TAG: John Moore/The Lawrence Welk Show

Excellent article if you are a music lover.

We still are able to watch this brand of music on the Rural Free Delivery (RFD) TV – in our area it is on Dish – Station 231. Every Friday/Saturday and during the week, programs are available. If you don’t have it, you can ask your provider to add it. It is a free station.

On Friday and Saturday evenings our favorite shows come on (some from Branson, MO). Daniel O’Donnell appears every Saturday at 8 o’clock. He loves/sings country western and all types – you will be surprised (he has even been asked and performed on the Grand Old Opry.)


And a-one and a-two
John Moore Jan 30, 2023
Thomas and Leona Pickett
Columnist John Moore’s grandparents, Thomas and Leona Pickett, made sure he never missed an episode of “The Lawrence Welk Show.” (Courtesy photo)

Saturday night 50 years ago, who else was held hostage by their grandparents and Lawrence Welk? Raise your hand.

By their other grandparents and “Hee Haw”?

Back then, a handful of relatives and three channels were all we needed to have good, clean entertainment and quality time with those we loved.

At the time, it seemed like TV prison. I would’ve rather watched “The Brady Bunch” or “The Partridge Family,” but those shows weren’t options at my grandparents’ house.

We watched what they wanted, which was typically “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza, “The Beverly Hillbillies” or other highly rated programs of the day.

The biggest issue with television today is the crazy number of channels we get; yet, there’s almost nothing worth watching.

Sure, there are a few shows these days that are well written and well acted, but programs today are almost cookie-cutter. Same premises, same jokes, same actors.

Growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, we only had three TV networks, but we had a remote control (me getting up to turn the channel when I was told to), and we had an antenna rotor (me getting up and going outside to turn the pole when I was told to).

But we also had programs that everyone could watch. Today, TV shows have audience ratings, such as G, PG and so on, just like they do at the movies. But not so long ago, you could plop grandma, grandpa, junior and sissy down in front of the same show without fear that someone’s eyes would pop out of their head and roll across the living room floor.

Not something you had to worry about with Lawrence Welk or “Hee Haw.” Well, maybe every now and then on the latter, depending on how skimpy the outfits were on the girls popping up in the cornfield.

I had one set of grandparents who never missed “The Lawrence Welk Show.” The routine was as predictable as the plot of an episode of “Matlock.” If I was visiting or spending the night with them, we ate supper at 5 p.m., watched Lawrence Welk at 6 p.m., studied our Sunday school lesson at 7 p.m. and went to bed at 8 p.m.

At my other grandparents, it was the same routine, but you removed Lawrence Welk from the equation and inserted “Hee Haw.”

Both the Welk show and “Hee Haw” were victims of the programming purge of 1971.

Welk started as a local show in the early ’50s in Los Angeles and moved to network television from the mid ’50s until its cancellation by ABC.

“Hee Haw” enjoyed a popular run on CBS from 1969 to 1971, but was a casualty of network suits, who felt that anything remotely rural on television had run its course, and no one wanted to see shows like that any longer.

Both Lawrence Welk and “Hee Haw” went on to enjoy excellent ratings in syndication and still do today.

Lawrence Welk remains one of the highest-rated shows on PBS.

Just goes to show you that those at the top didn’t always get there because they knew what they were doing.

Both Welk and “Hee Haw” had a thing about twins. And so did the viewers. The audience was fascinated with them.

On “The Lawrence Welk Show,” the Otwell twins were a popular addition to the program during the later years between 1977 and 1982. The Otwells are from Texas. They frequently appeared on the show with The Aldridge Sisters. The Otwells still live in Texas but are now in private business.

On “Hee Haw,” the Hager twins (Jim and Jon) were popular with viewers. They were spotted performing by Buck Owens and signed to contracts. After appearing on the show for many years, they died within eight months of each other, Jim in 2008 and Jon in 2009 at ages 66 and 67.

But both the Otwells and Hagers, along with the rest of the cast members of both Welk and “Hee Haw,” live on through reruns, which can still be seen today.

Welk, with its, “Bubbles in the Wine,” and THE “Hee Haw’, “Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me,” gave us theme songs that have forever embedded the impact of both programs into our memories and those with whom we watched them.

Maybe that’s one good thing about having all of these channels today. You can still find the pearls of our youth, if you look hard enough, along with memories of our grandparents and the shows they made us watch.

Which really weren’t that bad at all. If we could only go back just one more time and watch them again with those we love.

John’s books, “Puns for Groan People” and “Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2,” are available on his website, TheCountryWriter.com, where you can also send him a message and hear his weekly podcast.


About kommonsentsjane

Enjoys sports and all kinds of music, especially dance music. Playing the keyboard and piano are favorites. Family and friends are very important.
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