Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lawrence Welk at the Pla Mor

I'm in the process of cataloguing a few thousand old 4x5 black and white negatives, shots taken by Herb Harper. The shots, so far, are from 1949 to 1952 although I'm only two boxes into 8 total.
It's very time consuming and most of the negative sleeves are not labeled.
I did know instantly who was in this series taken circa 1949. The Pla Mor was at the corner of Linwood and Main and no longer exists. A couple of these shots were published in the Northeast News last year... but the rest haven't been seen for almost 60 years.
Welk on the bandstand.
The Pla Mor crowd.

Myron Floren with two admirers..
Two guests.... the card in the center of their table told me where they were.
Welk Dancing with the Champagne Lady, Roberta Linn, who was from Kansas City.
Linn receiving a corsage from the crowd.

Linn posing with some of the audience... probably a lot of folks were there who knew her before she joined Welk. She was with the band from 1949 to 1954.

I'll post more photos from the collection in the future.


  1. Old photos are always fascinating. And they need to be preserved and shown. Very cool.

  2. Lawrence Welk was always panned by the major critics but he had the top rated musical show for years and always drew huge crowds of devoted fans. Just goes to show you, if the critics love you, you're probably doing it wrong.

  3. I'd kill to be able to wear shoes like that again.

  4. My parents met there and my mom went there to dance and ice skate for years, from the 1940s through early 1950s. I'll look forward to seeing if I can spot one or the other of them in future photos.

  5. Welk is still getting airtime in this (lame : ) PBS market, so … someone must care …

    To me, the people there don't look like they are having fun. They look like they want A/C.

  6. Mrs Sportster and I were out to dinner with her mother out in Lees Summit and ran in to Myron Floren in a restaurant in downtown L.S.
    Her mother was thrilled to see him, being of Polish decent, and he was most gracious to sign a coaster for her. They had a very nice conversation for about 10 minutes about upstate New York, Polish ancestry and the like.
    He was playing a gig at the John Knox Kirk that weekend. Very nice guy.

    ...everyone polka now!

  7. I would love to see any photos of the old Kansas City Club. My grandfather was a chef there and even had his likeness painted on the side of one of the downtown buildings holding a raw steak on a platter, circa 1940-50's. He also worked at a place out on 40 highway-the Mansion or Plantation? Anyway, I'd love to see more of KC then, before my day.

  8. Anon, Check out the Kansas City Public Library Special Collections (5th floor). They have some clippings, articles and stuff--not much online. Click here for the list from their website

  9. Amazing photos of the Pla-Mor. Do you have any other shots of the interior/exterior? Would love to get a hold of some memorabilia from there.

  10. Not so far hophead.... but I'm still cataloging the images and am only on box 3 of 8... so there could be more. If I find some I'll post them.

  11. I am very interested in photos of the swimming pool that was installed in the late 30's. My grandfather was the teacher of the swim team and the lifeguard. I have very little information on him. My family and I are trying to find out as much as we can. If you come across any I would love to see them. Thank you so much!!