Singer has built career around Welk show
Author: David Steinberg Journal Staff Writer
Section: Arts & Culture
Page: F4
Albuquerque Journal (NM)
March 16, 2003
'Family' sweeps into town for Hiland performance
The sound of "a-one, a-two" ended when bandleader Lawrence Welk died in 1992, but his popular show lives on.
"The Lawrence Welk Show" and its easy-listening music your grandmother liked debuted on network television in 1955. It remains a weekly mainstay on PBS.
And the show is also presented live at the Champagne Theatre in Branson, Mo., and on national tours. The show, which has a 10-piece band and an accordion player, will be presented Monday at the Hiland Theater.
One of the performers in the show is Ralna English, who has been part of the Welk "family" of singers, dancers and musicians since 1969.
"Most poeple in show business have not had the career that I've had the consistency of singing for a certain group of people who appreciate what we sing," English said from Utah.
Her solo numbers in the show include "I'll Be Seeing You," "Tangerine," "Green Eyes," "Strike Up the Band" and her signature song, "How Great Thou Art."
English does about 125 performances on tour with the show and also performs with the show in Branson for part of the year.
English is a native of Spur, Texas, just west of Lubbock. In her early singing career she recorded with Waylon Jennings in a Clovis studio. "I'm on one of his records," she said.
Since then, English has performed on USO tours, with Frank Sinatra Jr. and his band and she was an opening act for Don Rickles in Las Vegas, Nev.
English has recorded a number of her own albums, which included "Always," "Amazing Grace," and her newest one, "My God, My Country," a collection of spirituals and patriotic songs.
If you go
WHAT: "The Lawrence Welk Show"
WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, March 17
WHERE: Hiland Theater, 4808 E. Central
HOW MUCH: $39.50 at the Hiland box office or at outlets. Or call 262-9301 or 851-5050
PHOTO: b/w
CHAMPAGNE MUSIC: Ralna English has been part of the Lawrence Welk "family" since 1969.



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