By in Music

Sugarfoot Rag: Junior Brown vs. Neil LeVang

One of my favorite people to follow on Persona Paper is FourWalls . We have some things in common, including music and the Navy. I love reading her reviews of musicians and concerts.

I read her post on Junior Brown , a guitarist whom I remember from the 80s. I appreciated him in those days. He was a musician in my age group playing music that I remembered as a young girl, such as Sugarfoot Rag (click video to watch Junior Brown).

Another guitarist

My father, Neil Levang, was a professional musician, whose credits spanned far and wide. He started playing in country and western bands long before I was born in 1955. When I was a toddler, we moved to California.

In October 1959, he landed a spot on the Lawrence Welk Show, and was with them until the show ended in 1982. He was also a studio player in Los Angeles, recording with many artists, and on numerous projects. (Some day I shall write about my days of going to the recording studios with him.)

Tonight, I was in a particularly reminiscent mood and found this 1962 video of my father playing Sugar Foot Rag (click link to view). I am grateful that there are videos like this one to allow me, and the rest of the world, to re-live just what a great musician he was.

I am sorry, Mr. Brown, but I think my Dad has you beat on this one. emoticon :winking:

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Click here to read more about my personal experiences as a musician and performer -- M is for Music: A story from my life

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Copyright © 2015 Coral Levang

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MegL wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:32 AM

Memories of music are great. It's usually the music I recall, not the words.

Paulie wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:43 AM

You should feel proud of a father who played the guitar as wonderfully as he did. i viewed the video and was really impressed with the Sugarfoot Rag. What did your father think of Lawrence Welk?

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:47 AM

Likewise, MegL , which was a bit problematic, at times, as a singer. LOL I can't tell you how many times I began to improvise or scat, as a result. emoticon :grin:

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 5:02 AM

He was a wonderful musician. Thank you for your compliment. As far as your question: That was a very long time ago, and we became estranged when I was 19, for many years. What I remember about him and LW was a child's memory. Did you link to my blog post? There is a video that my siblings and I are in on the LW Christmas Show. Talk about a blast from the past!

Paulie wrote on September 27, 2015, 5:17 AM

o, I didn't link to your blog post. How can I find it?

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 5:24 AM

The link comment is at the end of my post.

markgraham wrote on September 27, 2015, 8:52 AM

You have lead such an interesting life.

DWDavisRSL wrote on September 27, 2015, 9:11 AM

Your father did an awesome job playing the Sugarfoot Rag in that video. I know I must have heard and seen him play often as my mother rarely missed the Lawrence Welk show when I was a little kid back in the 60s.

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:15 AM

Then you probably saw us (kids) on the Christmas shows, too. I was on through 1968 or 69. Thanks for the compliment on my father.

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:18 AM

I have, yes. Sometimes, it would have been nicer to have led one that was much more mundane. There might have been more joy for many who have crossed paths.

FourWalls wrote on September 27, 2015, 11:40 AM

First, you're right, he beat Junior.

Second, thanks for the shout-out and the kind compliments!

Third, I'm finding more and more about Lawrence Welk's connection to country music. Someone did a presentation at the International Country Music Conference earlier this year about Lynn Anderson's stint on the show (somewhere between her hit with "Ride, Ride, Ride" and leaving to serenade the world with "Rose Garden"). The person who gave the presentation interviewed Lynn and she said that Welk was a very nice man and very family oriented (she sang one Christmas song with her parents, Liz and Casey Anderson, who were country songwriters).

Thanks again for sharing this, and for your kind remarks.

Feisty56 wrote on September 27, 2015, 12:35 PM

Oh my gosh! I'd forgotten about your musical family and background -- what an amazing woman you are! I preferred your Dad/s Sugarfoot Rag to that of Junior Brown's too. Hey, when we gather for our virtual potluck, perhaps you'll treat us to a few songs?

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 1:04 PM

FourWalls You are quite welcome, and thank YOU for the kind comments.
I remember Ms. Anderson, meeting her. I thought she was lovely.
And yes, there were many of the musicians who certainly had western/country backgrounds. Heck, the midwesterners from the 40s whose family came west were not jazzers. LOL

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 1:06 PM

Feisty56 Thank you, but I wouldn't say I'm very amazing. Just had different experiences in life's past. And that is past. I think we should let some of the youngsters show their talents at the virtual potluck. Heck, let them do the cooking, too! emoticon :winking:

markgraham wrote on September 27, 2015, 4:17 PM

You were a child star for those repeats still air on PBS. I was only a four and five year old so The Lawrence Welk Show was not too interesting for me at that time.

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 5:27 PM

At 4 and 5, it was a requirement to watch the show. I only liked the parts where I could see my dad, at that time, but I thought some of the other things were funny.

LoudMan wrote on September 27, 2015, 6:29 PM

Your dad tore that guitar up! He must've practiced constantly.

CoralLevang wrote on September 27, 2015, 7:18 PM

I'm sure he practiced a lot, but he was a brilliantly talented musician.