Apparently a lot of people, which is something of a mystery to me. Without the accordion, how could we have a great polka? And who doesn’t love a great polka!? Okay, apparently a lot of people don’t like the accordion, or polkas, which I am sure would be perplexing to these Wisconsin gents:
14-year-old singer Laurie London holds the distinction of having recorded the most successful single in the US by a British male during the 1950s. His recording of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” reached #2 on Billboard’s Pop Charts in April, 1958, and stayed there for 4 weeks. Sadly, London never had another hit record, and his musical career faded into oblivion.
Perhaps this unique Leaning Tower of Pisa piece was inspired by the Laurie London hit record?
Okay, I am pretty sure it was not, but at least it gave me the opportunity to share an obscure probably-forgotten tidbit of musical history, and who doesn’t love one of those? 🙂
If you grew up in the 1960s or 1970s, it would have been impossible not to have heard of Lawrence Welk, even if you were not a fan of his “apple pie” brand of American music. I watched his TV show every week, along with millions of others. Many of the Welk performers stayed with Lawrence for twenty or thirty years, or more in many cases. After the weekly Welk show went off the air, the music played on in TV syndication, and at live theatre venues such as Branson, Missouri, and the Lawrence Welk Country Club Village in Escondido, California, from whence this little souvenir mug originated.
Lawrence Welk’s signature catch phrase, “Wunnerful, Wunnerful”, became his trademark, and the name of his autobiography. Much of the music really was “wunnerful wunnerful”. It ran the gamut from country to classical to pop to polka to big band and Dixieland, with a fair amount of tap dancing thrown in, all of it presented by performers whose talent was never in dispute, even if their particular style of music was not to your liking. Music maestro Welk truly was the master at providing something for everyone. Country music is admittedly not my favorite, but I didn’t mind watching Guy and Ralna if it meant that I would be able to catch the harmonizing of Sandy, Gail and Mary Lou. (count yourself as a true Welk fan, if you know who I am referring to, and, you know their last names)
The polka and big band numbers were personal favorites of mine, such as this terrific 1971 rendition of Georgy Girl. Yes, it is presented in the typical “sugary” Welk style, but I find it charming, and the band is simply fantastic!