FIRST TV STATION WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI ON THIS DATE IN 1947

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Hollywood-based KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles, was the first commercially licensed television station west of the Mississippi. It first aired a 30-minute variety show from the Paramount TV theatre starring Bob Hope , Dorothy Lamour, William Bendix and Jerry Colonna. It was estimated that 322 television receivers were in use in Los Angeles at the time.

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                                  The KTLA studios in 1949

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TURN ON THE BUBBLE MACHINE!

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                            Lawrence Welk 
lawrence welk show set

It was in 1951 that Lawrence Welk, an accordionist and bandleader settled in
Los Angeles, Cal. and soon began producing The Lawrence Welk Show on the local TV station KTLA. It was broadcast from the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach. The show became a local hit and was soon picked up by the ABC TV network in June of 1955. Band members were called The Champagne Music Makers and included Accordionist Myron Floren, Violinist Dick Kesner, Guitarist Buddy Merrill and Clarinetist Pete Fountain. The Lennon Sisters were also regulars along with Welk’s dancing partner Norma Zimmer. The Lawrence Welk show aired on Saturday nights until it was cancelled in the Spring of 1971.

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Lawrence Welk dancing with Norma Zimmer, “The Champagne Lady”.

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                    The Lennon Sisters with Lawrence. 
  

  


    
 
    
   

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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