11 March 1903, Strasburg, North Dakota, USA, d. 17 May 1992, Santa Monica, California, USA. After achieving a measure of competence on the piano-accordion, Welk formed a dance band in the mid-20s, and soon became immensely popular, with engagements at leading hotels and endless one-night stands on the countrys dancehall circuit. The band was widely criticized in the musical press for its lack of imagination and simplistic arrangements, coupled with occasionally elementary playing. Nevertheless, Welks star continued to rise and his became one of the most successful broadcasting bands in the history of American popular music. Welk called his style champagne music and he made no concessions to changing tastes, firmly believing that he knew exactly what middle-Americans wanted to hear. He must have been right, because he retained his popularity throughout the 30s and 40s, and in 1951 his regular radio shows transferred smoothly to television....
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