The Wunnerful World of Lawrence Welk

I asked Thomas what he learned from watching the Lawrence Welk Show and he said, “A one-na and a two-uh.”  So I guess he learned how to count.

When I shared a funny Lawrence Welk graphic on Facebook, it is amazing how people responded.  The common word that was repeated was my grandmother.  I can testify to that. Every Saturday night when I was visiting either one of my grandmothers, we would watch Lawrence Welk. 

So one of my wunnerful lessons from Lawrence Welk was watching a show I had no interest in but I knew it was important to my grandmothers.  I was showing respect; maybe more children should do the same.

I think my greatest take-a-way was the all-American theme. It was a kindred spirit to the Miss America Pageant. Good, clean, fun and a  patriotic show produced by a hard-working young man whose parents emigrated in 1892 from Odessa, Russian Empire (now Ukraine). (

It was no surprise  as I sat in my Daddy’s late modeled Lincoln Continental, listening to an 8-track tape of Ava Barber sing the song, “The Party’s Over,” my song for my Miss America talent competition was born.  I took my idea to the amazing Kay Holley who was the personal vocal coach for Debbie Reynolds. Kay  created a vocal medley of “The Party’s Over and Send on the Clowns.”  That song took me all the way to the stage of the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. NJ with a talent award in hand.

When Lawrence Welk came to Columbia, I took my parents to enjoy a wunnerful night of music.  I was determined to meet this iconic man and I did.  The first thing I said was, “I’m a good singer, My Welk.”  He looked at me and said, “Send me a demo.” I had no idea what he was talking about! So another one of my take-aways is if you promote yourself, you better be prepared for the next step.

Who knows, I could have been dancing with Bobby Burgess or singing with Tom Netherton.  Can you tell that I have become a “champagne music groupie?

Share this post with other “champagne music groupies.”

Jane Jenkins Herlong is a Sirius XM Humorist, international best-selling/award-winning author, professional singer, recording artist, award-winning professional speaker and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame.

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