Lawrence Welk bubbles

If you’re like some of us here of a certain age *ahem*, you may have spent the ’80s wanting your MTV. And if it hadn’t been for folks like Lawrence Welk, you may never have gotten it.

Yep. It’s true. Although we tend to think of music videos as a rather modern innovation, the idea of a 3-minute musical film is far from new. In fact, such a thing was quite popular in the 1940’s: they were called “Soundies” and were shown in a sort of movie jukebox known as a Panoram. Those soundies featured plenty of Big Band favorites, and one of those favorites was Mr. Welk himself, who was born on this day in 1903 in North Dakota (that’s our cue to fire up the bubble machines, right?).

As a very young man, Lawrence Welk decided that he wanted to make music for a living. And to get his start, he persuaded his father to finance a mail-order accordion with the agreement that Lawrence would work off the cost of it on the family farm until the age of 21. Which he did. And with that accordion, Lawrence moved on to the music world.

If you’re feeling the need to get musical and you’re sorely missing the chance to farm your way to an instrument, we highly recommend checking out our Musical Instruments category. You’ll find instruments of all sorts, including strings, brass, percussion … and even the occasional accordion for when you’re feeling like getting your Welk on.