Larry Hooper

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Larry Hooper (July 22, 1917 in Independence, Missouri – June 10, 1983 in Los Angeles, California) was an American musician and vocalist. He was best known to television audiences as part of The Lawrence Welk Show as a featured singer and pianist in Welk's orchestra.[1]

Born in Independence, Missouri and raised in Lebanon, Missouri, he joined the Welk band in 1948 when they were doing evening performances at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

His popularity was largely due to his basso profondo/oktavist voice, renditions of "This Old House" and "Asleep In The Deep," and his sense of humor. He also achieved success with songs like "Oh Happy Day," "Ding Dong Daddy" and "Minnie the Mermaid", a duet sung with Jo Ann Castle.[2]

Plagued with health problems for years, he left the show on sick leave in 1969 due to a heart condition. After four years of recuperation, he returned for the first show of the 1973-74 season (the "Tribute to Disney" episode, singing "Oh Happy Day"). It drew a huge emotional ovation from the audience and cast. He left the show for the final time in 1980 when his health began to fail again. Three years later, he died of kidney failure.

In recent years, Hooper received new interest because of a video tape-loop played before Howie Mandel's stand-up shows of him singing "Oh Happy Day" for 20 minutes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LARRY HOOPER, 66, STARRED WITH WELK". Philadelphia Daily News. 1983-06-13. p. 20. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Larry Hooper and Jo Ann Castle on YouTube". 

External links[edit]