She'll write little messages as time permits,
or send updates from on the road.
It's a great way for us to hear from Ralna directly!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Yes. They are upon us. I am hearing Christmas music already!
I am so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this year in Branson. I have wanted to see the Lennons and Osmonds Christmas show ever since Andy requested they take over for him before he passed on. Anyone who was privileged to see one of Andy Williams Christmas shows will probably tell you that it 'made their Christmas'. I know it did for me. Now, I am looking forward to having my 'Christmas made' this year by the wonderful show in his Moon River Theater by my friends, The Lennon Sisters and the Osmond Brothers!
This last year has been one long vacation for me and it was long overdue. I loved every minute of it!
I have made several visits to the beach in California, got to go see Judy Shaw in Memphis and Guy's mother in Mississippi before she passed this year. I also had several visits with my sisters. They were here at my house for two weeks and we just spent a week at Martha's Vineyard together.
Sister Sharon and I will be going to the Spa the first of December for a few days and then the first part of January I will make a trip to Dallas to see her house renovations. I am especially looking forward to visiting with some of her close friends I have known for 40 years but don't see as often as I would like.
Last week was like a Welk reunion for me. Sandi and Brent Griffiths were visiting an uncle here and I invited them to my house for dinner. What a wonderful time we had! Sandi and Brent are truly special to me. Then Cissy King and I went to see Ken and Marilyn Delo. What a fun time for all of us. Truly a gift to be with so many of my Welk family all in one weeks' time!
Tomorrow I will fly to LA to surprise Mary Lou on her birthday. Richard is going all out to make this milestone birthday very special for her. I am so excited to be able to be there for this celebration.
I hope you are all surrounded by friends and family this holiday season and that you and yours have a wonderful new year. I am so looking forward to every day and next year is going to be another great one for me.
I will be working more in 2016 so keep checking my website for upcoming dates. Hope to see some of you in January in Cerritos and Palm Desert.
To my Christian friends, may the spirit of love that Jesus brings to each of us expand and fill the earth this Holiday season and all through the year.
And to my dear Jewish friends and neighbors that I am so blessed to have in my life, I love you. Happy Hanukkah!
God Bless us all,
A MESSAGE FROM RALNA...
Happy Summer!!! It's 115 here in Scottsdale today. Hope you are staying cool and having fun.
I am looking forward to being a part of the upcoming Prescott Jazz Summit Festival August 28-30 and especially after being up there for Howlin' in the Highlands on June 6th. It was so much fun to sing some of the music that I have loved for so long but have not been performing since my younger days.
I am going to be heading to LA for two weeks in July and then again for 2 more weeks the end of September. Denny just can't stay away from the beach too long!! I plan to see many of my old friends while I'm there in July. It's going to be a real reunion of sorts.
This letter is written with so much gratitude for my many fans who remembered me on my birthday. Thank you. Please know that it means a lot to me and I appreciated each and every card and birthday wish from each and every one of you!!
I am always filled with gratitude to think that you have been so faithful all these years.
All My Love,
Well, Spring has sprung here in Arizona and the cactus are a bloomin'!!
It has been several months since I have written and it's all because I've been as busy as a bee.
The process of refacing my kitchen cabinet doors has finally come to an end (I lived in a Topsy Turvy house for over 2 months) but it was all worth it!
Also, I got to go see one of my favorite people in Tupelo, MS, my daughter's grandmother and Guy's mother, Frances Hovis. But, I first stopped in to say hello to another special person in my life, Judy Shaw! It was great to get to catch up with her and to see her daughter and granddaughter. I have adored her precious, beautiful daughter, Jana, since the first time I laid eyes on her. And, her daughter, Shea, is just as sweet and guess what!? Shea is quite the piano player! I'm so proud of her.
I got to be with Cissy King and some of her talented, beautiful family last week and Cissy is doing great. She is one of the most energetic, charismatic and positive people I have had the privilege to call "friend" for over 45 years and she is an inspiration. She gets it all from Mary, her incredible mother, whom I simply adore.
I have company coming tomorrow, my "partner in crime" and favorite buddy, Cindy Loeb, and then next week Sister Jane comes for a week. We will be driving up to Prescott on June 6 so I can begin the Summer Concert Series, "Howlin' at the Highlands." It is going to be so much fun for me, being able to sing some jazz and some songs from the Great American Songbook in yet another intimate setting.
I am so grateful for my life. I reflect often on how blessed I am. Maybe that's a sign of getting older but I just know that Iife can get better and better if gratitude is a daily habit.
God is good.
All my love,
PS: Check out my Facebook Page... Ralna English, Artist
I sincerely hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. It's hard for me to believe we are now into 2015!! These last few months have been some of the busiest of my entire life!
I had a very laid back, quiet Thanksgiving with Julie and Carlos. Since then, it has been non-stop!
Wonderful friends were here from England, then Jane and Sharon came in for my jazz concert on Dec. 3. Jane went back to CA after that, but I was blessed to have sister Sharon stay until the 10th. Jane, however, came back on the 19th and we did nothing but party all through Christmas with our darling cousin, Dr. Jim Kemp and his husband, Whitney who came from Amarillo. Julie and Carlos and Susie Dowdy joined us for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and the next day we said a sad goodbye to Jim and Whitney. It was one of the most memorable, fun filled Christmas' of my life. Pure joy!
Then my precious friend, Cindy, came to Scottsdale along with her mother and sister to celebrate New Year's Eve! Sadly, sister Jane went back to CA on Jan. 7. I really didn't want her to leave. Believe me, my house has never been as quiet as it was on Jan. 8!
Richard Maloof had a big birthday on January 17th so Denny and I took off for California and spent a few days on the beach before his party. As always, Mary Lou out-did herself with lots of delicious food and fun friends and family attending.
Guy and I are looking forward to seeing some of you in Waltham, MA in April. Check out my Facebook wall at 'Ralna English, Artist' for ticket details or check my website under "On Tour".
We have recently lost two very beloved men from our musical family and I want to share my feelings and thoughts about them both.
Dick Dale and I not only did the weekly television show together, but also traveled many miles on many road trips together over the last 45 years! I cannot begin to tell you how much respect I had for him. He was not only a wonderful musician and incredible singer,(few possessed the warmth and mellow sound that was his signature), but also Dick was always a true gentleman. I simply adored him. He will be greatly missed by many.
Then just today, I received a call from Neil LeVang's son, Mark, telling me of Neil's passing. I had just called a few weeks ago to sing happy birthday to this great artist that I was privileged to work with on "The Lawrence Welk Show" for so many years. Neil LeVang had the respect of the entire musical community. He was one of the 'greats'... a true artist. Each time Neil was featured in a number on the show, we all stopped to listen.
How blessed I have been to be in the company of men like these and how blessed we all are to be able to continue to enjoy their musical gifts each Saturday night on Public Television! My condolences to each of their families.
Take Care of one another and God Bless Us All,
A MESSAGE FROM RALNA...
When Don Caldwell, the owner of the Cactus Theater, asked me to come to Lubbock and do a show in his theater, I didn't know what I was in for!
Preparing this show ("Ralna Live! From Lubbock 2014" - order now at http://shop.ralnaenglish.com/) for my West Texas, Lubbock, Spur and
Haskell friends and family was a challenge. As it turned out, all the preparation, blood, sweat and tears that got me there was well worth it and then some. Being able to reunite onstage with my first band, The Ad Libs, was priceless! The whole experience was a unique highlight in my career, and in my life! (I hope you will enjoy the DVD!)
Thank you Lubbock!
"RALNA LIVE! IN LUBBOCK 2014" - NEW DVD NOW AVAILABLE
for purchase on Ralna's Online Store http://shop.ralnaenglish.com/
In this very special LIVE, HD videotaped concert performance, Ralna English comes home to Lubbock, TX and performs at the Cactus Theater
before a sold-out audience. This concert was recorded on October 4, 2014. If you weren't able to be at the concert in Lubbock,
now you can see it all from the comfort of your own home! In Act 1, Ralna performs many new songs her fans haven't heard her sing in many years, plus some of her favorite standards. Songs include:
1. THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
2. A SONG FOR YOU
3. LOVE SICK BLUES
6. NEVER LET ME GO
7. STORMY WEATHER
8. ONCE UPON A TIME
9. JUST IN TIME
10. HERE'S TO LIFE
Act 1 also features a very special tribute to Ralna's life growing up in Haskell, Spur and Lubbock, moving to Dallas, Hollywood
and finally to Scottsdale, Arizona. Also Ralna in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City, in Dallas singing jazz, and at Six Flags, plus her Lawrence Welk Show days! In Act 2, Ralna reunites on stage and performs a few songs with her former band, The Ad Libs.
1. MONEY HONEY - RALNA & THE AD LIBS
2. EDDIE MY LOVE - RALNA & THE AD LIBS
3. RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT - RALNA & THE AD LIBS
4. 16 CANDLES - JERRY BURGESS & THE AD LIBS
5. ROCK AND ROLL MEDLEY - RALNA & THE AD LIBS
6. THE NEARNESS OF YOU - RALNA,
FEATURING MICKEY BENNETT
7. HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW – RALNA
8. HOW GREAT THOU ART– RALNA
9. GOD BLESS AMERICA - RALNA
TRT: APPROX. 110 minutes+
PLEASE NOTE: THIS ITEM NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDERS AFTER PAYMENT (credit cards only)...
PRODUCT WILL SHIP BY DECEMBER 6. GUARANTEED CHRISTMAS DELIVERY IF ORDERED BEFORE DECEMBER 15, 2014.
Cannot guarantee Christmas delivery if paid by check. Quantities of this first edition are limited...pre-order/pre-pay for yours TODAY!
I can't believe we are already looking toward the holidays! Pumpkins are everywhere and I've even been in some stores that have Christmas decorations up already! I am really looking forward to having family here in Scottsdale for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
I had such a wonderful reunion in Lubbock with many who came from near and far. My thanks to my fans who made the effort to come all the way to see my show! It meant a lot to me to have you there along with my family and friends, some who also came a long way just to be there.
I worked very hard on that show and it will never be repeated. It was designed expressly for Lubbock. What a gift it was to me in the second half of my show to share the stage with the AdLibs. Very special indeed! Each of those wonderful men will always have a place in my heart. I love you AdLibs!
If you haven't already checked out the "oldie but goodie" songs available on my website's "Online Store", please go there to see what's available. It's very new and exciting to me to make available some of the older songs I recorded many years ago. We're offering these songs for $1.49 each...only via download (not available on any CD). Three of the songs are from my early days in Dallas when I was singing jazz!
