Lawrence Welk - Musicians, Life Achievements and Childhood

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Lawrence Welk's Personal Details

Lawrence Welk is recognized for his sparkling music style which came to be known as the ‘Champagne Style’ later on

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 11, 1903
Died onMay 17, 1992
NationalityAmerican
FamousMusicians
City/StateNorth Dakota
SpousesFern Renner
Childrens Lawrence Welk
Birth PlaceStrasburg, North Dakota
ReligionRoman Catholic
EpitaphsKeep a song in your Heart
GenderMale
FatherLudwig Welk
MotherChristiana Welk
Sun SignPisces
Born inStrasburg, North Dakota
Died at Age89

// Famous Musicians

Lawrence Welk's photo

Who is Lawrence Welk?

Lawrence Welk was an American bandleader and accordion player. He earned money at the age of 13 by playing accordion and later formed two groups namely ‘The biggest little bands in America’ and ‘The Hotsy-Totsy Boys’. His long-running TV show, ‘The Lawrence Welk show’, was a hit in its time and continues to be much-loved in reruns. His 1065 episodes show was a musical ensemble of some brilliant artists forming his ‘Musical family’. He was quite insightful towards his audience’s wishes and never failed to offer them a wide variety of melodies entwined in an assorted fashion. Throughout this, he never lost his fondness for ‘Jazz’, his first-love. He was an uncompromising disciplinarian as far as the quality of his show was concerned. He disapproved of the appearance of comedians on the show and declined the sponsorship of alcohol and cigarette companies. He had a prolific career as a recording artist. The reruns of his show display their high popularity even after his passing away. Apart from this, he was a first-rate businessman with investments in real estate & musical publishing, and a regular at many celebrity golf tournament programs.

// Famous People From North Dakota

Childhood & Early Life

He was born in a small German town of Strasburg, North Dakota. His parents had immigrated to America in 1892, escaping the strife going on in Alsace-Lorraine. They lived in a homestead in ND which is a tourist attraction today.

He learned to play polka music on his father’s accordion and began performing at local music events in his early teenage years. After four years, he persuaded his father to buy him his own accordion and promised his father to work on the Family’s farm until he was 21 to repay the cost incurred on accordion.

In 1927, he graduated from the MacPhail Centre for Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Career

Upon turning 21 he took up music as a full-time career playing with various polka style bands around the area. Soon, he formed his own quartet: ‘The Lawrence Welk Novelty Orchestra’. His band was also the Station band for popular radio station WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota.

The band underwent a lot of transformation including name change for instance, ‘The Hotsy-Totsy Boys’, ‘The Honolulu Fruit Gum Orchestra’, and ‘The Biggest Little Band in America’.

In November, 1928 he recorded a remarkable song in a ragtime style for Indiana-based ‘Gennett Records’. He recorded four sides, out of which one side was rejected.

In 1937, he moved the group to Omaha where they gained expertise in dance tunes and ‘sweet’ music. The band traveled around the country by car as they were too poor to afford high traveling and accommodation expenses.

In 1938, during their concert at William Penn Hotel in Pittsburg, a fan linked their light, rhythmic and bubbly music to champagne; this earned the band its tag, describing its sound as ‘champagne music’.

In 1940, he booked his group at Trianon ballroom in Chicago which proved to be a big achievement, regularly pulling out a huge crowd. Therefore, he moved his family to Chicago and lived there for the next ten years. He signed with ‘Decca’ and recorded for ‘Mercury’ and ‘Coral’.

Meanwhile, his orchestra also performed at Roosevelt Hotel in New York City and after five years he collaborated with Western artist Red Foley to record a version of Spade Cooley’s ‘Shame on you’ which went on Billboard’s September 15 ‘Most played juke box Folk Records’ listing.

From 1949-1951, the band had its own National radio program on ABC sponsored by ‘The Champagne of Bottle Beer’ Miller high life, a well-known brewing company.

In 1951, he took part in a late-night TV show in Los Angeles. Its success inspired him to move to LA the same year and led him to produce ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ on KTLA television station. This show made its national debut in 1955 on ABC as a midseason replacement and drew together one of the largest fan following.

Major Works

In 1931, he recorded eight sides for ‘Paramount’ which were distributed to the ‘Broadway’ and ‘Lyric’ labels. These records are now hard to find and extremely invaluable.

In 1966, he recorded an album on ‘Ranwood Records’ label with Johnny Hodges, an America alto saxophonist, bringing out a number of Jazz standards including ‘Someone to watch over me’, ‘Misty’, and ‘Fantastic, that’s you’. The album is highly esteemed but has been out of print for many years.

His famous show, ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ amassed the best known performers including accordionist conductor Myron Floren, ragtime pianist Joe Ann Castle, singing group ‘The Lennon Sisters’, Dixieland clarinetist Pete Fountain, Irish style singer Joe Feeney, tap dancer Arthur Duncan, dancer Bobby Burgess, and a featured female singer christened as ‘The champagne lady’.

