Fast Facts

  • Was one of eight children.
  • Dropped out of school in the fourth grade to farm full time; left home at 21 to begin career as a musician.
  • The label "champagne music" reportedly stuck after listeners compared his music to sipping the bubbly.
  • Played at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Inaugural ball.
  • Last of 1542 broadcasts of The Lawrence Welk Show was on Feb. 25, 1982; the show has flourished in repeats well into the 21st century.
  • Beginning in October 2008, his show has been parodied in a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, with Fred Armisen portraying Welk.


  • Shirley Jean Welk Fredricks — Daughter
  • Christina Welk — Mother
  • Donna Lee Welk Mack — Daughter
  • Fern Welk — Wife
  • Lawrence Welk Jr. — Son
  • Ludwig Welk — Father


  • Birth Place: Strasburg, ND
  • Died: May 17, 1992
  • Profession: Band leader, Accordionist, TV host

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