1. "Gypsy in My Soul"
3. "I'm All Smiles"
4. The fourth song, "I Have Loved Me a Man" was the song I sang for Lawrence Welk during my audition!
As you know, my Online Store is a secure website, so just go on there and follow the directions. Once you complete the sale, you'll receive an email with the download link! It's that easy! Then you can play the songs on your computer, phone, tablet, Smart TV or iPod...and even in your car! (If you're like me, you might have to ask your kids or grandkids to help you with this! They'll think you're really "with it" though!)
Hope you will enjoy having these "oldies but goodies". All four were taken from the original recordings.
Also, please check out my Facebook page sometime! All kinds of things are added EVERY WEEK... photos, new bookings, things from the past, videos, etc. Just search on Facebook for "Ralna English" ... you might see a few listed under Ralna English, but please choose (Artist). If you're already on Facebook, you can follow this link (you might have to copy and paste it into your browser).
I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and remind you that I am eternally grateful to have your support. I know I have said this many times, but I always get emotional when I think of how loyal you have been to me for so many years!
All my Love,
I hope you are having beautiful summer weather right now. It's 110 here in Scottsdale! We actually don't mind this heat. We just spend our time indoors during the day and go to the pool at night. Not such a bad life here!!
I've had an eventful few months since I last wrote to all of you.
First, I went to one of the most beautiful and fun weddings I have ever attended. Tanya and Ken's son, Kenny married a beautiful, very sweet girl named Katy, on February 8 in San Marcos, Ca. What a glowing couple they were. I can only wish that they will always be as happy together as they were on that day.
Two weeks later I flew into Los Angeles for Helen Metzger's memorial service. I was so honored that Mary Lou and Richard wanted me to sing for this wonderful woman that we were all privileged to know and love. She had many admirers and they were all in attendance to show their love for her that day. What a journey she had spreading joy on this earth and I know she is continuing that journey in heaven.
In March I went to a Melanie concert here in Arizona. She has a great show. You will remember her from Woodstock. I used to sing one of her very popular songs called "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma". I believe I recorded it somewhere along the way. She and I have a mutual friend and we had lots of fun together while she was here. She's a very special girl.
Linda Ciotti came out to Arizona mid-March and we had so much fun together.She and I have been friends since I started on the Welk Show. It was a special treat to be able to spend some quality time with her.
In April I went back to LA for sister Jane's birthday. While there I saw my friend , Monette, and her family.She has now lived in LA longer than I did. We met in Sunday School at Asbury Methodist Church in Lubbock when I was 14 and she was 15 and have been best friends all these years.
While in LA ,Denny and I had a few days at the beach, thanks to our friend Michelle. My boy loves his beach time and so does his Mom!!
Hope you are all going to have a fun filled summer. Enjoy your life.
My friend just shared an Irish proverb with me:" Do not resent growing old. Many are denied... the privilege".
All my love,
It's hard to believe that the first month of the new year is ending today!
In spite of the process of recovering from knee surgery, I had one of the best holiday seasons of my life. Both sisters were here for several weeks and we had a ball cooking, talking, playing games and just being together.
Jane's husband, Robert, was here for Christmas along with Julie and Carlos. We also had my granddog, Popcorn, and Jane and Robert's dog, Bubba. It was wonderful. Denton was in heaven and so was I.
Tanya's son, Kenny is marrying a darling girl, Katy, on Feb. 8 and I went to a beautiful shower for them at Tanya and Ken's house last week in LA. While there I was able to have dinner one night with Mary Lou and Richard to celebrate Richard's birthday. It was bittersweet to see them because our precious Helen, Mary Lou's mother, had just passed away. I will be going back to LA near the end of Feb. to joyfully sing for her memorial. I say joyfully because she was so full of joy that she would want it no other way.
While in LA, Jane and I got to spend a few nights at our friend Michelle's relaxing beach home near Oxnard. My Denton and Jane's Bubba absolutely go crazy for the beach. Bubba adores Michelle because she takes him on long walks.
This year I am taking some time to "smell the roses" and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I pray you all have a wonderful year filled with good health, love and peace.
God bless us all,
Merry Christmas Everyone,
In my opinion, here in Scottsdale, the controversy regarding "Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas" is much ado about nothing. I wish my Jewish friends "Happy Hanukkah" and they wish me "Merry Christmas" and then we go play a game of tennis or go out for lunch!!
Well, I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. My Thanksgiving was one of the best I've ever had.
Just Julie and Carlos and me. Doesn't sound exciting, I know, but it was sweet for me. My precious daughter said "Mom, I'll do all the cooking."
I had knee surgery Oct. 7 and the drugs the Dr. had me on were taking a toll on me so Julie stepped up to the plate for her "old" Mom! Guy and I raised a thoughtful daughter, for sure.
I went to Dallas in July for my cousin's 90th birthday party and it was quite a family reunion. Then on to San Miguel de Allende for another birthday party.
In September I walked the beach every day for 2 weeks to prepare myself for the knee surgery. I am so grateful for the time spent with friends and family.
Speaking of family and friends, I pray that you are surrounded by those who are important to you during this wonderful time of the year. Both of my sisters are coming for Christmas this year and I couldn't be happier. Sharon is coming from Texas and Jane and her husband, Robert, from California. Carlos' Mother and sister will be here sometime after Christmas day for a visit and we are all going to have a joyous holiday.
I feel so blessed to have family and friends in my life who love and care about me. It is such a precious gift. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and especially this year with my family and friends sharing in the joy of the birth of Christ. What more could I want?
Matthew 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means "GOD WITH US." How wonderful to know that God is with us... always!
Well, as the saying goes, "spring has sprung" and I am really enjoying being home right now. The weather is perfect and everything is in bloom. I love working in my back yard and this year, for the first time, I do believe I'm going to have some tomatoes! I was in Home Depot several months ago and saw this little tomato plant and on a whim just bought it and brought it home. I have pampered it and, believe it or not, it survived our freeze. Just last week I was overjoyed to find several little green tomatoes on the vine and can't wait to watch them turn red.
Guy and I had a wonderful time last month at the Welk Resort in Escondido and it was so nice to see so many of our Welknote friends there. I know some of you came a long distance and I want you to know just how much we appreciate you and the effort you made to come see us. It's always a treat to perform in that theater. It truly is like "coming home." Next month we will be in Concord, NH and then Lancaster, PA in June. Hope to see you there.
Until then have a great summer. Stay healthy and happy.
All My Love,
Just a quick note to let you know Guy and I will be heading to the Welk Resort in Escondido next week to perform. It is always so nostalgic to be back there and fun, fun, fun!!! The weather is unparalleled and each day in the San Diego area is relaxing and fun-filled. Hope to see some of you there! Guy and I will be singing a lot of your favorites and some that you have never heard from us before. It is going to be a special time for us to be together again performing in such a fantastic theatre. It's just like going home for us.
I have a few pictures that will be coming up on this site when I return. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying life wherever you are. I try to keep that in mind every day now. Life is short when you're having fun!!!
All my love,
Happy Holidays Everyone!
I pray you all have a joyous Christmas this year surrounded by loved ones and lots of good food! I have the family cookbook out and yesterday started with our Garlic Cheese Roll (they turned out perfect this year!). Next weekend, I'll make the Lotsa Fudge and Julie's favorite, "Trash."
Sister Jane and Robert are driving in from Los Angeles on the 24th with their chihuahua, Bubba. Julie and Carlos will be here with my grandog, Popcorn, another chihuahua, so Denton will be surrounded by "family" too. It's going to be a fun time for all! I'm just glad I got my new hardwood floors. They are so easy to clean and I don't have to worry about slipping on a spot of water anymore!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that you are well and happy. As they say, "If you have your health, you have everything" and I am a testament to that!
I know you are all praying for the Americans who have had to endure hardship and loss this past year, and for those who do not have the comforts that we all enjoy in this country...the comfort of a warm bed at night, wholesome food on our table and the privilege to worship God as we please. So many are hurting right now, and I feel so fortunate to have been born in this great country of ours. I always wonder why "I" have been so blessed while others seem to have to go through such hardship in this life. Only God knows. May this be the time to focus on and treasure our gifts.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! "'Tis the season."
Well, the holidays are upon us already. Hope you had a fun, cool summer. I certainly did! Traveled quite a bit, but now I'm home for the holidays, as they say.
I want to share something with you that is very close to my heart. For many years, one of my closest friends from childhood has been traveling to third world countries with a charity called, Living Water International. He helps find water and drill water wells for people in places like Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Belize, Ethiopia, Uganda and others.
I've told you about this charity before, but there is an urgency right now. Please click on this link and thank you for taking the time to read about this important cause!
I just have to let you all know how much I appreciated so many of you remembering me on my BIG 70 birthday! It was a blast!
I was totally overwhelmed at the party in Lancaster, PA. Judy, Linda, and Terry, among others, simply made it unforgettable. Please take a look at some of the pictures from my party there and another party here in Scottsdale.
I was so humbled by it all. What a blessing to have so many friends to share this incredible life with. I feel more grateful for the gift of life now more than ever. My thanks to all of you for letting me be a part of your life.
All my love,
Happy 2012! This is a very special year for me. As many of you know, I have a very big birthday coming up in June. I'm sorry I haven't written before now, but I've been a little bit lazy and loving my time off! I'm planning to celebrate this special year by taking many 'mini' vacations.
Guy and I had a wonderful time performing at the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido, CA in February. We did five shows there and had a few days in between shows to "play." Denton had his first visit to the beach and it inspired me to go back to the beach in July!
Next month, I will be visiting my sister, Sharon, for a few days in Dallas before going to visit a dear friend in Mexico. During the summer, besides going back to California, I will also be spending some time in Sedona. I am in "vacation mode" and I love it!
I am also working on some new ventures for the future, so don't think I'm in "retirement mode" now! Just wonderful vacations to recharge my batteries! I have been needing this for a long time.
Hope you all are well and happy!
PS...I'm looking forward to celebrating my birthday with many of you in Lancaster, PA. Please check my "On Tour" page for information and come join me for my 70th!
Happy Holidays Everyone,
Christmas is just around the corner and it's going to be a very special one for me this year. Sister Sharon is coming from Texas and we are going to cook! We have so many things that we only make at Christmastime.
Julie and Carlos will be here Christmas Day and Julie wil be cooking the turkey as always. She has become an expert at baking a turkey.
We will have so much fun and I just hope you will all be surrounded by your loved ones this holiday season.
