North Dakota hopes to lure more to Lawrence Welk home


North Dakota native Lawrence Welk's trademark bubbles and music attracted legions of adoring fans and made him millions of dollars. A North Dakota Historical Society official says the state is trying to channel the "marketing genius" of the late bandleader to boost attendance at his boyhood home, which has lost money since the state purchased it two years ago. The site opens May 26, and several things are being planned this season to spur visitors, including presenters who will talk about everything from blacksmithing to beer, and perhaps a Woodstock-like "jam session" that could draw accordion players from afar. "The Lawrence Welk Show" ran from 1951 to 1982, featuring what became known as "champagne music." Welk died in 1992.

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