Part one of "Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures" describes how the show's remarkable 27-year run on national commercial television began. It ends with a special tribute to the extraordinary band members, who perform a medley from "My Fair Lady."
Part two of the PBS special highlights the astonishing "overnight" popularity of "The Lawrence Welk Show" and the public's fascination with the Welk stars, which continues even today. The tabloid press doesn't write about the Welk Musical Family now, but at one time, the Welk Stars were the darlings of the fan magazine world, along with Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and The Beatles. Love and marriage within the Musical Family is discussed and the 'soap opera' aspect of the show is laughed about by various performers.
Part three of "Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures" explains how "The Lawrence Welk Show" was produced each week, from concept to broadcast, with producer/director, Jim Hobson, who worked on the show for 27 years on commercial television. Marimba-playing Jack Imel, a member of the Welk Musical Family, also served as associate producer of the series and discusses ABC's decision to cancel the series, and Welk's quick and ultimately successful move into national syndication.
Part four features a special segment on the humor and hi-jinks of "The Lawrence Welk Show." It opens with a tongue-in-cheek "champagne music" version of the "Counter-Revolution Polka" and looks back at some of the funniest moments in the history of the series.
The special also includes segments from the first black and white show on July 2, 1955, to the last syndicated show on commercial television. Many of the clips will mark major milestones along the way, including Jo Ann Castle's "surprise" birthday cake presentation by Lawrence Welk, and the 500th show, taped in 1965, which featured a guest appearance by all four Lennon Sisters and their seven brothers and sisters.
Excerpts from dozens of musical numbers will be seen on "Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures," including some of the few shows shot "on location" in places like Pacific Ocean Park, the Aragon Ballroom and Escondido, California. The Lennon Sisters are featured singing on a ferris wheel…Tom Netherton sings from the Goodyear Blimp…and the entire cast is seen around the pool of the Welk Resort in 1965, on the first color show.