In November, a few of my tennis friends and I visited a "snowbird" tennis friend at her home in Vermont. It was so much fun! She really went all out to show us her lovely area of this beautiful country of ours. We also took a side trip to Montreal! It was a fun, fabulous vacation.
Also in November, I had a wonderful time at Drury Lane in Chicago, with all my Welk buddies. The theater was one of the best I have ever played in. They treated us royally and we all enjoyed being there together. It had been a while since I had been with my pals from the Show and I loved every minute of it!
I'm really looking forward to Escondido in February. Guy and I will be doing 5 shows in about 10 days, so we will have some days off to play. I can think of nowhere better to "play" than the San Diego area. It's beautiful there and the temperature will be in the '70s. I hope to see some of you then!
Thank you for always being so supportive of me, and of Guy & Ralna. We do appreciate you very much!
Have a wonderful Christmas and pray for those who are struggling this year. Times are tough for many of our friends and families here in America. Keep your home fires burning for those in need and love one another, just as He loves us. Celebrate His birth, but most of all, celebrate His life. I am so grateful for every day. I am thanking Him in advance for a better year in 2012. God bless us all!
Well, I just got back home from Bear Creek Farms where I was happy to see so many of you. You came from all over the U.S. to see Guy and Ralna and to help Judy Shaw celebrate her birthday. We were all so grateful and honored to be with you there.
Now we leave on Saturday for Tiffin, Ohio,and then next month on to Drury Lane in Chicago.
The summer was uneventful for me except for my fun concert in St. Paul, MN...but I was very glad to have some time off. I was able to take a few vacations and it was one of my best summers in many years. I really felt like I was on vacation all summer long!
Guy and I are so excited about our concerts in Escondido in February. It's going to be like "going home." I love the area and if you've never been there, now is the time! We are going to have a ball! (Average temperature in February there is 72 degrees!)
Thanks to all of you for the cards and well-wishes for my birthday. What will I do next year for my really "big" one? Any suggestions?? How about all of you coming to Lancaster, PA on June 17th to celebrate the last two days of my 69th year with me!!
Watch for pictures to come next week sometime. It's been a while and I hope they're worth waiting for!
Love you all,
Spring has been extremely beautiful here in Arizona, but right now the 3rd largest fire in state history is raging in eastern Arizona. I know many of you have been touched in some way by the weather conditions in your state, and in the world. Many prayers are being said for those who have lost loved ones and have lost their homes in these tragic times.
Speaking of loss, the Welk Musical Family will never be the same without the physical presence of our precious Norma. As you know, Norma Zimmer passed away peacefully while taking a nap. She had just returned the night before from one of the most rewarding family vacations of her adult life. Her sons, Mark and Ron, along with Ron's family (wife, children, grandchildren and mother-in-law), all went to Hearst Castle and had the time of their lives together. Norma had lived in California her entire adult life and had always wanted to visit the Castle, but had never been there.
Norma was so deserving of the joyful days she spent before her peaceful passing. She exuded love and we all agreed that none of us had ever heard a bad thing spoken from her, or about her. She was truely an angel and I know her beautiful spirit and voice are delighting all who are near her now. And isn't it special that she lives on with all of us who knew her and loved her so. I, for one, adored her almost to the point of worship. She could only love in the pure way that she loved by knowing that God loved her and she absolutely knew it.
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (KJV). She literally lived by that verse and her favorite, Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (KJV).
Norma personally showed me Christ's spirit in her many times over the years. I will miss her, but I know that we will meet again. Until then, she will live on in my heart, a heart filled with gratitude just to have had the priviledge of being a small part of her life.
My love to all of you, and please pray for your neighbors.
The holidays have come and gone and Spring is almost upon us! I wish I could say I have been accomplishing "great" things, but unless you call cleaning out a garage "great," that's about it!
We did have a wonderful Christmas at my house. Carlos' mother drove in from L.A. and Julie and I made a delicious meal for the four of us. We played games and talked and talked, and talked some more! It was a happy time.
This last week was lots of fun being with Judy Shaw in her beautiful new home. She has done a fabulous job decorating it with comfortable, lovely furniture.
Guy and I really enjoyed doing our show at the Germantown Performing Arts Center this year. It was fun for us to do some music that we had not done in a while. Thanks to all who came from near and far to attend. We do love seeing all of you who have supported us for so many years. Thank you, thank you.
It's been raining here. It started yesterday and I love the rain--something we don't see a lot of here in Arizona.
I'll be going to Roanoke, VA in a few weeks to pledge the new Welk special that premieres in March. Doc Severinsen is hosting "Lawrence Welk's Big Band Splash" making this the 17th PBS special. Lawrence Welk died in 1992. What a tribute to our boss and what an honor to his memory. Watch for "Sentimental Journey" by Guy and yours truly among many great big band hits.
Love to all of you,
Happy Holidays Everybody!
Hard to believe, but the holidays are here. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are surrounded by friends and family, as I will be this coming Thursday. Julie will be making the turkey and her first pie (pumpkin). There will be six of us this year at my table and we will have lots of delicious food!
Denny had a wonderful Halloween this year. He was a glow-in-the-dark skeleton and was the "official" trick or treat greeter at our house (photos to come). Christmas will be here before we know it and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas this year.
May you have a blessed holiday with lots of love surrounding you. Pray for those who are in need this season. I am reminded of a very special prayer by Mother Teresa: (paraphrasing here) "Dear Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters; open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry and the oppressed, and open our hearts that we may love one another as you love us."
May you be healthy and prosperous in the new year to come!
Here is a very special holiday greeting song from Ralna to you!
Hope you are having beautiful fall weather. Here in Arizona, we're just happy to be a little cooler!
I went to my 50th high school reunion the first of October and had a wonderful time seeing old friends. (See photos at this link.) We had a class of about 400 and almost 200 showed up!
A few days ago, WelkNotes had its 10th anniversary and I just want to congratulate Judy Shaw for creating such a wonderful site. It has brought so many people together that may never have known each other otherwise. Many bonds and friendships have formed over the years. WelkNotes is certainly a joy to many, including me. Thank you Judy and all who have made it what it is.
I also wanted to share my enthusiasm for a charity that I have mentioned to all of you in the past called Living Water. It has been a favorite charity of mine for years now. Please check it out for yourself at www.water.cc
The holidays are upon us. I pray you all are healthy and happy and are looking forward, as I am, to all that is to come in the next few months.
All my love,
P.S.: VOTE !!!
I hope your summer was as enjoyable and fun-filled as mine!
We have all really enjoyed the pool here this summer and the great restaurants that Scottsdale and Phoenix have to offer.
The end of August brought my "friend for life," Cindy, to Sedona for our yearly Arizona retreat experience. She was unable to come last year, but this year we made up for lost time by doing everything. We hiked West Fork and went to Enchantment to check it out, shopped at Tlaquepaque and ate our way through four glorious days.
I came home and began cooking and preparing to have my sisters, Sharon and Jane, at my house for a week. I made Ha'penny snacks, garlic cheese log, chocolate cinnamon cake, Ashville salad and beef stroganoff ahead of time....all from our family cookbook. Sharon did mother's meatloaf for Carlos and Julie and made a lemon meringue pie and strawberry rhubarb pie. And Jane made her famous olive-wrapped cheese balls, a French onion tart and a new recipe for a cheese cracker that melts in your mouth. This was just the tip of the iceberg. The three of us cooked and ate and played games and did a 500-piece puzzle...and just had fun all week long! Wish they had been able to stay another month! It was just too short.
Needless to say, with my 50th high school reunion coming up in less than two weeks, I am officially on a diet. Ugh! I gained five pounds and that's a whole dress size for me. So here I come Weight Watchers!
I'm enjoying being home with my puppy dog right now and feel so blessed at this moment just to be alive and well and I always have to add--having the priviledge of living in the United States of America---we are all blessed!
All my love,
7-8-10: Hi Everyone!
I am getting ready to go to Lancaster to work with some of the musical family and it will be lots of fun to see many I haven't seen in a long while. We are getting very excited about the upcoming PBS special that Guy and I are involved in, "Marvin Hamlisch Presents: The '70s, The Way We Were." It's going to be a big hit, so watch for it on your local PBS station to air beginning July 31st (call your PBS station to check your local listings for airdate during their August Pledge Drive! There's a double CD and a companion DVD of the program available for a pledge of support to public television. Guy and I appear in both the show, plus the 'bonus material' not seen in the special). It was so much fun to work with so many great hit-makers from the '70s.
I had a wonderful vacation in Santa Fe the week of my birthday! Check out the pictures to come next week. I hope you are all staying cool this summer. It has been up to 112 degrees here and when it's that hot, we just stay in all day and go to the pool at night. I love this Arizona in spite of the heat, but sometimes I long for the beaches in California. I am looking forward to some more vacation days this summer and hope you all have some fun things planned too.
I had a great 4th of July and reflected on our great country and how far we have come. Please pray for our young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan and all who are trying to keep America strong. We all have so much to be grateful for...just being born here and having the opportunities that only happen in America...we are blessed!
Have a great summer!
4-14-10: Hi Everyone,
Well, the wedding was quite beautiful and I would say successful. Most importantly, they are one happy couple!
A couple of weeks ago I kept Popcorn and they got in a little honeymoon time in Las Vegas. (More pictures to come soon of the wedding.)
St. Charles, Missouri, had nice weather for us in March and the PBS special, "Marvin Hamlisch Presents: The '70s, The Way We Were," is going to be beautiful...and I predict, a big success!!! when it premieres nationally in August.
All the stars were so nice and we were all treated royally!
Thank you for your concern and for your prayers for my sister, Sharon. This has been very difficult for her, but she is handling it as well as can be expected. She was 21 when they were married and they were married 48 1/2 years!
Have a wonderful spring and summer and stay healthy and happy. Life is short and as the saying goes, "Life is what you make it." I for one want to focus on "gratitude and attitude" in my own life. Each day is a new day to rejoice in.
All my love,
P.S., Hope you had a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover.
2-2-10: Hi Everybody:
Well, I am living, breathing, sleeping and eating D-O-G these days...not literally, but certainly I am devoted and dedicated to my puppy! Denton is 5 months and growing every day! He's a traveler and has been to L.A. TWICE in the last month. Once for Richard Maloof's 70th birthday (time flies) and then to the Maloof's Holiday Party the following weekend (see photos to come). Denton is as quiet as a mouse and a good puppy on the plane!
My sisters got into it with me over his 'namesake' (my daddy and my brother). Daddy was Raul Denton, but we have all concluded now, after much debate and research that our brother was "David Eugene" and not "Denton." Oh well, I was 18 months old when he died at birth...we'll meet him in Heaven, I hope!
