We cried last year when he heard that Norma Zimmer had died. Never heard of her? Google and get a life.
But Zimmer will be back with us, sort of, now that a beloved television treasure–the longest-running American musical/variety show on television–finally comes to DVD in Lawrence Welk Classic Episodes, Volumes 1-4 from Film Chest and Synergy Entertainment.
Hosted by iconic musician, accordionist and band leader Lawrence Welk, whose style came to be known as “champagne music,” The Lawrence Welk Show first aired locally in Los Angeles from 1951-55, broadcast from the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach. (The show debuted nationally in July 1955, taping at the Hollywood Palladium for 23 of its 27 years on air).
Much of the show’s appeal was Welk himself, endearing himself to the audience with his unusual accent (born in the German-speaking community of Strasburg, North Dakota, he didn’t begin learning English until he started school). Recorded as if it was a live performance, the show was at times quite free-wheeling, with Welk frequently pulling women from the audience for a turn on the dance floor!
Welk’s music highlighted popular music standards, polkas and novelty songs delivered in a smooth, good-humored, easy-listening style and family-oriented manner. The program embraced changes on the musical scene over the years, featuring fresh music alongside the classics, even music originally not intended for the big-band sound.
Featured in this four-disc, collectors set are the fifth anniversary show, the “Gypsy” show, a salute to veterans and a Mardi Gras celebration. Also joining Welk are his “Champagne Lady” of 22 years, Norma Zimmer, polka musician Walter “Li’l Wally” Jagiello and many more!
Lawrence Welk Classic Episodes, Vol. 1-4 is presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 and mono sound.