History Culture Lawrence Welk
Lawrence’s Wealth Bandleader Founded Empire
Brue, Mike. "Lawrence's Wealth Bandleader Founded Empire." Grand Forks Herald, 20 May 1992, sec. 1A.
Lawrence Welk’s musical career grew into an entertainment
A corporate publication states that Welk businesses showed
revenues exceeding $100 million in 1990, with more than 1,000
employees in California, Hawaii and New York.
The Welk Group (formerly Teleklew Productions; the “klew”
is Welk backwards), wholly owned by three generations of Welks,
has become a sizable collection of diversified ventures, particularly
in real estate and the entertainment industry.
But in recent years, Welk didn’t have any direct involvement
in the corporation he founded in 1955. His son, Larry, is president.
The group’s holdings include The Lawrence Welk Foundation;
Welk Syndication, which with the Oklahoma Television Authority
packages Welk TV show reruns shown on public television; a television
production company; plus some resort complexes and record labels.
The record labels include:
? Ranwood, which offers recordings by Welk and stars from his
program, such as Myron Floren, the Lennon Sisters and Jo Ann
? Vanguard Records, which offers recording by folk, jazz, and
blues artists, such as Joan Baez, Ian & Sylvia, The Weavers
and Mississippi John hurt.
? Hindsight, a collection of authentic Big Band recordings made
for radio--but not for commercial distribution--in the 1930s
and ‘40s by such musicians as Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw,
Glenn Miller and Guy Lombardo.
? Heartland Music, a joint venture in TV mail-order marketing
and one of The Welk Group’s most successful. Compilations
from artists such as Willie Nelson, Marty Robbins, Nat King
Cole, Roger Whittaker and Zamfir, “Master of the Pan Flute,”
have been marketed on TV.
Reprinted with permission of Grand Forks Herald.
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