The kids and I watched a Lawrence Welk Show from 1966 today. I’ll describe parts of the show, using some of the language my kids used while they watched. I don’t remember the names of the musicians, but a true Welk fan might recognize them.
The tap dancer tapped until his pants got ruffles in them. It was like he played piano with his feet. The lady at the bright green upright piano wore a skirt and heels to match it. She played very fast and liked to look up and smile a laughing smile at the camera. The Polish polka singer with the silly red accordion bounced with the music and rolled his eyes at the “sparkling diamond ring” part. It reminded me of nights my Dad and Mom liked to listen to polkas on the radio. My dad would rustle his newspaper in time to the music. Then there was the Irish girl with the long brown hair and the high, high voice. When Lawrence Welk had a talk with her after her song, she wouldn’t quit talking. He handed her a flute, which she grabbed excitedly, put in front of her mouth, and then kept right on talking. Lawrence put her in the band, a brightly-dressed high-spirited girl amongst the gray-suited, dark-framed, serious men musicians. They played lovely together. The band also played a French march song, which highlighted different instruments at different parts of the song. Very good for teaching children the names of instruments. Probably the favorite was the Greek dance. It involved a red ribbon which both the man and the woman held onto and then one of them let go of it. The man wore a skirt, which the girls were sure their dad wouldn’t like to wear.
In the spirit of Lawrence Welk, I would like to raise my baton and clap it into my other hand, a polite clap for a polite and elegant old-fashioned music show. Nobody won, nobody lost, nobody lectured or over-analyzed anything, but my children and I learned a lot and we have another good hook to hang our memories on.