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The film was a retrospective on Welk's life and career, featuring interviews with surviving members of Welk's "musical family", and scenes from the show.
After its airing, reformatted versions of the Welk show were released to public television stations.
moving to the ABC studios at Prospect and Talmadge in Hollywood shortly afterwards.
The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years, from 1951 to 1955, then nationally for another 27½ years via the ABC network, from 1955 to 1971, and first-run syndication from 1971 to 1982.
The name stuck, and it became the most popular variety show ever.
The primary sponsor of The Lawrence Welk Show was Dodge (automobile maker), later to be followed by Geritol (a multivitamin), Sominex (sleep aid), Aqua Velva (aftershave), Serutan (laxative), Universal Appliances (manufacturer of home appliances), Polident (a denture cleanser), Ocean Spray (fruit juice) and Sinclair Oil (automobile fuel) served as associate sponsors for a short time.
(The success of Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw in syndication and the network decisions that led to their respective cancellations were the inspiration for a novelty song called "The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka," performed by Roy Clark, one of the co-stars of Hee Haw.) Welk retired in 1982; at the time of his retirement, he was 79 years old, making him the oldest host of a regularly scheduled entertainment television series to date (a feat later surpassed by Bob Barker in 2003 and later by Betty White in 2012).
Classic shows— were repackaged with new footage (either Welk or the show's cast introducing segments) for syndication during the 1982–1983 season as Memories with Lawrence Welk, after which they were withdrawn from distribution for a short time.