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Fern Welk's Wedding at Dawn


In 1927, Lawrence Welk and His Novelty Band discovered the power of the media when Welk persuaded a Yankton radio manager to let them play on his station one morning. It went so well, that the band got a long-term contract out of the deal.

Lawrence had no shortage of female admirers in Yankton, but the nursing student he fell for wasn’t one of them. Fern Renner was far more interested in becoming a doctor than getting mixed up with a musician. Lawrence became so desperate that he scheduled himself for a tonsillectomy, hoping she would be his nurse. She wasn’t, but she felt sorry enough for him to visit him afterwards.

It was on this day in 1931 that Lawrence finally won Fern’s hand. They got married in Sioux City, Iowa, at 5:30 in the morning, because Lawrence and his band had to get on the road to play a show in Wisconsin that night.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm