Wednesday, April 18, 2007

And-uh-one. . ..

Try saying snarky about Lawrence Welk to most schooled musicians and you will most likely be firmly but gently upbraided. Most players of my acquaintance---even the hippest among them (no names please)---praise Welk for the musicianship of his players, if for nothing else. The best in the biz.

It is inarguable that Welk's is now the single best regularly scheduled music program on TV. It also happens to be the ONLY regularly-skedded show on the box, but that is another issue.

As for the Johnny Hodges/Welk album, oft-noted as a signifier of Welk's ultimate with-it-ness, most of the arrangements were by the ultra-hip likes of Benny Carter and Marty Paich, so it's not quite representative of Welk. Nonetheless, the latter had a perfectly fine battery of arrangers at his disposal.

Never thought I'd come to see the day when I would say this. but Welk is missed. If for no other reason than supplying pluperfect satiric fodder for Stan Freberg. pt 1 , pt. 2 (Windows Media Player required)

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