Anyway, I now have about three ways to pronounce Shih Tzu! (Sheet-Zoo, Sheed-Sue, and on and on! Take your pick!)
We are really getting ends tied up on the wedding and we are all getting very excited. It is going to be a beautiful day and I pray Julie and Carlos will have a wonderful life together. They certainly seem very happy and well-suited to each other.
Carlos' talented sister, Leslie, created the beautiful invitations and Leslie and his mom, Shelly, came out last weekend to get all the invitations addressed and in the mail. God Bless them!
Please continue to pray for Jo Ann Castle. She is coming along, but still needs our prayers.
Hope you all have an easy winter. Come to Arizona! It is beautiful here right now and I just pray it continues to be good weather for the wedding!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
12-15-09: Happy Holidays Everyone,
It is going to be a busy holiday season for me because I have a new energetic puppy who is keeping me on the go. His name is Denton and he is a 3-month old Shih Tzu (pronounced Shid Zoo). He is precious and is in obedience school right now so we will see how it goes.
I know some of you have a lot to be thankful for and I am one who is just grateful to be alive this year. I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and are surrounded by those you love. Julie and Carlos will be here Christmas Day. Julie is doing the turkey and I will be making the trimmings. It will be a very special day and we will rejoice in the birth of our saviour.
I love this time of year and on the spur of the moment, I decided to have a party for my friends here in Scottsdale on Friday night. I am definitely getting into the Christmas spirit.
I hope your 2010 is full of peace, joy and love. Please continue to pray for JoAnn. She needs our prayers. God Bless us everyone.
PS: Be sure to look at the new photos on my website!
10-27-09: Hi Everybody,
the summer flew by and now the holidays are upon us. I hope you are
going to have a great holiday season! I will be going to L.A. for
Thanksgiving and will be home for Christmas.
I am looking for a dog and thinking of a Havanese rescue as my first choice. Of course, if I fall in love it won't matter what it is! The Havanese reminds me of my Smokey Boy (cairn-terrier mix) that I had for 17 years and I still miss him so.
Check out my new photos. I had one of the most rewarding times of my life in St. Charles, MO, teaching a Masters Class in Performance.
A lot of people have asked me about the upcoming wedding and it is coming along as planned. We are getting very excited about it!
Love to you all,
9-15-09: Hi Everybody,
I'm getting ready to go to my nephew’s wedding in Dallas and will get to see some Lubbock High School classmates while I am in town. I have not been to Dallas in years and this festive occasion should be lots of fun. I am so happy for my nephew, Michael.
Then I will meet Guy in Bear Creek to do three shows and then on to St. Charles for the Master Class. This is so different from my normal routine but I am loving the idea of this class. I am a little nervous because I really don't know what to expect but very excited at the same time. I pray it goes well. Thank you for being there for me in all that I do. You are the best and I appreciate each and everyone of you.
When I return from St. Charles I am going start looking for a dog. My neighbor is a volunteer with several shelters here and she is going to take me to a few to find my pup. Can't wait. Hope you all had a great summer. I got a lot of work done on my house (long overdue) and I'm almost finished until next year when I start looking at new floors. It never ends!!
See you in my travels.
7-3-09: Hi Everybody,
So sorry to be so long in my communication with all of you. I have been very busy with my home remodeling and preparing for Julie's wedding. My friend, Monette, her daughter Lori Davette and Monette's mother Doris, came to visit for 11 days this summer. What fun we had!
Now, I am preparing for the 'great PBS special,' "Marvin Hamlisch Presents: The 70's, The Way We Were," and the class at Lindenwood University that I will be teaching in the Fall.
This is all exciting, but I have other exciting news...and that is, that I will be performing with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony is calling it, "Ralna English: Comin' Home." What an honor for me! This has been an answer to a prayer. I love my hometown and the relationships I have with my friends and family there. As we begin to get 'older' we realize the importance of friends and family. I hate to sound so emotional, but I cry easily these days at the mention of anything sentimental. Those of you who are over a certain age will identify, I'm sure.
My summer has been beautiful here in Scottsdale and my life is full of joy. I pray you are having a wonderful summer and that somewhere along the way in my travels, I will see each of you in the near future.
Pictures are posted...follow this link.
All my love,
4-9-09: Hi Everyone,
I have been traveling a lot lately and just got home yesterday from LA. Got to get a haircut from my hairdresser there for many years, Jim Yates, and that is always a treat. Spent time at Jane and Robert's lake home at Lake Isabella and got to meet their new puppy, Bubba...pictures to come soon. Also, I will have quite a few pictures next week from the Lubbock Centennial Celebration. It was quite a show with lots of diversified talent. Fun to see all my old friends, too.
Just had to say Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all of you. This is such a special time of year for all of us and I absolutely love the joy and excitement of this holiday season. Can't wait to stand up in the congregation this Sunday morning and sing, "Christ, The Lord is Risen Today." We are so blessed in this great country that we can express our faith in the way that pleases us and not have to hide our religious beliefs. I am so grateful and blessed. May God's blessings fall upon each and everyone of you as we celebrate this glorious holiday.
2-3-09: Hi Everybody,
Hope your Holiday season was as great as mine. My sister Jane and her husband Robert, along with Julie and Carlos, made it very special for me. We had a great time together. Some of my neighborhood friends also dropped by to make it a fun, festive holiday. (Photos to come.)
I will be starting my travels again starting with Memphis in about 12 days and I have to say I have not missed working a bit. I started in this business at the age of 13 in Lubbock (by the way, look for the new March date in Lubbock on my website--info coming soon) and have been traveling and singing consistently for all these years. Taking off these last 2 and 1/2 months has been such a gift to me. I have been able to have my house painted and am in the process of some wonderful changes in window coverings and redoing cabinets, etc. ---things I have had on my mind for so long but no time to dedicate to such a big project.
I am so grateful and wake each day thanking God for my darling home and surroundings. I have a beautiful life here and I have a gratitude journal that I write in every night listing at least 5 things I am grateful for in my day. I highly recommend this as a way of keeping our spirits up in the world today. I have high hopes for the future of America and feel privileged to have been born here and to live here now. I am so grateful to have a relationship with our Creator and to know that I am loved. We all are and what a joy it is to realize it each and every day. I pray this is a great year for all.
All my love, Ralna
PS: Don't forget to look for new photos very soon.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun as ours here in Arizona. Julie prepared a delicious 15-pound turkey and her fiance, Carlos, put up my Christmas tree! What a treat for me. Susie Dowdy made beautiful, homemade yeast rolls (,just like my mother's) and cranberry sauce. Friends and neighbors stopped by and we had a fun-filled day at my home here in Scottsdale.
My summer was filled with fun, friends and concerts across the country. Look for new photos.
May you have a blessed Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a healthy, joy-filled New Year! I personally am looking forward to 2009 with high-hopes and great expectations.
- My love to you all,
9-13-08: Hi Everybody,
elated to write this. Julie is engaged to a wonderful man. She met
Carlos when she was a sophomore and he a junior at Notre Dame High
School in Los Angeles. They dated and that following summer we moved to
Phoenix. Evidently he didn't forget Julie because about eight months
ago, they began talking to each other and he has come to visit several
He is here now looking for a job and tomorrow I am making dinner for them and what a day it will be for me. Not only do I get to hug my new son-in-law-to-be, but I get to see the beautiful engagement ring he gave her when he got down on one knee and proposed. And that's not all! I get to see my granddog, too! I am so happy. Can you tell?
I'm feeling better everyday and I look forward to seeing you when I come to your area to perform. Guy and I love honoring the veterans in our show and hope you get to come and honor them with us.
- See you soon.
- All my love,
- 7-29-08: Hi Everybody,
hopefully you have seen my new, updated website and are as pleased as I
am with the new look. Susie Dowdy at Media Entertainment did a
thoughtful, fabulous job in creating this, and making it something I am
so proud of. Thank you, Susie!
Let us know what you think and if you are as pleased as I am...(email me at email@example.com).
In the next few weeks, we will add some audio and video clips to my website, and I should have more tour dates soon...so keep checking back. Also, in the next year, we're going to try something new and see how it works. You'll be able to talk to me through the internet, for about 45 minutes several times a year. I will access the internet from a computer at Media Entertainment, and answer any questions you have, or just say 'hi.' Our first 'chat' date will be posted soon! This is something I am very excited about and looking forward to...and hopefully you will be too!
Hope you're having a good summer. Mine has been filled with workouts at the gym, water aerobics, and lots of R&R. I'm feeling so much better and want to thank all of you who have kept me in prayer.
All my love,
5-22-08: Hi Everybody!
Just an update on my condition. Seems like everyone has been asking Judy about me…so here it is…"I am coming along." That's what I like to say these days. It's going to be awhile, I can tell, before I feel like "Ralna" again. That said, I am back to playing tennis and performing and loving each day!
you for your prayers and concern for
- Good news…Guy and I will be releasing, within the next three weeks, a new CD entitled, "Only You." We dedicated this to all of you who have been so supportive of us for all these years…hope you like it!
new photos to come
soon…watch my website for them. I will be going to
Hawaii next week with my
oldest and dearest friend, Monette, for a much needed vacation and will
take lots of photos.
4-17-08: Hi Everybody,
I'm so excited for one of our very own Welk Stars.
Gail Farrell's song, "You Can Do Anything," has been chosen as one of the 20 finalists of "American Idol's Winning Song of the Year," to be sung by the winner of "American Idol."
Please go to www.americanidol.com and click on Idol Songwriter, register to vote, then once you're registered, go to "vote for your favorite song" and vote for Gail's song entitled, "You Can Do Anything."
We want her to win! Good luck Gail we're all rooting for you!
12-21-07: Merry Christmas everyone!
I have had an eventful last few months and I am so happy now to have the holiday season to just relax with friends and family.
I pray your holiday season is richly blessed and that the New Year brings you peace and joy.
Julie is visiting her Dad and Sis and all her Mississippi relatives for a few days after Christmas and Gramma gets to keep her Granddog while she's gone. I can't wait!
May the true spirit of Christmas fill your hearts this season and comfort you each and every day.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,
This fall has just been glorious. Getting to experience the fall in New Hampshire and Rhode Island was so special. The trees were red, yellow and orange and every shade in between. What a privilege to see God's handiwork in action!
I hope you are all enjoying beautiful weather wherever you are. We are in the upper 70s and 80s now--perfect tennis weather.
