Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Lawrence Welk Show

Yes, I'm a Lawrence Welk fan. But then again, Guy Lombardo was Louis Armstrong's favorite band. Despite the sometimes corny, overly wholesome style of the show, and the maestro's murdering of the English language, a lot of good music and jazz got played.

Lawrence Welk was a great judge of talent. He picked great musicians and fine singers and entertainers, many from the ranks of the band. As a jazz fan, the show was a goldmine of great musicians. One of my favorite trumpet men, Dick Cathcart (of Pete Kelly's fame) was a regular. (He also married Peggy Lennon). The great Pete Fountain attained national recognition from his two year stint on the show. Bob Havens, one of the country's top trombonists, was a regular for almost 25 years.

Many of these great players will be getting a post down the road; but I'd like to mention some of them; George Thow, Rocky Rockwell (a personal friend and great entertainer), Charlie Parlato, Woody Guidry (another pal) and Mickey McMahon, all trumpeters. On reeds Don Bonnee, Mahlon Clark, Russ Klein, Jack Martin, Peanuts Hucko and Henry Cuesta. Barney Liddell, Jimmy Henderson and Kenny Trimbel on trombone. Frank Scott (a great arranger), Big Tiny Little and Larry Hooper, piano.

Lawrence also had a great eye for lovely and talented ladies. From Alice Lon and the Lennon Sisters through JoAnn Castle, Cissy King, Tanya Welk, Gail Farrell and Anacani. The show was always visually as well as musically appealing. We'll be posting some of my favorites over the next months.

Till then, Wunnerful,Wunnerful!

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I just recently realized my sister-in-law is Don Bonnee's daughter, Michele. I enjoyed the YouTube of his playing and started google'g his name. Your blog came up and I'm letting Michele know to check for her dad's special story.