He had a good number of instrumental hits in his name including a cover of the song ‘Yellow bird’, originally released by the Norman Luboff choir in 1957. In 1961, he released his chartbuster record ‘Calcutta’ which became a big hit instantly. It was recorded in a single take. It gained the topmost position in U.S. pop charts between 13 and 26 February; the album also surpassed all the levels of glory.

Awards & Achievements

In 1961, he was admitted as a charter member of the ‘Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award’ from his native place, North Dakota.

In 1994, he was welcomed into the International Polka Music Hall of Fame for his noteworthy contribution to the advancement and promotion of Polka music.

He has a star for recording in ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ located at Hollywood boulevard and a second star at Vine Street for television.

Personal Life & Legacy

He was married to Fern Renner and had three children from her. He has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.

His band continues to appear in the theatre in Branson, Missouri. Besides, the TV show has been repackaged for broadcasts on PBS stations. The production rights are with Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.

A resort community, ‘The Welk Group’, developed by him in California is open to the public. It has a theatre group which performs live Broadway musicals all the year round; it also owns broadcasting rights and record labels.

The ‘Live Lauren Welk show’ makes concert tours every year across the United States and Canada introducing stars from the television series.

He titled two of his autobiographies after his trademark phrases, ‘Wunnerful Wunnerful!’ (1971) and ‘Ah-one Ah-two!’ (1974).

// Famous American

Lawrence Welk biography timelines

  • // 11th Mar 1903
    He was born in a small German town of Strasburg, North Dakota. His parents had immigrated to America in 1892, escaping the strife going on in Alsace-Lorraine. They lived in a homestead in ND which is a tourist attraction today.
  • // 1927
    In 1927, he graduated from the MacPhail Centre for Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • // 1928
    In November, 1928 he recorded a remarkable song in a ragtime style for Indiana-based ‘Gennett Records’. He recorded four sides, out of which one side was rejected.
  • // 1937
    In 1937, he moved the group to Omaha where they gained expertise in dance tunes and ‘sweet’ music. The band traveled around the country by car as they were too poor to afford high traveling and accommodation expenses.
  • // 1938
    In 1938, during their concert at William Penn Hotel in Pittsburg, a fan linked their light, rhythmic and bubbly music to champagne; this earned the band its tag, describing its sound as ‘champagne music’.
  • // 1940
    In 1940, he booked his group at Trianon ballroom in Chicago which proved to be a big achievement, regularly pulling out a huge crowd. Therefore, he moved his family to Chicago and lived there for the next ten years. He signed with ‘Decca’ and recorded for ‘Mercury’ and ‘Coral’.
  • // 1949 To 1951
    From 1949-1951, the band had its own National radio program on ABC sponsored by ‘The Champagne of Bottle Beer’ Miller high life, a well-known brewing company.
  • // 1951
    In 1951, he took part in a late-night TV show in Los Angeles. Its success inspired him to move to LA the same year and led him to produce ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ on KTLA television station. This show made its national debut in 1955 on ABC as a midseason replacement and drew together one of the largest fan following.
  • // 1961
    In 1961, he was admitted as a charter member of the ‘Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award’ from his native place, North Dakota.
  • // 1966
    In 1966, he recorded an album on ‘Ranwood Records’ label with Johnny Hodges, an America alto saxophonist, bringing out a number of Jazz standards including ‘Someone to watch over me’, ‘Misty’, and ‘Fantastic, that’s you’. The album is highly esteemed but has been out of print for many years.
  • // 1994
    In 1994, he was welcomed into the International Polka Music Hall of Fame for his noteworthy contribution to the advancement and promotion of Polka music.

// Pisces Celebrities

Lawrence Welk's FAQ

  • What is Lawrence Welk birthday?

    Lawrence Welk was born at 1903-03-11

  • When was Lawrence Welk died?

    Lawrence Welk was died at 1992-05-17

  • Where was Lawrence Welk died?

    Lawrence Welk was died in Santa Monica, California

  • Which age was Lawrence Welk died?

    Lawrence Welk was died at age 89

  • Where is Lawrence Welk's birth place?

    Lawrence Welk was born in Strasburg, North Dakota

  • What is Lawrence Welk nationalities?

    Lawrence Welk's nationalities is American

  • Who is Lawrence Welk spouses?

    Lawrence Welk's spouses is Fern Renner

  • Who is Lawrence Welk childrens?

    Lawrence Welk's childrens is Lawrence Welk

  • What is Lawrence Welk's religion?

    Lawrence Welk's religion is Roman Catholic

  • Who is Lawrence Welk's father?

    Lawrence Welk's father is Ludwig Welk

  • Who is Lawrence Welk's mother?

    Lawrence Welk's mother is Christiana Welk

  • What is Lawrence Welk's sun sign?

    Lawrence Welk is Pisces