Lawrence Welk was always too square for me except that that’s where I could continue to get my Mickey Mouse Club fix when, in 1961, Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess won a dance contest to Welk’s hit, “Calcutta” and became a regular on the show two years after the mouse ears left the air. Though Bobby went from being a hip kid to an excessively corny adult as soon as he hitched to Mr. Wunnerful Wunnerful’s wonderful wagon, I still appreciated his move as otherwise I may have missed Lawrence Welk and his jaw droppingly cheesy production numbers that became a primer in my neverending education in Kitsch. Combine that with the fact that I never learned how to play an instrument and you end up with my excitement about these musical spoons which became one of the first instruments I “played” when I started to write songs.
Forget the spoons, the packaging on this is fantastic. With not an inch left uncovered, it boasts “Get on the beat!”, “Be a champion!”and “The international pastime – spooning!” Perhaps so, but not that kind of spooning.
Bobby Burgess went on to become Welk’s longtime accordionist, Myron Floren’s, son-in law. Here they are doing The Chicken Dance, which, according to them, is “one of the most popular dances in America” and which, according to me, “wasn’t”.
Here’s Welk’s biggest and only Top 10 hit, “Calcutta”: