History Culture Lawrence Welk
'Champagne Music' Still Bubbles on
"'Champagne Music' Still Bubbles on TV." North Dakota Horizons, 1992.
|Lawrence Welk today: Still playing the
pump organ he first learned the old tunes on.
Lawrence Welk and his musical family recorded more than 1,000
tapings of "The Lawrence Welk Show" during its monumental 27-year
run. The national television show premiered to rave reviews in
July 1955, ran for 16 years on the ABC network and for another
11 years in syndication under Welk's control until his retirement
in 1982. Then, after a five-year hiatus, past episodes of the
show's unique mix of music, singing, dancing and the heavily accented
charisma of its legendary host again received tremendous audience
response, this time syndicated on public television.
Since it premiere on PBS in 1987, "The Lawrence
Welk Show" has consistently scored the highest average ratings
of all programs among participating stations. North Dakota's public
television station, Prairie Public Television, carries the Welk
show every Sunday at 7 p.m.
Prairie Public Promotion Manager Tom Rendon says
the show returned to airways in a big way.
"It began as a pledge week special called "Lawrence
Welk: America's Music Man" that ran in March' 87. They were testing
it out. It went over like gangbusters."
Each week, between 50 and 70,000 Lawrence Welk
fans in the Prairie Public viewing area enjoy the show where it
consistently ranks among the station's top 10 programs. Apparently,
the appeal of North Dakota's most famous favorite son is timeless.
Reprinted with permission of North Dakota
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