Welk star Ralna English to perform at fair
by Leanne Phillips
Goshen News Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Lawrence Welk Show star Ralna English will take to the grandstand at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds Friday at 10 a.m.
English was raised in Spur, Texas, a suburb of Lubbock. She began her professional singing career with a junior high school rock band and appeared on local television shows and in public events.
Her career took her to Los Angeles when she was in her 20s and in 1969, she became a national TV star on Lawrence Welk.

"I auditioned for the Lawrence Welk TV Show and was hired almost right off the bat," she said.
English has appeared on programs including The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson and the Merv Griffin Show.
Today she tours from coast to coast, appearing at civic centers, state fairs, senior expos and in show rooms in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno and Tahoe.
"What I used to do I'm still doing after all these years, kind of like the Energizer Bunny," English said.
English's former husband Guy Hovis, will perform with her at this year's fair. English and Hovis performed together when they were newlyweds on Lawrence Welk.
The pair will be singing all the songs that their fans enjoy, according to English, including "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and "Tangerine."
"I will do 'How Great Thou Art,' my signature song," English added.
Recalling her earlier days with Lawrence Welk, English said she appreciates the long-lasting friendships that were made.
'It was forming relationships with people that have endured for more than 30 years," she said. "It's like a family. Lawrence calls us his musical family. We love each other. We have had a long history together with being on this show.
"I think that is the thing that I appreciate most about it ... having these wonderful friendships."
Recently, English and four other Welk stars were on Larry King Live celebrating 50 years on television.
"We're all very blessed and we know it," English said.
In 1971, the Lawrence Welk Show was canceled by ABC and went into syndication. The show airs each week on 276 public television stations nationwide.
English's first solo recording," "Always," was released on her own independent label, as well as her second recording, "Amazing Grace," a collection of gospel and spiritual songs.
Her latest album, "My Favorite Love Songs," features big band hits from the 1930s and 1940s.
English will begin production on a new recording at the end of this month and it will be ready at Christmas time. The title of the album is "My God My Country."
English has one daughter and lives in Arizona. Tickets for her upcoming performance at the Elkhart County Fair are $15 trackside and $5 for general track seats. Grandstand seating is free. For more information on Ralna English, visit www.ralnaenglish.com.


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