89 (passed away May. 17th, 1992)
Mar. 11th, 1903
Strasburg, North Dakota, USA
Lawrence Welk's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles
The accordion maestro provided nearly two decades of squeaky-clean music and family entertainment on TV every Saturday night between 1955 and 1971 on prime-time, and for another 11 years in syndication. His trademarks included his "A uh-one, a uh-two" intro and a perpetual bubble machine.
- A good judge of talent, Welk's discoveries included 'Lynn Anderson (II)' (qv) and Pete Fountain, both of whom got their starts with his band.
- Welk's grandson, Larry Welk III, is an airborne traffic and breaking news reporter in "Sky Nine" helicopter for KCAL-TV, Ch 9, Los Angeles.
- His show was initially cancelled by ABC-TV in 1971, after 17 years as a Saturday night perennial on the network, because of a question of viewer demographics. Advertisers and networks were convinced that they should gear their shows to younger, urban audiences, who were thought to have the buying power, and Welk's audience was simply considered too old. In what was then considered a bold move, Welk began producing shows for first-run syndication, and by the start of the 1971 fall season he was back on the air, where he remained until he retired eleven years later. Ironically, many of the stations that carried his show were local ABC affiliates.
- Dropped out of school in the fourth grade to work on the family farm. At age 21, he left home to make his way in the music business.
- Despite being born in the U.S., he grew up speaking German and did not speak English until he was 21.
- Registered his car with a vanity license plate that read "A1 AN A2".
- In the early 1990s, the U.S. Congress refused federal funding to restore Welk's boyhood home in Strasburg, N.D., as a museum. His many still loyal fans, hearing of this, donated the money themselves, and to this day the Welk Home and Museum has been restored and maintained entirely by private funds.
- Recorded prolifically before and during his TV years, primarily for Columbia, Coral, Dot, and Ranwood records, scoring a number one single and album with "Calcutta" in 1961.