Jules Herman, Welk Musician and Bandleader, Dies 93

"Jules Herman, Welk Musician and Bandleader, Dies 93." Lawrence Welk Show Musical Family News 12, no. 2: 2005, 7.

Jules Herman, who played a sweet trumpet in the Lawrence Welk Band and in front of his own orchestra for 35 years, died on July 22nd of heart failure at his home in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. He was 93 years old and had been retired since 1996.

Jules was asked to be a part of the Welk band in the mid-1930’s, and in 1938, when the band was playing the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a young singer named Lois Best joined the Welk Band. She became the first Champagne Lady, and soon afterward, married the handsome, talented trumpet player. Jules and Lois were married for 67 years, sharing their lives and their love of music.

Another North Dakotan
Jules often described himself as “a 100% Norwegian” kid, growing up in Milnor, North Dakota. He studied Musical Education at Moorhead State College in Minnesota and after receiving his degree in the early 1930s, taught music in Gardner, North Dakota. When a fellow North Dakotan named Lawrence Welk invited Jules to join his band, which was playing regularly on radio station WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota, he quit his teaching job and never looked back.

“Lawrence didn’t have a musical education,” Lois Herman said, “so he grew to depend on Jules because he was the only college grad in the band.”

In 1940, when the Welk Orchestra finished an engagement in Chicago and was leaving for California, the Hermans stayed behind to raise their family.

The Family
Mr. Herman is survived by his wife, Lois Best Herman, and his three daughters, Bonnie Herman of Chicago, a well-known and sought after studio singer; Gloria Aberman of Las Vegas; and Debra Herman of Mendota Heights, Minnesota. He also leaves four grandchildren and a brother, Erling Herman.

Services were held at St. James Lutheran Church in St. Paul.

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