I have some time off right now and I am so grateful for my life here in Arizona. I am blessed with wonderful friends and having Julie here and my granddog, Popcorn--what more could I want!!
I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with peace and gratitude and that you are surrounded by people you love.
All My Love,
Well, summer is gone and the autumn weather is glorious.
I am ready for a great new year and especially two more seasons of "The Lawrence Welk Show" on public television! Yes, as many of you know, we are signed-up again! Who'd a thunk it?
Guy and I have several dates coming up that we are really looking forward to, but especially a new, mostly-patriotic show we are putting together for Providence, Rhode Island, Veterans' Day, November 11. We are so proud to honor our wonderful veterans--and on that day especially.
Life is good and I am looking forward to the holidays. I know it can also be hard, but keeping our eye on the good in our life can get us through a lot. Keep the faith, my friends, and remember, two of the most important things in life (shared with me many years ago by my friend Ralph Portner) -- "Attitude and Gratitude."
God Bless us all,
P.S. Thank you for remembering the families of Charlie Parlato, Mahlon Clark and Ralph Portner in your prayers. They were part of the 'Musical Family' history and will be greatly missed.
7-3-07: Hi Everybody!
And welcome home to all who joined us on the fabulous cruise to Alaska.
Everyone I've talked to has had nothing but good things to say about our wonderful time together.
Thanks to all who joined us and thanks to Kevin Lonseth with MET Tours for helping to make our time together so special.
It was such a dream to me--to be able to bring the family together and to have so many fans and friends there enjoying each other and beautiful Alaska!
I feel so blessed to be where I am in my life right now. I just could not be more grateful for the gifts God has given me.
Sis sent me some pictures and I took many of my own with my new digital camera...look for them on my website sometime next week!
Thank you again for sharing in this beautiful memory with me.
P.S. I hope all of you on the cruise enjoyed my little gift of the hats and the pens...what a great party! Thank you all for being there.
6-1-07: Hi Everybody!
Well, are you getting as excited as we are about the cruise? It's only weeks away and there is much hustle and bustle going on here!
I am thrilled so many of you wanted to come and share in my big birthday bash celebration.
The weather, hopefully, will be good and I plan to layer and bring a good windbreaker rain jacket.
Guy and I are looking forward to performing for you all and hope you will enjoy our show.
Let's all have the best time of our lives cruising the inside passage to Alaska on the beautiful Sun Princess!
1-3-07: Happy New Year!
It is going to be a good year. I have had good news in just these three days of the new year about two of my friends' good health when none was expected. It encourages me and lifts my spirit to feel they are going to make it.
Health is so important and I must tell you that both of my friends have extremely positive thoughts and great expectations. What a lesson for me!
Christmas was glorious here in Scottsdale with my sister, Jane, her husband, Robert, Julie and her beau, Christopher, my granddog and good friends sharing the holiday spirit and the blessed gift of this season, the birth of the Christ child. What a wonderful, magical Christmas I had this year.
God bless you all and may 2007 bring you health, joy, love and peace.
All My Love,
12-19-06: Hi Everybody and Happy Holidays to you All!
I hope your holiday season is going as well as mine. I'm planning a big Christmas week with my sister, Jane and her hubby, Robert, here from California. We have lots of parties and fun times planned for the week they are here.
I'm cooking and wrapping and cleaning right now. All with Christmas music playing throughout my house. This is my favorite time of year and I'm so grateful to be home.
God bless you all and thank you for your warm thoughts and gifts to me.
Watch for the special in March! We finally finished it yesterday!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2007
- 10-2-06: Hi Everybody!
just finished the new "Ralna
English: From My Heart" special and we are heading back home.
There are still finishing touches, but we are happy with the results
and hope you will be too.
The Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra was wonderful under the direction of Maestro Albert Moehring. The Philharmonic Gospel Choir was phenomenal. Our production crew, editor and audio director were tops.
Thank you so much to those of you who attended and made this a very special evening for me!
The special will air on PBS stations nationwide as a fundraiser during their 17 day pledge drive beginning March 3. So, please check your TV guide and hopefully you will tune-in and make it a point to support your local station that evening!
With Love and Thanks,
I am thrilled to let you know of another milestone in the history of Childhelp. The national Registry Bill was attached to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and was signed into law by the President.
Thanks to all of you who have supported Childhelp with your donations and prayers. You have made it possible to save many lives through your support.
Thank you for celebrating in this victory with Childhelp.
God Bless You,
It's been a while since I have written to my website and a lot has taken place over this first part of the summer. Specifically, my big 3-week-long birthday party - 3 cakes in all and too many dinners to count!
Thanks to a very generous fan, along with the help of another longtime fan, I had an unbelievable birthday bash in Bear Creek Farms, Indiana. The whole party was over the top with great food, cake, champagne, balloons, decorations, nostalgic pictures in frames and more! I was overwhelmed and especially for so many of you to come and join me for the special occasion.
Thank you for all the lovely gifts. Please accept this as my official thanks to each of you who were so generous. Because my time is so limited these days, and because it appears that it will continue that way, it's just not going to be possible for me to send personal notes now or in the future. Please know that the most cherished gift that you can give, bar none, is your presence and support in my career and in my continuing endeavors. I need your support now more than ever, especially in this coming year. It is one of the most important times in my career since I began this journey 50 years ago. I am full of gratitude for all that is coming my way and I am grateful to all of you who are sharing this journey with me.
All My Love,
I'm on a plane going home from Moline, Illinois. Guy and I really enjoyed our time there. Thanks to all of you who came to see our show. WQPT made us feel so welcome and seemed to be happy with our performance, which means a lot.
The same goes for the Canadian Tour with the "LIVE Lawrence Welk Show." We had a lot of fun...it was one of the best tours we've ever done and as always, it was great seeing so many come out to support us along the way.
I hope your summer is full of fun and laughter. I am looking forward to a great summer in Scottsdale with lots of spa time! I will also spend part of the summer preparing for my very special concert in Charlotte, NC, on September 23rd.
Hope to see you in my travels this summer.
1-29-06: Hi Everybody,
I have not stopped since I returned home from Escondido.
I have pictures from Thanksgiving, the 11th Annual Welk Christmas in Escondido, a cute picture of two of my Scottsdale tennis pals in front of my little Christmas tree and pictures from the Hollywood Premiere I attended shortly after I returned from Escondido. More will be coming soon from the Barrett-Jackson "Drive the Dream" Gala here in Scottsdale which benefited Childhelp.
I hope to get some R&R in February because March is going to be a string of one-nighters across Canada with the "Live" Lawrence Welk Show on Tour and I need to be prepared to take on Canada's weather!
The best to all of you and a big "thank you" to all who made my holiday season very special!
PS...Click here to find out all about my new PBS TV special!
12-1-05: Happy Holidays!
My holiday season will be here in Escondido at the Welk Resort and so far, it's been great!
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and a great big 23 lb. turkey!
The show is really fun and has the best cast ever. Mary Lou did a fabulous job putting it together. It's great to see so many of our fans in the audience. Thank you for being so supportive. Ken and I will be doing 10 shows a week from here to the end of the run, so come see us if you can. We have a great time together and everyone seems to really like the show.
I pray you have a blessed holiday season full of festivities with family and friends and the joy, love and peace that this season brings to us with the celebration of the birth of the Christ child.
Hi Everybody! Well, it's cooling off here in Arizona. I hope your weather is as beautiful as ours.
I'm getting ready for Escondido right now and have lots of new music to learn. I talked to Ken Delo last night (he and Marilyn have moved to Arizona not too far from me!) and we are looking forward to doing the show together. However, we really have our work cut out for us with all the new music and rehearsals!
I love the Welk Resort in Escondido and especially the people. It's really going to be a darling show and I look forward to seeing some of you there.
Many of you have asked about Guy & Sis. Sis came with Guy last week when we performed at the South Carolina State Fair and they really needed to get away. They enjoyed their time together away but Guy says it will take a long time to rebuild his precious Mississippi. I've never known anyone who loved his home state more than Guy Hovis.
Even with the tragedies come hope and love. The wonderful heart-warming stories we've seen and heard recently have given us all a sense of our humanity. We are all in this life here together. What a comforting thing to know.
Take care of each other.
8-25-05: Hi Everybody! Well, the summer is at an end and I hate to see it go. It has been one of the best summers of my life. Take a look at the new pictures and you'll see just a few reasons why.
Guy and I will be in Bethlehem, PA this weekend, but for now, I am in one of my most favorite spots in the world. Sedona is one of God's greatest designs and I have been in this area for four wonderful days. No phone (even my cell phone doesn't work here), no TV, just an abundance of peace. I am blessed and so grateful to have had this time here.
I pray you have had a good summer and that you are well and happy. Life is short, but love is forever.
6-23-05: Hi Everybody! I'm here in Oklahoma City doing wraparounds with Mary Lou, Guy Hovis, Gail Farrell, Ken Delo, Arthur Duncan, Jack Imel, Dick Dale, Norma Zimmer, Tanya Welk Roberts, Johnny Zell, Bobby Burgess and Ava Barber. More wraparounds will be done this fall to include most of the cast. We're very excited that OETA and Welk Syndication have come together once again to insure that our fans will have another season of "The Lawrence Welk Show." It's such a privilege to be a part of something that has endured for over 50 years on television. Thank you for being instrumental in making this happen!
- I will be in Milwaukee this weekend which will conclude 16 days on the road away from home. I can't wait to get back to my tennis buddies and my good friends in Scottsdale, and especially to see my darling daughter, Julie.
- All My love,
Pictures will be coming soon.
I survived six hours in the dental chair this week and I'm just so
grateful to have such good doctors. The worst part is over and nine
months from now I will have a brand new smile. Many thanks to all of
you for your prayers and concern for me.
The 4 Wunnerful Women had a very successful run at the Robinson Theatre in Waltham, MA. We always have fun working together on that show. (Pictures will follow later.)
Guy and I also had a very successful engagement at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
How can I thank you enough for your continued support. What a joy it is to see familiar faces in our audience and after the show when we sign autographs. You are such a big part of the reason we go out and do what we do. We love it, yes; but without you it is meaningless.
All My Love,
4-14-05: Hi Everyone!
wound up our "Live
Lawrence Welk Show" at the Sundome in Sun City, AZ on March 26
and it was great to be home and once again in the Arizona Sun.
Blizzards and snow storms were a way of life in March on our extensive
tour. It even rained in Las vegas! It was probably the toughest time
I've had on the road. I had a flu-like bug in Las Vegas and then days
later got bronchitis and had to take 10 days of antibiotics. Thank God
for my experience all these years to be able to perform; and thank God
for you, precious fans and friends, who lifted me up and cheered me on.
