Lawrence Welk (March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992) was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large number of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as "champagne music."
In 1951, Welk settled in Los Angeles. The same year, he began producing The Lawrence Welk Show on KTLA in Los Angeles, where it was broadcast from the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach. The show became a local hit and was picked up by ABC in June 1955.
Known as an excellent businessman, Welk had investments in real estate and music publishing. Welk was the general partner in a commercial real estate development located at 100 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. The 21-story tall white tower is the tallest building in Santa Monica and is located on the bluffs overlooking Santa Monica Bay. It was informally named "The Lawrence Welk Champagne Tower."
Welk was married for 61 years, until his death, to Fern Renner (b. August 26, 1903, d. February 13, 2002), with whom he had three children. Welk died from pneumonia in Santa Monica, California, in 1992 at age 89 and was buried in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery.