L. Welk is smokin' tonight....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by A.N.A. Mendez, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    LW brought a lot of enjoyment to many. I'm glad they are still showing the reruns. Though he evolved a bit over the years, to me most of his stuff was very tame. You could tell he had top notch musicians. Always wished that he would let the band be a little more extreme (like Kenton, Buddy Rich) -of course, then it wouldnt have been Welk. Easy listening at its finest.
     
  2. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    And...thank goodness for YouTube! About a year ago Doc did a Lawrence Welk Big Band Special on PBS. Most (if not all) of the program can be viewed on YouTube. LW came from very humble beginnings and actually played concerts at the Laramar Ballroom in Fort Dodge, IA (my hometown). While that was before my time, I did catch The Count Basie Orchestra there in the early 70's. Buddy Holly played there January 30, 1959. Also performing that night were The Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and Dion & The Belmonts. Tickets were pricey at a buck fifty!
    Just listened to an extensive interview with Dick Dale (saxophone). He stated that the band was comprised of top notch musicians all the way around. He said when he joined the band (1951?) it had 18 members. In the end they had over 50 band members in the LW family!
    I had a chance to meet Mr. Welk around 1979-80. He was a most humble individual and was somewhat surprised that I knew who he was.
     
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Then you have missed out on some good stuff! Go to YouTube and search Lawrence Welk's Big Band Splash. You can watch the entire 1 hour 15 minute show!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  4. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    Its sooo nice to see that so many others appreciate the Welk show. I try not to miss it on saturday night. Last night I was playing in the Loras College band and it sounds like I missed a GREAT one. It is amasing that everyone on that show just drips talent and week in and week out they put on a top notch pergormance. Bravo! Best wishes.
     
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Thanks, I might take a look.

    Unlike others in this thread, I thought Welk was boring. My memories are sitting there with the family making wise cracks until someone would finally have enough and tell me to shut up! I did like some of his soloists like Pete Fountain. I still think it's boring and unimaginative, but I had a whole new attitude about Welk when I happened on his autobiography at a public library and I found it touching and honest.

    At around the same time, I worked with a guy with strong LA connections and learned about the musical strength of most of the players in the band, which added to my respect. I'd also get funny stories like Welk getting PO'd because someone would play an improvised solo on the evening show different than what he had played on the rehearsal. Even later, I worked with the son of one of Welk's long-time players and learned what a scoundrel not only he, but some of the other, players/singers were, which made them less goody-two-shoes to me.

    So while I can only take the band in small doses, my respect for Welk and his players took a quantum leap over the years. Nice thread.

    For a little frivolity, here's a parody Stan Freberg did on a Welk show. It's not attributed on this YouTube link, but if memory serves right, Billy May put this together with Freberg and May was actually a bit malevolent about this project. Anyway, it's fun, May notwithstanding . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIlSymom4GE
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  6. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Hey Kehaulani - At Welk's TV Heyday, I too thought it was boring. As a youngster, my listening interests were much more pop/rock oriented. But in retrospect, his theme shows were quite good. Like the tribute to swing bands, the numerous tributes to various big band leaders, etc., were all well done.
    And, much like Lucille Ball, he seems to have longevity. And even Doc displayed a certain amount of respect for Welk.
    I go to Hawaii two or three times a month. One of my favorite places on the planet! The Honolulu Big Band was a swingin' ensemble at one time, but I can't find them now.
     
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Hey Trumpet Dreamer - I hate you!!
     
  8. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

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    We still laugh at the schmaltzy parts, the cornball singing, dancing, (Bobby, you aren't fooling anybody......) but I suffer through that stuff to see and hear the musicians, the sound, the instruments. I mean, where else can you see a FULL size dance band play in living color on TV once a week?
     
  9. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Before you hate me too much, understand these are working trips for me. But, I always find ways to mix in pleasure and have fun while on the island!

    Aloha!
     
  10. trumpaholic

    trumpaholic New Friend

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    I stand to be corrected, but I always thought Zell played the second chair.
     

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