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Neil LeVang ; Studio Cat Extraordinaire

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  • Neil LeVang ; Studio Cat Extraordinaire

    There have been some some discussions about The Lawrence Welk Show here on SSS especially by some of we ‘Baby Boomers’ who were forced to watch it sometimes under extreme duress by our parents.

    As a fledgling guitarist with a brand new Stella acoustic, I would watch the show, first to see Buddy Merrill then Neil LeVang singularly, then together work their combined guitar magic.

    Neil playing those beautiful Fender guitars and amps...amazing stuff.

    I figured Neil played exclusively with LW because according to articles, LW was both Paternal and a bit Despotic when it came to HIS orchestra and singers.

    This article portrayed Neil LeVang as a Guy who pretty much did what he pleased, locked horns with LW quite a bit, was a savvy financial negotiator and played with Soooo many A-List Recording Artists.
    https://www.vintageguitar.com/20125/neil-levang/
    Last edited by Luke17; 12-26-2018, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    Great post LT! To be embarrassingly honest.....Never heard of the Man. I read every square inch of his story though, and apparently...I've been hearing him for years! I did not know that that haunting solo in "Wichita Lineman" was a Fender Bass VI...Much less who was playing it...I always assumed it was Glen...I'm kinda shocked it wasn't really, given the breadth and width of that man's talent.

    My Folks and Grandfolks were LW watcher's. I always headed somewhere else when it was on. Apparently that was my loss...to a degree anyway.

    Great post!

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    • #3
      Thanks, AJ...as kids we had no choice but to watch LW...it was as important to my Dad as Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
      I guess my Dad, an Amateur Musician was LWs main Groupie.

      Well he wasn’t all that enamored with LW per se, but he knew all the main musicians names and loved the band.

      His main peeve was that LW hardly ever let the Drummer use sticks, mostly just the wire brushes.

      Buddy Merrill was the original guitarist, he got drafted and Neil LeVang was his replacement...when Buddy was Honorably discharged from the Army, LW kept him and Neil on (per the article)

      My Dad was ‘over the moon’ by that prospect and actually penned old LW a personal letter of thanks for keeping the Duo.. :~}
      Last edited by Luke17; 12-27-2018, 07:38 AM.

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      • #4
        As a kid I was hooked on LW. The Lennons, Joanne Castle, The Dancers, The accordion player ... it's all a blur now. Neil was such a low key guy I don't recall much about his playing. I do remember this though,

        Click image for larger version

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        Always reminded me of him.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
          As a kid I was hooked on LW. The Lennons, Joanne Castle, The Dancers, The accordion player ... it's all a blur now. Neil was such a low key guy I don't recall much about his playing. I do remember this though,

          Click image for larger version  Name:	Steve Lawrence.jpg Views:	1 Size:	5.9 KB ID:	32427191
          Always reminded me of him.
          Steve! Is that you?

          Cool that you remember The Lennon Sisters et al.

          How about the ‘Luffley’ Norma Zimmer? :-)

          The Accordian players name was ( I think) Myron Floren) everyone thought that he would be the Heir Apparent and carry the Torch and head the Orchestra after LW retired or took his Dirt Nap.
          Last edited by Luke17; 12-27-2018, 03:27 PM.

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          • #6
            Yes Norma Z; I think there was Mousekateers in there too
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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
              Yes Norma Z; I think there was Mousekateers in there too
              Right On Braddah!
              That was Bobby, the biggest Mouseketeer.

              You deserve a big ol’ bottle of Geritol for remembering that.lol.

              Or maybe a Dodge auto...two of the sponsors of the show.

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              • #8
                Oh yes; Geritol. add to meds... scribble...
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