The Birth of Champagne Music.

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The Birth of Champagne Music.

Born in a German speaking town in North Dakota in 1903, Mr. Welk didn’t learn to speak English until he was 21.  This gave him the accent that marked his signature line: “Wunnerful, wunnerful.”

The Lawrence Welk Show was cheerful and wholesome with bubbles, music Welk called “champagne music,” and a parade of smiling dancers, singers and musicians audiences loved.  Among the favorites were the Lennon Sisters; the Champagne Ladies (Alice Lon and Norma Zimmer); accordionist Myron Floren; Larry Hooper; singers Joe Feeney and Guy Hovis; violinist Aladdin; dancers Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan; and Welk’s daughter-in-law, Tanya Falan Welk.

The show was originally launched as a summer replacement in 1955 and remained on the air for 16 years.  When the show was eventually taken off the air, Welk enlisted more than 200 independent stations to keep airing it, creating his own syndicated network.

In 1964, Lawrence Welk went for a drive in the country north of San Diego, California planning to invest in a grove of orange trees. Instead he bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course. When he staged a show there it gained instant celebrity as a tourist hotspot, eventually growing to include a theatre, more golf and vacation homes.

Since then the Welk Legacy has expanded to include resorts in Palm Springs and Cabo San Lucas, as well as a theatre and Resort Hotel in Branson. They’ve earned Gold Crown status by Resort Condominiums International.

Today, Welk’s grandson Jon Fredricks keeps the resorts – and the Welk Family traditions – alive.

Come and check it out. It’s wunnerful.