Picks and Pans Review: From Lawrence Welk: to America with Love
Unlike Spy Game, which is an exercise in retro chic, this pledge-month special is unvarnished nostalgia for anyone who watched the orchestra leader in the course of his long run on TV. The Lawrence Welk Show premiered on ABC in 1955 and remained in production until 1982. Welk died in 1992, but his orchestra still exists, conducted for occasional TV specials by accordionist Myron Floren. This recently taped 80-minute concert features a big-band medley, hymns, patriotic anthems and the theme from Exodus. Many of the old regulars are here: Irish tenor Joe Feeney, pianist Jo Ann Castle and the Lennon Sisters. Older now, most of them are not terribly energetic performers. But, then, Welk's show was always the mildest of diversions. He called his music "champagne." In truth it was milk.