Have I told you how grateful I am for your support and love? Honestly,
I am blessed. I go to Massachusetts with the Four Wunnerful Women and
on to the Mohegan
Sun Casino in Connecticut with Guy beginning
next week. Then I'm home for the month of May. What a joyous life I
lead. I thank God for each day.
Today was an especially special day. When I speak to my idol, Norma Zimmer, and the man second only to Lawrence himself--Myron Floren, on the phone in the same day, that makes it an especially special day. They both sound wonderful.
Take care and thanks to all who remember the three children who die each day in America from child abuse by lighting a three-wick candle or saying a prayer on the day of Hope, April 6, or in the month of April.
- All My Love,
- 2-10-05: Hey Everybody,
know many of you watched the Inauguration
Ceremonies and heard Guy sing, "Let the Eagle Soar" written by John
Ashcroft. It was a thrill for me to see his magnificent performance. He
said he got chills when he came to the podium and looked down at the
multitudes of people and at the Washington Monument straight ahead. He
and Sis had the time of their lives and she will be sending a photo
soon, so watch for it in the near future posted on my Scrapbook page.
Love to you all,
- 2-8-05: Hi Everyone,
- It's great to be home even for a short time. The weather is spectacular here in Arizona. I've been able to have some leisure time with my friends.
- I also had one of the highlights of my career at the Sundome on January 23rd. Singing with the 88-piece West Valley Symphony, under the direction of Maestro James Yestadt for 2 hours and 15 minutes was pure gold to me as a musician. I'm now looking forward to my concert on February 27th in Fort Myers with the 44-piece Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.
- Then, I will prepare for our road trip in March. Hopefully we will come your way. Mary Lou Metzger, Jack Imel, Ava Barber, Dick Dale, Big Tiny Little and myself make up the "Live Lawrence Welk Show." We start out at the Orlean's Hotel in Las Vegas for four fun days and then on to 13 more cities in the U.S.
- Our new special, "Precious Memories" airs on your local PBS stations across the country in March so be sure to tune-in for this brand new two-hour Lawrence Welk special.
- I can't tell you what it means to me to receive your support out on the road. When I look out into the audience and see a familiar face, or see you in line at the autograph table, it lifts my spirit.
- My thanks to all of you--
- Love, Ralna
- 11-29-04: Merry Christmas to All of You!
- It has been such fun being here in Branson with the Welk gang again this year. The Lennon Sisters, Jo Ann Castle, Jack Imel and Dick Dale all give 100 percent to make this the best Christmas show ever in Branson. Of course, our Mary Lou Metzger made sure it was a very special production since this is our last season as the "Welk Show" here.
- The "Live Lawrence Welk Show" will be on the road in March and I'm doing lots of symphonies on my own and many performances with Guy this year. Check out WelkNotes.com for all the Welk performers schedules and come see us.
- We are so grateful for your support all these years and because of your continued support we have been able to tape the new special for you that will air in March 2005. We hope you will tune-in to your local PBS station for "Lawrence Welk Precious Memories."
- May you and yours have a blessed holiday season filled with love, joy and peace.
- All My Love,
Fall is in the air here in Branson and it is just a joy to be here.
My summer seemed nonexistent. With my foot operation and then breaking my other foot, I was laid up so much, it seemed to pass without my realizing it!
Several original Stars from the Lawrence Welk Show gathered together here in Branson the 1st of September to tape a new PBS special called, "Lawrence Welk Precious Memories." It will be aired March 2005, so check with your local PBS station for the specific date in your area.
Many WelkNote fans came for the taping and what fun it was to see you all here. Thank you so much for your support over the years.
We begin rehearsals for the Christmas show the end of October and I am looking forward to being in the dance number called "Be A Santa." My feet are so much better now and I thank all of you for your prayers.
Come see us here in Branson and may God bless us all!
P.S. Ava and I have had a ball since she came in September 24. We had sushi last night and will have lunch today at a tea room with all the Welk women. Mary Lou comes in October 8 and I can't wait. This is the most fun I've ever had in Branson because of so much time off.
8-11-04: Hi Everybody,
Can you believe this summer is almost over? I hope it's been a good one for all of you.
operation on my right foot was a success
and just about the time I was ready to play tennis again, I fractured
my left foot! No, I'm not joking, I really did. The doctor says it's a
common break and should heal within a month to six weeks. I'm doing
water aerobics and riding the bike at the gym to try to keep in shape,
and that does wonders for my spirit.
from the bottom of my heart to all
of you for your prayers and positive thoughts for me. It is so
comforting to know you are there for me.
getting prepared to go to Branson for
our new special, "Lawrence Welk Precious Memories." It will feature 16
original stars from the show and it will air in March of 2005. It's
going to be wonderful to be with my Lawrence Welk friends and my
Branson friends again.
is my most precious gift at this
period of my life. When I think of my friend Henry Cuesta, and how he
made every moment count, it helps me realize I need to do the same.
we have lost yet another of our musical
family, Joe Rizzo. Joe was one of the nicest of men, truly a gentleman
and a great musician. At least half of Guy & Ralna's
arrangements were created by Joe. My heart goes out to his family and
especially his faithful wife, Irene.
forward to seeing many of you in
Branson, especially you WelkNoters!
- God Bless you all,
5-24-04: Hi Everybody,
- Well, I've been home for a while and I love it. Tennis is part of my life here in Arizona in a big way. I've been able to play three days a week even with my bad foot.
- The second toe on my right foot has been bothering me for quite a while and I'll have an operation on June 16 to hopefully get me out of the pain I've been experiencing.
- If you come to see our show in Milwaukee you'll see me hobbling on stage in a velcro shoe. I'll wear it for 6 weeks and then hopefully by fall I'll be playing tennis again.
- Childhelp USA's "Day of Hope" in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol was such a great success this year. It was exceptionally special for me because I got to meet someone I've wanted to meet for a long time. His name is Dave Pelzer and when I heard he was going to be one of our speakers, I could hardly contain my excitement.
- Dave has written several books, among them, "A Child Called 'It.'" I've read all his books and have so much respect and love for him. He was more incredible than I could have imagined.
- A few days after the "Day of Hope," I drove to Palm Springs to meet my North Hollywood Church family for a fun dinner on the town. Bill Hayes, one of our talented choir members, was starring in the "Palm Springs Follies" and we all had a great time.
- Then, Judy Shaw, my longtime fan and friend, came to visit me for the first time since I moved to Arizona. We had such a wonderful, enjoyable, fun time together. I love her dearly and she has meant so much to me for over 30 years that to have her here in my home was long over due.
- Hope you enjoy the pictures that are to come.
- Pray for our men and women on foreign soil and for our leaders, our country and our world.
- God Bless You,
2-1-04: Hello Everyone,
so hard for me to believe that January
is almost over. The holidays were over in a flash for me in 2003. I
barely got a tree up and then in a little over a week it was down.
It was a sad Christmas this year because we lost one of the dearest of our musical family. Henry Cuesta was not only one of the finest musicians I've ever had the privilege to work with, but he was also a dear friend. We came to know each other over more than a 30-year period of time and went through so much of life together. He will always be near and dear to my heart and I can't tell you how much I will miss him. We are so blessed to be able to experience him still and in the future through his music which will live on forever.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Henry and me taken in Escondido at the Lawrence Welk annual Christmas Show in 2000.
Take a look at the new pictures I have. There are lots of them!
God bless us all in 2004.
11-21-03: Happy Holidays Everyone,
- Most of my holiday season will be spent here in Branson, but as the song says, "I'll be home for Christmas."
- My sister, Sharon, and her husband, my dear brother-in-law, will drive from Texas for Thanksgiving and we're going to have a big one this year that also includes Mary Lou, Richard and Helen Metzger, Mary Lou's Mom.
- The show is going great here. Mary Lou produced it this year and it really runs smoothly and we appreciate the standing ovations it receives. Thanks to all who have come here to see us.
- I pray your holiday season is a blessed one. May the light that came into this world over 2000 years ago shine upon you and yours.
- Love, Ralna
see us on our Christmas tour!
Check my travel schedule and let us be a
part of your holiday cheer!
I'm trying to take in every moment left here in this beautiful Arizona before I have to leave for Branson. Tennis, water aerobics and yoga have been daily activities for me lately trying to get in shape to host my up-coming wraparound on October 10. TV adds 10 lbs., they say, and I can't afford 2 lbs., much less 10!
It has been wonderful to be home for a while and I've enjoyed every moment here. I look forward to a day when I will be able to spend more time in this wonderful place.
For now, it's off to the Champagne Theatre to work with my pals, The Lennon Sisters, Jack Imel and Jo Ann Castle. Mary Lou put together a great show and I can't wait to be a part of it. It will be a treat for me to only do one show a day because I'll have more time with my Branson friends. I have come to think of Branson as my second home since I began working there in 1994 and I've made so many great friends there.
Come see me if you can, either in October, or during the holiday season; or maybe I'll see you on our Canadian tour!
- Stay healthy and may God Bless you all,
7-29-03: Hi Everybody,
hard for me to believe that it's
almost August - where has the summer gone?
- I have really enjoyed my time at home lately, even in 110 degree heat.
Julie is preparing her classroom and going through new teacher induction for her first real teaching job! Hallelujah! Guy and I are elated.
- Two people very close to me in my life have recently lost loved ones and it has made me realize how precious each moment is. Each of us only have a certain amount of time on the earth and I strive to be verbally grateful for each and every day.
- My life is so good and I am so blessed and you, dear ones, are so much a part of the reason why.
- God Bless you and may your August be cooler than mine!
- Love, Ralna
- 6-7-03: Hi Everybody!
- Well, I think I have my energy back! I thought I'd lost it forever for a while.
- I've been home for over two weeks playing tennis, having dinners with my friends and daughter - just relaxing as much as I can.
- Of course, I always have daily paperwork and calls, but I have tried to prioritize and feel good and much healthier than I did a few months ago.
- I'm looking forward to seeing my pals tomorrow in Denver. It will be a short tour but lots of fun.
- I come home for two days and then Julie and I will be going to New York to her childhood friend's wedding. She'll return home but I go on to Bear Creek Farms to work with Ken Delo. I am going to enjoy seeing Ken after such a long time.
- Hope you're keeping cool. It's 104 degrees here today!
- All My Love,
- 4-21-03: Hi Everybody!
- What a fantastic tour we had in March. Thank you all for coming out to support us. You made it very successful for us and we are very grateful.
