Jayne Walton Rosen

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Jayne Walton Rosen in a 1942 advertisement

Jayne Walton Rosen (August 28, 1917 – January 10, 2010) was an American entertainer, singer and actress, who worked as Lawrence Welk's Champagne Lady from 1940 until 1945.[1]

Rosen was born Jayne Flanagan in San Antonio, Texas, on August 28, 1917.[1] However, she was largely raised in Torreón, Coahuila, where her father worked for a silver mining company.[1] Her mother was a pianist and her sister was a dancer.[1] Rosen was influenced by Mexican culture early in life, learning Spanish and noting the country's sharp class divisions.

She attended Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, Texas.[1] Flanagan performed at talent shows around San Antonio, including the Majestic Theatre, under the stage name, Jayne Walton.[1]

She began singing at local radio stations in San Antonio, beforing moving on to stations in Oklahoma City, Dallas and Chicago.[1] One of her radio performances was heard by musician Lawrence Welk, who asked Walton to join his band, the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.[1]

Welk named Walton as his Champagne Lady in the early 1940s during World War II.[1] Walton, who could sing in Spanish due to her childhood in Coahuila, recorded the song Maria Elena with Welk, which was certified gold.[1]

Walton left the Lawrence Welk Orchestra in the mid-1940s to pursue a solo singing career.[1] She enjoyed success in Chicago and New York City.[1] She largely retired from the professional entertainment circuit in 1952, when she married her husband and adopted the name Jayne Walton Rosen.[1] She continued to make guest appearances on Welk's long-running television show, The Lawrence Welk Show.[1]

Rosen later worked as a salesperson at the Rhodes department store and Dillard's at the Central Park Mall.[1] She retired circa 1990.[1]

Rosen remained in good health throughout most of her life. However, she suffered from failing health during her later years, including heart disease and kidney disease, which required dialysis.[1] She also broke her hip in a fall.[1]

Jayne Walton Rosen died in San Antonio on January 10, 2010, at the age of 92.[1] She was survived by her son, Daniel Rosen, a law professor in Tokyo; grandchildren, Daniel Rosen Jr. and Allison Rosen; and former daughter-in-law, Sheri Rosen. She was buried in San Fernando Cemetery No. 3.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Ayala, Elaine (2010-01-12). "Rosen was 'Champagne Lady' for Lawrence Welk". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 

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