Anatomy Of A Song – Dreaming Of Distant Lands

I always enjoy putting together Anatomy Of A Song posts because digging into the background of classic old songs often leads to interesting discoveries. For example, today's spotlighted song is a very familiar one that was a solid hit for many singers, but none of them took it all the way to #1 on the … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – Dreaming Of Distant Lands

Jo Ann Castle – Queen Of The Ragtime Piano

Much of Jo Ann Castle's long career has revolved around Lawrence Welk, who christened her the Queen of the Ragtime Piano when she joined his TV family more than a half-century ago. But even though she was still in her teens when she made her first guest appearance on his show (playing the accordion!) she … Continue reading Jo Ann Castle – Queen Of The Ragtime Piano

The Awsome Accordion

It might sound a little silly, but I have always been in awe of accordions and those who play them. Even if my common sense tells me that they are no more difficult to master than many other musical instruments, they just seem so much more complicated and overwhelming. I think it all started during … Continue reading The Awsome Accordion

Lennons Transcended Lawrence Welk’s Square Universe

Although Lawrence Welk has shown up here on the ol' GMC more than once, his appearances have mostly been in a supporting role, as in When Lawrence Welk Became Cool, a piece about jazz saxophonist Johnny Hodges. I've always maintained that during my teen years I pretty much considered Welk and his music hopelessly square, … Continue reading Lennons Transcended Lawrence Welk’s Square Universe

Rock & Roll Comes To Lawrence Welk

Most of us are familiar with what was a pretty common occurrence during the early days of rock and roll -- guest appearances by rising musical stars on TV shows. Producers of the shows recognized the burgeoning popularity of the new music and quickly realized the boost in ratings that could come their way, so … Continue reading Rock & Roll Comes To Lawrence Welk

Bubbling Along With Shep Fields And – Festus?

It might surprise you to learn that Lawrence Welk wasn't the first bandleader to have a 'bubbling' theme. Although Welk's champagne bubbles eventually became a famous part of his image, Shep Fields preceded him with his Rippling Rhythm orchestra in the Thirties. His group -- one of the 'sweet' bands of the big band era … Continue reading Bubbling Along With Shep Fields And – Festus?