"The Lawrence Welk Show" starred band leader Lawrence Welk, as well as other popular cast members such as Norma Zimmer, the Lennon Sisters, Joe Feeney and Steve Smith. These cast members were referred to as "The Musical Family" by the contemporary press. Other members of the Musical Family were Alice Lon, Larry Hopper, Jo Ann Castle and Buddy Merrill.
Cast members often held a particular role or performed a distinct style of music throughout the show's run. For example, Norma Zimmer is best known as the show's "Champagne Lady." At the beginning of each episode, Zimmer would sing a solo introducing the show. Joe Feeney was the show's designated Irish tenor, covering traditional Irish songs such as "Danny Boy" and "Galway Bay," while cast regular Buddy Merrill played the electric guitar.
"The Lawrence Welk Show" was a musical variety show that ran regularly on American TV from 1951 to 1971. However, in 1971 ABC cancelled the program prompting Welk to record the variety show for syndication until 1982.
The show featured various types of music thought to appeal to an older crowd, such as patriotic marches and spirituals. However, Welk featured contemporary pop music of the day, as well as songs by composers such as Henry Mancini and Cole Porter.