- I got back home for just a few days before heading out again for Maryland and Pennsylvania. The show I was a part of was very nostalgic for me. It took me back to my roots, mainly because of the great country style band we had. Lots of fun!
- I'm home now for a few more days before heading out to Sloan, Iowa to do a show with Myron and Bobby and Elaine and then on to Tennessee to be with the "4 Wunnerful Women" in Pigeon Forge, TN. I do love the 4 Wunnerful Women shows. We just have a wonderful time together.
- I'll only be back home a few days before heading out again but on May 4 you can bet I'll be attending Julie Hovis' graduation right here in Phoenix. Guy will be here too and we will be a proud set of parents that day. She has truly worked so hard for her Master's in Education degree and we are so very proud of her.
- Hope you have a great summer. God bless us all as we pray for our country and our leaders.
- God Bless the USA.
- I love you all,
- 3-24-03: Hi Everybody,
- Well, here we are with one week to go on our "Live Lawrence Welk Show" across this great country of ours. We have had wonderful crowds and they have seemed to enjoy this new show put together by our own Mary Lou Metzger. She did a fabulous job and I for one, am proud to be a part of this show.
- It has been a while since you have heard from me and I have lots of pictures that will let you know my path since the Branson Christmas season.
- Many of you have seen our new special, "Lawrence Welk: God Bless America" and we are so happy to hear all the nice compliments you have given it.
- I am so grateful to you for supporting us and Public Television. You are the reason we continue on.
- We celebrated Lawrence Welk's 100th birthday on March 11 in Salt Lake City. Guy and Sis came from Mississippi and we sang "Let There Be Peace on Earth," Myron came from LA and played "Battle Hymn." Our beautiful Champagne Lady Norma Zimmer came from Park City, Larry Welk and family came from LA and Donna, Lawrence's darling daughter came from Montana. What a night! I wish you all could have been there. Brian Edwards of Rocklands Entertainment ordered a fantastic cake that fed the entire audience!
- Hope you all are well and happy. I pray we will have peace--soon.
- All My Love,
The "Day of Hope" is April 2. Please
pray for the hurting, abused children. Remember that 3 children die
every day from abuse in our country alone.
- 1-7-03: Happy New Year Everyone!
- Well, here it is January 1, 2003 and I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. I pray your holidays were filled with love and happy times as mine were.
- Getting back into the swing of things at home has been a challenge. I had 2 1/2 months of mail waiting for me upon my return from Branson and Canada. With the bronchitis condition I acquired on the plane coming back home, I have had my hands full trying to get well and catch up.
- Tomorrow I'm going to Escondido to see two of the 4 Wunnerful Women in the Lawrence Welk Annual Christmas Show at the Welk Resort. I waited 'til the last minute to make the decision to go to see if I'd be well enough. I'm just so happy to be going to see my pals, Mary Lou and Gail. I've heard they are GREAT in this wonderful show Mary Lou produced.
- I have lots of pictures from the holidays and I'll have more when I get back from Escondido. I'll be sure to get them up as soon as I return.
- It was so much fun to see so many of you in Branson and also on our Canadian Tour. Thank you so very much for your continued support.
- Don't forget to watch our upcoming special, "Lawrence Welk: God Bless America" on your local PBS stations in March, 2003. I can't wait to see it myself!
- God bless you and yours--
- 11-14-02: Hi Everybody!
- Here I am in Branson already for the holiday season. It's hard for me to believe it is truly upon us!
- The show here is really good and we have been told more than once by the fans that have been coming for years that it is the best show yet! It's always great to see our fans at our concerts and we appreciate your support very much.
- Guy came to Scottsdale right before I left for Branson to record "America the Beautiful" with me for my new CD called, "My God, My Country." It should be in my hands by November 24th. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
- I want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I pray you will be surrounded by friends and family this holiday season to celebrate the true joy of the perfect gift, the baby Jesus.
- All My Love,
We are so looking forward to our Canadian
Tour in December. Check out my travel schedule
and come see us!
- 9-11-02: Hi Everybody!
- I hope you all have had a great summer. Mine has been very eventful and one of the biggest events took place last week in Branson, MO at the Champagne Theatre.
- We did, I believe, one of the greatest shows I've ever been involved with. We are all very proud to be a part of "Lawrence Welk God Bless America" to be aired March 2003 on PBS stations across the country. I am very excited to see the finished product and hope you will all tune-in to your local PBS station when it airs in March.
- I hope you enjoy seeing the new pictures of our fun times making the special...just click this photo link and you can go right to those pages!
- This is an emotional time in the history of our country. May God be with you and yours and may the peace that passeth understanding be in your hearts.
- Love, Ralna
- PS...Go to my Music page and see the new Guy and Ralna "Favorites" CD that we've just released!
8-18-02: Hi Everybody!
- I hope you're staying cool this summer. It was 107 degrees here today.
- Guy and I had fun working with Myron at the Elkhart County Fair recently in Goshen, Indiana. It's the largest county fair in the U.S. It was 90 degrees there and everybody was talking about how hot it was and I thought it was really nice weather myself!
- I hope you like the pictures from Goshen. They were so nice to us and I believe we are going to go back there next year. I had a great picture of Guy, Sis and me, but it came out over-exposed. I really enjoyed getting to know Sis better. She is just a doll and so funny! Myron looks great and we're so happy he will be on our upcoming special, "Lawrence Welk God Bless America."
- I'll be leaving for Branson in a few weeks to do the show and I'm very excited about this show. It's going to be a wonderful tribute to our great country and to our great boss.
- Well, Guy and I just finished putting together a new CD called, "Favorites" that will be available in about three weeks. The songs are songs we sang on "The Lawrence Welk Show" in the '70s and '80s. As soon as it's in our hands, we'll let you know.
- Meanwhile, I'm working on a new CD of my own called, "My God My Country," and hope it will be available by Christmas.
- Fall will be upon us before we know it. Enjoy the rest of the summer days!
- All My Love,
- 7-4-02: Hi Everyone!
I hope you're having a wonderful Fourth of July with family and friends gathered around. I was with Julie this morning and tonight I'll be going to a potluck with friends from Church.
I had a wonderful, long birthday. It was so special to be with both of my sisters. Thank you all for your cards and birthday wishes. I am so grateful to you.
Right before my birthday, I went to La Jolla, California, to the annual "Birdie" convention with six of my high school girlfriends. We had lots of laughs and lots of food. With the Birdie convention on top of my birthday, I gained 4 pounds. Thank goodness for Weight Watchers...I've lost 3 1/2 pounds so far!
We are so looking forward to our 12th special for PBS, "Lawrence Welk God Bless America" to be taped in August at the Champagne Theatre in Branson and aired in March on public broadcasting stations all over this great country.
We are so blessed to call America home. We live in the greatest country in the world. Relish each moment, each day and 'til we meet again...
God Bless Us All,
5-6-02: Hi Everybody!
I just got back from a very successful trip to Washington, D.C. for Childhelp USA and a fun and business trip to Los Angeles. I also took a side trip to Palm Springs to see my friend, Jo Ann Castle in the Follies. She was sensational, as usual.
Check out my pictures for more information on my trips.
I hope you are enjoying as beautiful weather as we are here in Scottsdale. We've had some cooler evenings here lately, and I love it!
Have a great summer and take care of each other.
4-1-02: Hi Everybody!
Well, I'm back from the Tour and what a great Tour it was!
It's always great to be with the old gang from the Welk Show, especially my "wunnerful" pals, Mary Lou and Ava. We have such a great time together.
We are so excited to be together again with Gail in Toledo and Mt. Pleasant in May. The "4 Wunnerful Women" have new songs and some new costumes and we love working together so very much. Our creative juices tend to flow when we get together.
- I'm enjoying being at home but not looking forward to next week--I have to do my taxes! Does anyone out there enjoy it?
- I'll be going to Washington D.C. for the "Day of Hope" for my charity, Childhelp USA, on April 25. Please pray for the children in our great country who suffer abuse. We ask you to light a 3-wick candle on April 3 to remember the three children who die every day from abuse.
- Until next time, God Bless us all.
- Love, Ralna
3-4-02: A MESSAGE FROM SOUTH BEND, INDIANA
Hello Everyone. Yesterday, we were in Wisconsin Dells, WI when 12 inches of snow fell.
- Today, I'm writing you from South Bend, IN and we've heard 18 inches are expected within the next few days. It's truly going to be a "winter wonderland" from here on out during this tour.
day and a half before I left on tour, I flew to Los Angeles to sing for
Fern Welk's funeral, as many of you know, and I want to tell you about
her lovely service and also a little about this extraordinary woman.
service was held at Santa Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica,
CA., a church that Lawrence and Fern attended faithfully. Our own Bob
Smale played piano as only he can (I've never been so inspired singing
"How Great Thou Art"), and Henry Cuesta's clarinet was like velvet that
- Everyone spoke so lovingly of Fern; of her faith, her perseverance, her triumph over tragedy and adversity, her strength, her loving kindness, her positive way of thinking and looking at life and what it brings, and her incredible sense of humor.
Her daughter, Shirley, gave the eulogy and spoke about her mother's inspiring life. She ended in saying she was sure Lawrence was there to take her across, offering his hand for a dance.
Lawrence's beloved Fern was loved by many and was an inspiration to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
love and affection,
2-22-02: A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM RALNA
I'm here at the Tropicana in Atlantic City rehearsing for our opening tonight, but I wanted to get a quick note off to you!
I'm sure you've heard that Guy Lee Hovis, Jr., and Sarah Louise Lundy were wed in Natchez, MS on February 16. They are now on a honeymoon in New York City.
Guy brought "Sis" out to Scottsdale a few months ago to meet Julie. We all gathered at my house and got acquainted before going out to dinner together.
I know it's hard for some of you to understand my feelings about Guy and our friendship. God healed my heart many years ago and replaced my pain with understanding, compassion and love. Only He could do that and I am eternally grateful.
I am truly happy for Guy, who is "family" to me. To Sis, Julie and I say, "welcome to the family."
A NOTE FROM RALNA
Happy 2002 to all of you!
I have lots of pictures from Branson, (be sure to see all three pages of Branson photos!) Christmas, New Year's and my trip to California.
I got to see Ava, Jack and Big Tiny in the wonderful "7th Annual Lawrence Welk Christmas Show" in Escondido created by my talented friend, Mary Lou Metzger. What a treat that was! Then, of course, I always look forward to Mary Lou and Richard's annual holiday party.
