Lawrence Welk (March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992) was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted the television program The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large audience of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as “champagne music”.

Welk learned to play the accordion from his father and started his own band in 1927, which he called The Lawrence Welk Orchestra. The band’s style was a mixture of polkas, waltzes, and popular tunes. By the early 1930s, Welk had added a string section and rechristened the band Lawrence Welk and His Novelty Orchestra. The band became very popular in the Midwest.

The popular anthemic song ‘This Is A Great Country’ was written by Irving Berlin whose songs form a large part of the ‘Great American Songbook’. Welk’s version was popular. It was also covered by Bing Crosby.

Welk retired from television in 1982, but continued to tour with his band until his death in 1992. He was inducted into the North Dakota Hall of Fame in 1981 and the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1989.

Lawrence Welk Backing Tracks –  This Is A Great Country

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