Want to go?
• WHAT: Guy and Ralna
• WHEN: 2 p.m. Oct. 2
• WHERE: The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin
• COST: $25-60/ticket
• INFO: 419-448-8544 or ritztheatre.org
Even though “The Lawrence Welk Show” hasn’t aired a new episode since 1982, the popular song-and-dance program has gained an audience in the new millennium with repeats airing on Public Broadcast Television.
No one is happier about reliving the past in the present than show regulars Ralna English and Guy Hovis, who are scheduled to perform Oct. 2 at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin. The act, which appeared for over a decade on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” will be performing many songs from the series, as well as tunes ranging in genre from country and patriotic to pop, Broadway and gospel.
Funcoast talked to English about her career, the longevity of “The Lawrence Welk Show” and why audiences shouldn’t expect any bubbles at their upcoming concert.
Funcoast: First of all, what’s new from Guy and Ralna?
Ralna English: We did do a CD a couple of years ago called “Only You.” That was a song we did back on a special back in 2000 called “Milestones and Memories.” It was a big success on public television. That song had so many requests, we decided to do a CD and we put some older things we used to do on the Welk Show. Of course almost everything we do now is older, we don’t do rap.
Funcoast: Wow, didn’t see that coming. OK, we’ll bite, what will it take for Guy and Ralna to release a hip-hop CD?
RE: I don’t know (laughs). We still love our music. And I think I’m going to sing some jazz songs. In my later years I always thought I was going to be in Paris at a jazz club. That didn’t happen so I founded a little jazz club here in Phoenix. I’m thinking about just sitting on a bar stool and singing some old tunes that I used to do. I started out singing with a jazz trio in Dallas many, many years ago and I miss that. So I really want to do that but it’s not going to be a moneymaker. At this point in my life, you have to do the things you’re passionate about. I just need to get back to my roots a little bit and do some things that are going to please me greatly.
Funcoast: Something that still pleases people greatly is “The Lawrence Welk Show.” Why after all of these decades does the show still have an audience?
RE: It’s because generation after generation have sat in their living room with one television. It’s because that’s what grandmother watched and that’s kind of how it’s always been. That’s the only way I saw “The Lawrence Welk Show” when we’d drive as a family for the weekend to my grandmother’s house in Haskell, Texas. We’d sit and watch Norma Zimmer, Jimmy Roberts and Larry Hooper. I remember their faces and how bright and colorful everything was. And today these grandchildren get hooked on it because they love the music and it’s fun. They can jump up and down in front of the television set and dance with their family. So it’s a family show. It’s something you can watch as a family and not have to worry about what you’re going to see.
Funcoast: Finally, regarding what audiences will see at your upcoming Ritz Theatre show, will that include the famed bubble machine?
LE: No, we don’t have that. Lawrence got rid of that bubble machine a long time ago. We were at a big concert in an arena and the machines were on the each side of the stage and some woman came up at intermission and slipped and fell because of the bubble machine. And so he said, “No more bubble machines my boys. We won’t be taking those with us anymore.” So we won’t be bringing bubble machines to Tiffin, but we’re going to have a ball. We’re going to play the music that our fans are going to love.”
Guy & Ralna are scheduled to perform at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $25 to $60. For more information, call 419-448-8544 or visit ritztheatre.org.