high school with a nephew of the Lennon Sisters. He was musically gifted too, and played in a local rock band. Later, I did several jobs as an electrician in the Santa Monica office tower known as the Lawrence Welk Building, since he owned it when it was first built. I also worked with an electrician who once played his accordion on the Lawrence Welk show. I guess they wanted kids who could play accordion for a particular episode. He auditioned for Myron Floren, and got the job. Looking back from where I am now, it’s truly been a wunnerful life!
I play piano because of the Lawrence Welk Show.
My dad and mom watched this show every Saturday Night, so of course, so did I and my brother.
My dad absolutely LOVED Jo Anne Castle, the pianist, who played on an old upright and did mainly ragtime pieces.
She was a blonde, and so was I (I was one of those little kids with white-blonde hair and big blue eyes!), and he wanted me to learn to play the piano. So he asked around and found a friend who had a friend who taught piano in her home. My dad signed me up when I was in 3rd grade ($2/lesson–what a bargain!), and I began learning from the old John Thompson books!
Within a year, the teacher told my dad that I had surpassed her knowledge of piano teaching, and asked him to hire another teacher, the music minister of one of the largest Lutheran churches in our city, who had advanced music degress and a stable of piano and organ students. So I got a new teacher ($5/lesson–movin’ on up!).
I studied with her until I graduated from high school, and majored in music for a year in college before deciding that I didn’t want to make my living with music and switched to medical technology. But I have never, ever stopped playing, and in 2011, decided to take organ lessons with a local church organist that I really admired ($60/lesson!–really movin’ on up!!)
My dad’s favorite piece that I learned was “Nola”, which could be described as “ragtime,” although not really. But he loved it, and even when I was older, would ask me to play it. I often play it in nursing homes, and the people there love it!
Until the end of his life, my dad loved hearing me play, and one of my regrets is that he never heard me play the organ. We were trying to arrange a trip for him to a local Presbyterian church in his small town, but then his cancer worsened and he had to go to the VA hospital in Madison–and he died there after a few weeks.
But whenever I see the Lawrence Welk show mentioned or catch a few minutes of it on ME-TV, I think of the reason why I play piano–Jo Ann Castle!
This strikes me as an US version of something like Val Doonican or the BBC’s light entertainment shows of the 70’s and early to mid 80’s, the audience wanted something homey and old timey and warm and family friendly. Their is nothing wrong in that, not my cup of tea and I’d change channels but it appeals to many.
It was sort of along the lines of an Acker Bilk type show. It ran from 1951 - 1982 which was sort of a heyday of variety shows. I think when it started it was probably in line with the popular tastes of the day, and as time went by it became a show more for the grandparents, but many of us who grew up in the 50s, 60s and 70s have fond memories of watching this show with our parents and grands.
When I was young, it often aired in some timeslot like weekend afternoons/ early evenings when there was nothing else on, and it would be part of a programming block with locally produced shows of the same type. Where I lived we had a show called “Polka Varieties” that was all polkas and another show that was a local talent showcase; most cities had a local talent show, and the performers who did well might get their own local shows or even be picked up by some national show. Those are the types of shows that would air before or after Lawrence Welk.
Bruce Forsyth, Val Doonican etc. etc. are the nearest things you have to do this in British TV, aimed similarly at the grandparents or those in late middle-aged. Never my cup tea this stuff and never will be. I regard it as kitsch, but if it floats someone’s boat it is a matter of small import. Different taste in music is not a big deal ultimately. Yes, I see that it ran till the early 80’s looking at it its Wikipedia article - it must have been getting dated as a format by then.
My grandmother loved the Lawrence Welk show. I remember the costumes, and a few mean accordion numbers. This thread brought a smile to my face. I did a search on Wikipedia, and it turns out he was Catholic, and didn’t speak English until he was 21!
I kind of miss the variety shows that were popular on TV up until the early '80s (not talk shows, which are included on the wikipedia entry about variety shows.) My parents loved “Lawrence Welk” although my dad had a preference for “Hee Haw” (as did I, since I was such a daddy’s girl!)
Carol Burnett, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Sonny and Cher, Donny and Marie (I never missed this one!), The Jackson 5, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and of course, the ultimate variety show of all time… (drum roll please…)
Now we’re talking about a great TV show!!!
I was never one of the teenagers in the rock era that made fun of Lawrence Welk because he was our parents’ or grandparents’ music.
I remember in the early '80s, when I was visiting my grandfather in the nursing home, in the recreation room there was a reminder on the blackboard about what night and time the Lawrence Welk show was on TV. I remember thinking it was great that these older folks, who didn’t have a lot to celebrate in their lives, could have something meaningful to them for one hour a week.
We never missed Lawrence Welk when I was growing up. I loved their Christmas shows. All the different snow scenes seemed magical when I was young.
When I got old enough to appreciate it, I liked that Lawrence Welk always seemed to be such a kind man. Ed Sullivan could be a little sharp and Art Linkletter was downright mean at times (maybe he was unhappy because he had tragically lost his daughter). Lawrence always kept it light like the bubbles
Yes, they remind me a bit of the Bing Crosby Christmas specials that he would always do, with guests like Donny and Marie Osmond. Fun to watch in the same way that old classic movies like White Christmas and Holiday Inn are fun to watch.
As for the Muppets, my dad for some reason LOVED them much more than i did. I was in high school and thought Miss Piggy was annoying, Fozzie Bear was even more annoying, and Kermit was a fool, but Dad never missed a show. When the first Muppet Movie came out, he insisted we go together and then he fell asleep in the cinema while some teenage couple was making out behind us for the whole show. I was about 15 and dying 1000 deaths of embarrassment.
I will say that Dad’s favorite characters were Statler and Waldorf, the cranky old rich men in the box seats, and I liked them a lot. The other Muppet characters I really enjoyed were Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Beaker, and the hippie band.