Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don't Open This Bottle

...because there's a whole miniature orchestra in there, and they're raring to play syrupy tunes. And a tiny Lawrence Welk is raising his toothpick baton and piping out, ah-one anna two!

As you probably know, The Lawrence Welk Show was an exceedingly corny musical variety show that ran from 1951 to 1971. Geritol was one of the main sponsors, which should tell you plenty. It was known for (among other things) a disturbing plethora of fake champagne bubbles cascading over the set, and the opening credits. Pretty much whenever there was a lull in the excitement (relatively speaking).This was supposed to evoke elegance. There was also a Champagne Lady. She was the glamor queen of the show, but looked more the fanciest hairdresser in Levittown. GoRetroGirl has a great post on this show, so why not go over and read that. Then please come back and look at this terrific tie-in novelty!

Yes, you can have your very own Champagne Bottle Radio!* It is two feet tall so it will definitely stand out in any room.

It won't be able to help you with homework, but it can sing and sing...and sing. Plus it has a "clever personalized label" which will read "Vintage of 1949 Bottled Expressly for Mary From Jane." Too bad if your name isn't Mary or Jane.

Lawrence was selling these himself, it looks like (check the bottom of the ad). For a whopping $24 each! The profits must have been wunnerful, wunnerful. You just know those people in the audience, in the clip below, each had at least three of these things back at home.

[From Billboard, March 26, 1949]

*There really is no special reason that I have three posts with bottles in them this week. This one was pure serendipity, it made me laugh when I was going through my bookmarks. So I said: OK, that one. As I am finishing up, I realize that: oh, another bottle. Next week will be bottle-free!

Many thanks to my new friend, Tracy (who really is wunnerful!) for the Weekly Blog Tiara. I always enjoy a good tiara, and will treasure this one! She is a retro ad collector, too - and writes the funniest things about them. Please go check out her blog over at The Crazy Suburban Mom, it's a treat to read.


Tori Lennox said...

Sheesh! I wonder how many of these pricey things Larry actually sold???

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Oh you are too sweet, and you totally didn't have to do this, but I am glad that you liked getting crowned with a blog tiara :) lol, I made it my self by the way! It's my own thing. Your only the second one I gave out too.

I never thought about it but if you ever wanna give one out...go ahead!

Rock on with your retro ad self and guess what? I just bought a few more old magazines on ebay this afternoon! so new ads a-coming!


Lidian said...

Tori - I wish I knew!

Tracy - Thank you, and you rock on too! Can't wait to see what you found! :)

Drowsey Monkey said...

ha! That's pricey for back then. I remember watching his show - every week. But I was a wee child, of course ;)

Anonymous said...

A two foot tall champagne bottle? Yes!!!

The Exaggerator said...

Actually, the 1951-71 run of The Lawrence Welk Show was on ABC-TV; after that, the series continued in syndication, with new episodes produced until 1983.

Satirist Stan Freberg also produced a rather hilarious parody of Welk, which became something of a novelty hit in 1953; it would also be heard on his summer radio series over CBS in 1957.

Of late, the Welk family's musical franchise has continued in such "family-friendly" venues of idealised Amerikanischer Realkultur as Branson, MO and Myrtle Beach, SC.

Lidian said...

Drowsey Monkey - I watched it as a little kid too. It was pretty funny, even then.

scottsabode - I think they really do make wine bottles that big - I remember seeing one at least that size in an Italian grocery window years ago (well, in Ontario, anyway). Don't know about chamapgne though.

Exaggerator - It is amazing to me that it lasted into the 80s! Thanks for the extra details, I always like to know this sort of thing :)

Hairball said...

$24!! That was a pretty penny back in '49!

Marcheline said...

Wait, next week will be bottle free? Only in your world! *hic*