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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000021.txt from 1997/09

From: Bill Edinger <>
Subj: I still can't stand it
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 1997 14:02:27 -0400

I have gotten a few responses, posted and otherwise, to my announcement
that even after all these years I just can't take more than a few
minutes of Lawrence Welk without screaming "uncle." The responses have
all been thoughtful, open-minded, and well-considered, and I certainly
agree that some fine musicians seem to have been playing with that
group. And yes, you COULD pay me enough money to listen to his program
(or even to play in the group, provided a) I had the talent - which I
don't - and b) that it was quite a bit more money).

This ranting all stems from a recent Welk show celebrating the big
bands, and you can just imagine what he did to Ellington, Basie, Shaw,
etc. Did you enjoy hearing Pat Boone do Tutti Frutti and Blue Suede
Shoes (and the guy wonders why he's not in the R&R Hall of Fame). But I
respect Boone now more than before (he's nuts, of course, but has the
best intentions, had a beautiful voice and is more open-minded than a
lot of people). I respect Welk's ability to entertain many people, but
I would guess the Beatles have actually had a far greater impact, and
they didn't do it by overtly bastardizing the great works of others. If
you vigorously object to candenzas in K 622 or A clarinet parts played
on Bbs, at the very least you should be tolerant of my intolerance of
Welk's dumbing-down of everything he attacked with his baton. Of course
many great composers used folk music as their source of inspiration for
their works. Welk, on the other hand, used (often) great music as
inspiration for kitsch. It doesn't work both ways.

Acker Bilk (of the same ilk, perhaps) I found inspiring in 1962 (I was
11). Welk was, and is, just a pain in the ears.

To top it all off, Lawrence Welk and I share the same birthday. Life is
so unfair.

Bill E.

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