My holiday season was filled with festivities. Julie and I had Christmas dinner at Wendy Netherton's new home here in Phoenix. Wendy is Tom's sister and has three darling children. Tom flew in from VA and his mother came in from Nashville. Cissy King joined us and it felt just like an old-fashioned Welk family Christmas! We had so much fun together.
I pray this year will be a more peaceful year for our country and around the world. May you have health and happiness and God's blessings upon you and your family.
11-12-01: A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM RALNA IN BRANSON
- Happy Holidays Everybody,
I'm here in Branson performing at the Champagne Theater and it is glorious here. The decorations are beautiful and everyone here is truly in the holiday spirit.
The Veteran's Day Parade is today and we are so proud to have the traveling half size replica of the Vietnam Wall that you see in Washington D.C. here behind the Welk Resort.
We've heard over and over that this is the best Christmas Show ever and I am just so happy to be a part of it.
So many fans have been here already and many more are coming and it's always so good to see you and have the time to visit with you after our shows.
I got ot see the Rockettes on one of my two days off during my run here and I must say, that show "made" my Christmas holiday season. What incredible sets, costumes and production numbers -- just beautiful.
I'll see Mickey Gilley's show on December 2nd with my sister Sharon and brother-in-law Carl. Carl just has to see Mickey's show when they come to Branson. Right now, they are at their "vacation home" -- my house in Scottsdale! They have enjoyed my house and Scottsdale more than me, I think!
Someday I'll have more time there but for now I'm enjoying my time here in Branson. I feel truly blessed to get to be here at this time of the year. It's glorious here, as I said, and I just wish each and everyone of you could experience the spirit of Christmas that is ever present here in Branson.
God Bless us one and all.
P.S. The Welk Stars were presented the VFW's highest award, the Orland Memorial, by American Legion Post #111 today on stage. We were all in tears -- such a humbling experience.
9-16-01 A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM RALNA
Please use this hyperlink to go to this special page featuring Ralna's letter to her website.
8-17-01 NEWS FROM RALNA
(Please click on the underlined type below for hyperlinks to photographs!)
- Hi Everybody,
summer has been, and continues to be, very eventful for me!
- I arrived in Milwaukee with my music and my costumes, unlike last year when I had to borrow an outfit, shoes and all to go on stage. Was I ever grateful for the wonderful rhythm section! This year however, Guy and I performed together for a fantastic audience at the Elmbrook Church.
- Des Moines was a new, fun experience and I had one of the best meals I've ever had at a restaurant called, "43."
most fun thing I've done all summer, so far, has been The
Lawrence Welk Show
new season "wraparounds" in
Escondido in mid-July. What an absolute blast! I had
dinner with Guy, Mary Lou and her Mom, Helen the first night and had
lunch with Tanya and her daughters-in-law, Tracy and Lindy and all the
precious grandchildren. I got to visit with Dick and Marguerite Dale
and Jack and Norma Imel. The crew from OETA-The Oklahoma Network, along
with Margaret Heron and JoAnn Young, made the wraparounds so much fun
to do. Isn't it great that your job can be so much fun?! I know I am
truly blessed and I am so grateful for all that comes my way.
One really great thing coming up soon is CNN's "Larry King Live" show. I'll be talking about Lawrence Welk's 50 years on television along with Bobby Burgess, Janet Lennon, Larry Welk and Larry Welk III. Hope you can tune-in and watch...it should be a very interesting show.
- Hope your summer is going well and that you are staying cool. (See photos of Julie and me in cool Sedona, Arizona...click here).
- God Bless You,
LATEST NEWS FROM
(Please click on the underlined type below for hyperlinks to photographs!)
Hi Everybody! What a fun time I've had on the cruise out of Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick with the fun "Best of Times" group. The Carnival Victory is only a year old and it's beautifully decorated with a casino, lots of clubs and one of the most beautiful showrooms I've ever performed in.
My Branson roomie, Cindy Loeb, was my guest and we had a ball. Of course, we have fun wherever we are! Vernon and Barbara Young, the owners of "Best of Times" were just delightful people and couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.
The following week after returning from the cruise, I made a quick trip to Sparks, Nevada to see the new "Wunnerful" show at Johnny Ascuaga's Nugget starring 12, count 'em 12, original cast members of "The Lawrence Welk Show". Jack Imel put it together and it is the most reminiscent of the old stage shows we used to do with our boss, Lawrence Welk himself. It was really fun for me to be part of the wonderful audience that gave them a well-deserved standing ovation.
Then I went immediately to Philadelphia for the PBS Convention. I was honored to be the guest in the Welk Syndication hospitality suite and to meet so many wonderful managers of PBS stations all across the country. There were so many compliments on our "Milestones & Memories" show and how well it did for their individual stations in their pledge drives.
I have decided not to do any recording right now, however Guy has a CD entitled "The Best of Guy Hovis Inspirational." There are 11 solos by Guy and one duet with me entitled, "Jacob's Ladder."
Julie has decided to go back to school to get her teaching certificate and Masters degree. Guy and I are elated and she is very content with her decision. I have always felt Julie would make a great teacher.
Have a great summer and I hope to see you in my travels! Many thanks to all of you who support our concerts and tours. I am so grateful to have such loyal and dedicated fans.
God Bless You All,
5-17-01 UPDATE FROM HOME
Hi Everybody! Hope it's not as hot where you are as it is in Arizona, but hot or not, I'm just glad to be home for a little while! I've been taking advantage of living in this beautiful tennis community. I have one regular game a week and usually pick up one or two more when I'm home.
Kathie Lee Gifford and Waris Dirie were here a few weeks ago to receive well-deserved honors from Childhelp USA. Kathie Lee has done so much for Childhelp and she even made an "on-the-spot" donation of $50,000 while she was here. She's also giving a portion of the proceeds from her skincare line called "Natural Advantage" to help the abused children. What a generous heart she has.
We also honored Waris Dirie, international model and United Nations Population Fund Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation which maims an estimated 2 million girls annually. Many die from complications from the procedure or suffer a lifetime of physical and mental anguish. I sat next to Janet Napolitano, our Arizona Attorney General and was shocked when she turned to me and said, "We have cases like this from all over the United States, even here in Arizona." Waris touched each one of us with her resilent, brilliant spirit.
I've had lots of visitors this month. My best friend, Monette, came from LA to spend a weekend, and celebrate a very special birthday and it was so wonderful to have her here. Usually I'm visiting her in California.
I also spent a wonderful fun-filled day with my good friend Susie Dowdy from OETA-The Oklahoma Network and Patty Thaxton, also from public television.
I'm preparing now for a cruise on a new Carnival ocean liner. It's nine stories high and can accommodate 3,000 people! I'll be doing one show for a special group called, "The Best of Times" and will just vacation the rest of the five days on board. I'm really enjoying my R&R...can you tell?!!
P.S. I hope I can tell you about Julie's new job next time.
Hi Everybody! Well, the "4 Wunnerful Women" were together again in Memphis, TN on April 1 and we appreciated all who came to see us! We had 30 people who came from 11 states, so a special thanks to them. Judy Shaw arranged for a "get-together" after our performance and it was so nice. I'm so grateful to Judy for everything she does, and she does a lot for me! (Note: See the Memphis photos in the Scrapbook.)
Childhelp USA had its Day of Hope luncheon in Washington, DC on the following Wednesday, so I went right to Washington from Memphis. On April 3, Guy and I sang for a Senate Spouse Dinner and I'll have a lot more pictures to share with you later from both these events. (Note: These have been added...go to Scrapbook.)
It was a very successful trip and I want to thank everyone who stopped on that first Wednesday in April to say a prayer for the three children who die every day here in America from child abuse.
God Bless You All,
3-18-01 A LETTER FROM HOME:
- Hi Everybody! What a fabulous trip we had across Canada. Thanks to all of you who came out to our concerts and came up to the autograph table to say hello. It was a very successful tour, thanks to you, and to our wonderful promoter Brian Edwards. I can't begin to say how much respect I have for this very talented, considerate, accomplished man -- and his crew!
Saturday, March 17th at 7 p.m., I helped with the pledge breaks at our
public television station KAET-Phoenix when they pledged and aired
"Lawrence Welk: Milestones & Memories."
- I hope most of you have viewed this "Milestone" special that we are all SO proud of. I just hope you enjoy seeing it as much as we have -- those of us who worked so hard to put it together for you. It was truly "blood, sweat and tears!"
- I'm so excited to perform in Memphis with the "4 Wunnerful Women" and then on to Washington D.C. for Child Help's "Day of Hope." We simply ask you to pause for three minutes on the first Wednesday in April to meditate, say a prayer or light a three-wick candle for the three children who die each day from child abuse and the millions who suffer. While in Washington D.C., Guy and I will also be performing together for a Senate Wives Dinner the night before our "Day of Hope."
- Thank you all for your emails to this website. I see them all and they warm my heart. Thank each and every one of you for your support!
- God Bless You,
REPORTS FROM ON THE ROAD...
3-7-01: RALNA IN SCHENECTADY, N.Y.: Below is a fan photo sent in by John Potrikus showing him posing with Ralna during an autograph session as Ava Barber looks on. Great pic. Thanks, John!
2-24-01: A MESSAGE
FROM RALNA ON THE ROAD: Hi and thank you to all who have
been coming out for this fabulous tour across Canada. We are thriving
here because of the expertise and consideration of the young promoter
who put this particular show on the road. We have been receiving
standing ovations everywhere we go and are so grateful that the
audiences have embraced us with such generosity and warmth. We finish
this current tour on March 8th and I must admit that it will be nice to
get back home. After being gone for so long, I'm sure I will be behind
with all of my mail, not to mention that I am way overdue preparing and
sending out the Ralna Report. So I will thank ya'll in advance for
being so patient and supportive of me when I am working as much as I
2-21-01: Photo above shows
Ralna signing autographs with Mary Lou at the Royal Theatre in
Victoria, British Columbia on Friday, February 16 at the 7 p.m.
concert. Susie Dowdy of OETA - The Oklahoma Network was in the
audience and reports that the show "was absolutely great! Ralna was
just terrific and the whole show was fantastic. It was a sold out crowd
in both the balcony and main floor of the theatre and the crowd was so
excited! I really enjoyed the whole thing and can't wait to see Ralna
perform in Branson next Thanksgiving...she's really something!"
Susie, for sharing this with us!
1-06-01: RALNA RECENTLY TAPED an interview in which she talked about the upcoming "Lawrence Welk: Milestones & Memories" special on PBS. The interview is being broadcast on the "Midwest Today Radio Edition," which is aired each week on 48 AM / FM stations across the Heartland. Click HERE to listen to this special interview!