Floren Plans Tribute for Welk at
Nelson, Todd. "Floren Plans Tribute for Welk at Corn Palace." Argus Leader, n.d.
A Corn Palace centennial performance planned this
Septmber in Mitchell will become a tribute to the late conductor
Lawrence Welk, longtime band member and Roslyn native Myron Floren
"We'll make that more or less a tribute to
Lawrence and the music he played," Floren said. "We'll
havesome champagne music and maybe a few bubbles, too. I think
Lawrence would love something like that, and he'd like to be remembered
that way. We'll be around to shake hands, too."
Welk played at the Corn Palace five times: in 1948,
1954, 1962, 1963 ans 1969. His last Sioux Falls show was June
Welk, from Strasburg, N.D., had met Floren a few
times in South Dakota when he recognized him in a St. Louis audience
on March 7, 1950. He invited Floren on stageand then asked him
to join the band as an accordion player.
What was to be a yearlong experiment turned into
a professional relationship of 32 years and a lifetime frienship.
"I think fundamentally, both being from the
farm, our values were pertty much the same, the way we teated
our work and everything," Floren said. "It is like the
old thing in the Bible where it says 'Go that extra mile.' That's
what we tried to do. We tried to do something extra, give the
audience something, leave them feeling a little better."
Floren, who still plays 150 shows a year, said Welk
was driven by a dream of having a band and the joy of seeming
people enjoy his music.
"I think he summed up his philosophy more or
less in what he thought of being in this country and of being
in this business when we are playing Madison Square Garden several
years ago, in front of 21,000 people," Floren said. "I
remember he said, 'Isn't this wonderful in America that two farmers
from the Dakotas can come to New York and play for this many people.'
"He knew his audience and, I think more than
anybody else, he did more to bring good clean entertainment to
a whole generation than anyone else."
Reprinted with permission from the Argus
entertained millions with his danceable Champagne Music.