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'Champagne Music' Still Bubbles on TV

"'Champagne Music' Still Bubbles on TV." North Dakota Horizons, 1992.


Lawrence Welk today: Still playing the pump organ he first learned the old tunes on.
Lawrence Welk and his musical family recorded more than 1,000 tapings of "The Lawrence Welk Show" during its monumental 27-year run. The national television show premiered to rave reviews in July 1955, ran for 16 years on the ABC network and for another 11 years in syndication under Welk's control until his retirement in 1982. Then, after a five-year hiatus, past episodes of the show's unique mix of music, singing, dancing and the heavily accented charisma of its legendary host again received tremendous audience response, this time syndicated on public television.

Since it premiere on PBS in 1987, "The Lawrence Welk Show" has consistently scored the highest average ratings of all programs among participating stations. North Dakota's public television station, Prairie Public Television, carries the Welk show every Sunday at 7 p.m.

Prairie Public Promotion Manager Tom Rendon says the show returned to airways in a big way.

"It began as a pledge week special called "Lawrence Welk: America's Music Man" that ran in March' 87. They were testing it out. It went over like gangbusters."

Each week, between 50 and 70,000 Lawrence Welk fans in the Prairie Public viewing area enjoy the show where it consistently ranks among the station's top 10 programs. Apparently, the appeal of North Dakota's most famous favorite son is timeless.

Reprinted with permission of North Dakota Horizons.

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