- Double and bubbles: 'Live
- Accordionist, TV show
veterans bring back memories for appreciative audience
- Peoria Journal Star, The
(IL) March 27, 2003
- BRENDA STORY
- PEORIA - If one were to believe
in reincarnation, it would be easy to believe Lawrence Welk had
come back as Tim Padilla - or at least that Padilla had received
Welk's talent when it comes to playing the accordion.
- If you're old enough to remember
Welk, his orchestra, singers and trademark ''champagne bubbles,''
you know he was a master at playing the accordion. Before Monday
night, I would have said Welk was the best accordion player I
had ever heard. But he had nothing on Padilla.
- When Padilla stepped onto
the stage at Monday night's ''Live Lawrence Welk Show'' at the
Peoria Civic Center Theater, the 23-year-old almost could have
passed for Welk's double.
- He was dressed in a tuxedo,
his hair was cut and combed very similarly to the orchestra legend's
and, from the first sound he made on his accordion, it was deja
- When Padilla played ''Somebody
Stop Me Polka'' from his debut CD titled ''Accordionly Yours,''
the audience, mostly seniors, clapped and clapped and clapped.
- And you wouldn't have thought
the older crowd would come to their feet much, but they did time
and time again. As each of the six original members of the Welk
show made their way to center stage and sang oldies but goodies,
the crowd cheered, clapped along and rose to their feet.
- Mary Lou Metzger and Ralna
English opened the show with ''That's Entertainment,'' followed
by ''Say It With Music'' performed by the orchestra.
- Country singer Ava Barber
brought two men from the audience, ''Harry'' from Peoria Heights
and ''Wade'' from Towanda, Wis., onstage to help her with ''Y'all
- And Dick Dale sang oldies
such as ''On a Clear Day'' to the delight of many, especially
an elderly gentleman sitting near the back of the theater who
was singing along. And he didn't miss a beat.
- Everyone performed well,
and no one missed a note; the years have not weakened their voices.
- Jack Imel - who produced
Welk's television shows in addition to performing in them - amazed
the crowd with his tap dancing skills.
- Imel still plays the marimba,
which he describes as ''a xylophone's big brother,'' with the
zest and zeal of a young man. When he tap danced while playing
''Bye, Bye Blues'' on the marimba, everyone clapped and cheered.
But when he stopped playing the marimba and continued to tap
out the tune, the entire audience came to its feet - justifiably
- As Welk himself would say,
it was a ''wunnerful, wunnerful'' show.