Feature: A View from the Id

Lawrence Welk: Classic Episodes Volumes 1-4 Is Pure Corn

Author: Bob Etier
Published: February 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

When baby boomers (a/k/a “old-timers”) sit around and moan about how innocent things were way back when (the fifties and early sixties), some may have reservations about the quality of their memories. On February 21, 2012, testimony will be issued to support those doddering (but correct) memories as Synergy Entertainment releases Lawrence Welk: Classic Episodes Volumes 1-4.
The Lawrence Welk Show ran for an impressive 27 years, its loyal fans tuning in weekly for their ration of birthdays, anniversaries, schmaltz, family values, and bubbles. Viewers were treated to tap dancers, singers, ballroom dancers, accordionists, and a variety of musicians (many featured soloists) all talented, but few unique. Welk, who was always up for a celebration, anchored each show to a theme, sometimes patriotic, sometimes dictated by holidays, sometimes dedicated to a particular era or style of song.

The “Greatest Generation” were his greatest fans (and still are through reruns on PBS stations), and boomers found themselves sprawled out on the floor in front of the television set with crayons and coloring or comic books, unaware that they were absorbing decades of music which would later cause them to ask, “Why do I know that song?”

One of the most intriguing aspects of Lawrence Welk: Classic Episodes Volumes 1-4 is evidence of how fiercely the audience’s sensibilities were protected by censors and Welk himself, who insisted on maintaining the highest moral ground. The Lawrence Welk Show may have provided a wide variety of musical performances, a dazzling array of costumes, and a plethora of performers, but nary an innuendo. In fact, the most suggestive scene in the twelve hours of programs is a riotous and totally non-PC Geritol ad (the vintage advertisements are worth the price of admission—don’t forget, Serutan is Natures spelt backwards).

Lawrence Welk: Classic Episodes Volumes 1-4 features twelve episodes, dating from 1960 to 1968, a short period marked by societal sea changes. The release of the 4-disc set coincides with Mardi Gras, the theme of the twelfth episode, originally broadcast on February 24, 1968.


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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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