Was Lawrence Welk the real name of the bandleader of champagne music fame? Where was he born and at what age did he begin performing?
—Jim Winke, Fort Madison, Iowa
Yes, he was born Lawrence Welk in Strasburg, N.D. He began learning music on his father’s accordion as a youngster, performing at local functions by the age of 13. Welk made a deal with his father at 17 that he would stay and work on the farm until he turned 21 if his dad would buy him a $400 mail-order accordion. Both kept their end of the bargain.