For over 50 years, a Midwestern bubble-loving, accordion-championing schlockmeister made his champagne music for blue hairs a television staple. While bubbles wafted around his head, bandleader Lawrence Welk waved his little conductor's stick in front of his Champagne Music Makers orchestra as they burbled out the hits of the day alongside classic cheesy standards. Although the show was canceled in 1971, reruns have kept it alive; it is currently rated as the No. 1 weekly syndicated television show on PBS.
But if the canned version isn't good enough for you, now you can relive the memories in person. Son Larry Jr. has been hosting a revival of his father's show at the Welk Resort and Champagne Theater in Branson, and this year he's taking it on the road. Though Lawrence Sr. is dead and will probably remain that way, it's called the Live Lawrence Welk Show. And even though most of the cast you see on PBS have long ago gone to that great bubblehaus in the sky, Mary Lou Metzger, Jack Imel, Ava Barber and Henry Cuesta, and Ralna English (of Guy & Ralna) are the stars of this show billed as "original cast members." The Live Lawrence Welk Show waltzes into Durham's Carolina Theatre Friday, Feb. 28. Call 560-3030 for details.