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Q: What became of the five Semonski sisters that regularly appear on PBS reruns of "The Lawrence Welk Show"? Why did they leave the show?

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Lawrence Welk's popular family act The Semonski Sisters actually started out with six. Eldest sister Diane left early, and it's only her future career that we know anything about.

She left to pursue a musical career of her own, and though she never attained the same national fame she had on "The Lawrence Welk Show," at last report she was still working and performing in Florida.

The other five retired to quiet, normal lives after leaving the show in 1977, two years after their debut.

Former stars of Welk's long-running musical variety show frequently hold concerts around the U.S., and though the Semonskis have never gotten back together to perform, two of the other sisters, Michelle and Audrey, have attended them and posed for photos with fans -- of whom there are still quite a few.

As for why they left the show, that's never been made official, either. They were replaced in 1977 by the Aldridge Sisters (a duo this time), but according to the fan site WelkGirls.com, they were only able to get on after the Semonskis had departed, leaving a sister-act-shaped hole in the cast.

In a 2004 profile article in the "Daily Sun" newspaper in The Villages, Fla., Diane said: "I'm happy to say that so many people remember us. You don't realize there is a big, wide world out there. People say 'We watched you and we loved Lawrence Welk.' "

There are, of course, a lot of those people. Accordion-playing bandleader Welk hosted his show for 27 years, from 1955 to 1982, first on ABC and later in syndication, and then finding a third life in reruns on PBS.

 

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