Welk, Lawrence(1903–92) bandleader; born in Strasburg, N.D. In the 1920s he developed what he called a sweet-sounding "champagne music" with his orchestra. He toured and appeared on radio in the 1930s and 1940s and in 1951 began hosting his own television show. Carried on network television until 1971, the show featured such traditional forms as tap and ballroom dancing, ragtime piano, and a variety of singing. He was a major publisher of music and the author of several books.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.