Lawrence Welk Tribute Show Set for Sept. 10 at Historic Fargo Theatre

Dakota Air: The Radio Show to Honor Welk with Live “Champagne Toast”

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Fargo, ND, August 4, 2011—Fargo production company Prairie Airwaves has announced that the monthly program Dakota Air: The Radio Show will present a special tribute to entertainer Lawrence Welk, one of North Dakota’s most famous natives, with a live performance in Fargo at the historic Fargo Theatre on September 10th, 2011 at 7 p.m.  The music of Welk’s “Champagne Orchestra” will be performed by popular entertainers from across the region.
Welk—Strasburg, ND’s “favorite son”—became one of the most popular entertainers in the world  with his distinctive "champagne music" through live ballroom performances and as host of the weekly program, “The Lawrence Welk Show,”  which began running on network television in 1955 and continues to run in  syndication.
The Dakota Air performance of the tribute show will feature the sounds of “The Lawrence Welk Show” and its leading stars such as Myron Floren, Norma Zimmer, The Lennon Sisters, Joe Feeney, Larry Hooper and more as performed by North Dakota musicians, including Bismarck accordionist Victor Schwahn, and vocalists Reed Malm, Sam Mack, Vicki Melchior, Carolyn Wintersteen, and Merrill Piepkorn, who is also the show’s host and executive producer.
The Harley Sommerfeld Band will add a “champagne” touch to the music, and Levi and Bethany Andrist, former Burning Hills Singers star performers, will dance in a salute to the Welk show’s popular dance partners “Bobby and Cissy” (Bobby Burgess and Cissy King).
In addition, former North Dakota first lady Nancy Jones Schafer will play a song or two on one of Lawrence Welk’s accordions from the collection of NDSU’s Institute for Regional Studies. Through a generous donation from the Welk family in 1993, the Institute holds the honor of preserving and making available the music and memorabilia of Lawrence Welk.
Dakota Air is offering a very limited number of VIP tickets that include prime reserved seating, and a post-show reception with performers and German Russian cuisine. VIP tickets are $40 in advance. Non-VIP tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door if available.
Tickets can be purchased by calling (701) 205-3182, visiting, or stopping by Tickets 300 at 218 Broadway in Fargo between noon and 6pm Monday-Friday.
Dakota Air: The Radio Show is a live monthly variety show performed in various locations and historic venues throughout North Dakota and surrounding states to entertain, educate and inspire audiences while highlighting the talents, history, and culture of the region. The show is Prairie Public radio’s statewide network throughout the month, and is also available worldwide for playback online at
Each monthly show features music by The Radio Stars—a band introduced to the nation during Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” show in Bismarck in 2009—as well humorist and historian Steve Stark.
Corporate sponsors are Basin Electric Power Cooperative, North Dakota Farmers Union, and Gate City Bank.  Prairie Public is the radio-broadcast partner. 
For ticket information, call (701) 205-3182. For more information about Dakota Air: The Radio Show, contact Merrill Piepkorn, Executive Producer, at (701) 205-2665 or

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