I've had several fellow bloggers ask me today..." G-Man please tell us a Lawrence Welk Story". You know me, how can I turn down such a sincere request? Well it just so happens that I do have a Champagne Music story to tell.
The year was circa 1970. I've told you about my fraternity back in college, and the fact that we used to usher at the beautiful Whiting Auditorium. Unfortunately, all of the shows were not Jerry Lee Lewis, or Smokey Robinson. One of the shows that we had to usher for was, " The Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show". Actually that was accurate in every regard, except for the fact that Larry himself never toured with the show. He left control of his namesake band, in the very formidable hands of Myron Floren. The Master of the Accordian!
You young folks out there may not realize this, but Lawrence Welk was huge! Not him personally, but his show was a monster on TV and syndication for years. In fact it's still on PBS now at times. His ensemble of stars could hold their own with any quality of Broadway or Las Vegas productions.He had the deep-voiced Larry Hooper, he had the tap dancing Arthur Duncan, he had the Irish Tenor Joe Feeny, he had the great Jo Ann Castle on Honkey Tonk piano, he had the great dance partners of Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylen. But the absolute darlings of the show was the lovely Lennon Sisters.
Now usually a show like this, was very hard to work. The main reason was because the average age of the audiance bordered extinction. What do you think? Lawrence Fricken Welk!!
Holy shit, the concession stand was selling Geritol shots, and Nitro. If you didn't get high by then, trust me, you started that night....Anyway, all I wanted to do was to finish my door man job that night and book outta there ASAP. Like I really needed to go backstage THAT night to keep the groupies away. Don't forget, this cast of squeaky clean characters , made Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, look like Ozzie and Sharon Osborne....
But......I got the call, me and Mange got task of guarding the back door. Manges real name was Dick M, but everyone had a nickname back then, Ajax, Shakey, Mondo ( he got the name because he tagged a 37 year old MILF and the 18 year old daughter....at the same time) .
Getting back to the story, while back stage, the dancin mannequin Bobby Burgess rushes up to us and asked if there was a TV in the house. ...WHY?....Because it seems that an episode of Lawrence Welk was on Channel 12 at 7:00 pm and he wanted to see himself on the tube. Now I thought to myself..( This is only the 45,0000th time you've danced with this bitch and you want to see it again?), but even back then the G-Man showed much compassion. " Bobby, this is what I'll do for you". I then left Mange in charge of the door, and ran across the street to the frat house and grabbed my 12 in B/W TV with aluminum foil on the rabbit ears, and brought it back to the waiting room. So that Bobby Freakin Burgess can watch himself two-step on my tiny tube. He was very grateful though, so I wasn't too pissed about it. The Lennon Sisters were HOT!
..And yet another brush with fame...From the G-Man....Peace, and a One and a Two.....