Posted by themusicsover on May 10, 2011
Norma Zimmer (Born Norma Larsen)
July 13, 1923 – May 10, 2011
Norma Zimmer was an American singer who is best remembered as the Champagne Lady for over 22 years on The Lawrence Welk Show. After singing in church choirs during her childhood, Zimmer headed to Los Angeles when she turned 18 in order to pursue a career in show business. As part of a vocal group called the Girlfriends, she landed several gigs singing back-up for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Dean Martin. The quartet also contributed their vocals to Bing Crosby’s classic recording of “White Christmas.” Zimmer also voiced the character of White Rose in the 1951 Disney cartoon, Alice In Wonderland. After Welk fired his previous “Champagne Lady” for showing off too much knee for television, Zimmer got the job. She officially joined the show on New Year’s Eve of 1960. After three years, she tried to quit in order to raise her sons, but she proved too hard replace, so she cut out the numerous public appearances and traveling but stayed on for the television broadcasts for the better part of the next two decades. As the Champagne Lady, Zimmer generally sang a solo as well as a duet and danced with Welk toward the end of show. Although she retired from the program in 1982, Zimmer came back for several PBS specials and reunions throughout the years. Norma Zimmer was 87 when she passed away on May 10, 2011.