| Bland Sidney "Rocky" Rockwell|
(Singer for the
|Born|| March 2, 1923 |
St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
|Died|| December 14, 2013 (aged 90) |
Sun City, Arizona
|Spouse||Pauline Hood Rockwell|
Bland Sidney Rockwell, known as Rocky Rockwell (March 2, 1923 – December 14, 2013), was a novelty singer and trumpet player on twelve sporadic episodes beginning with the premiere on July 2, 1955, of the American Broadcasting Company variety series, The Lawrence Welk Show.
A native of St. Joseph, Missouri, Rockwell was the son of an electrician who took an interest in the development of Rocky's musical talent. Rockwell and his future wife, Pauline Wood, graduated from Benton High School in St. Joseph. He then studied at Maryville State Teachers College, now Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. He began working with local bands and during World War II played with the 765th Air Force Band, stationed in part with the United States Army Air Corps in Europe.
In 1951, Rockwell was working in a polka band in Grand Island, Nebraska, on radio station KMMJ. Lawrence Welk was in the area and urged Rockwell to audition with his trumpet for the Welk orchestra, which was then on tour in St. Joseph. Rockwell took the train to St. Joseph. With his family and friends in the audience cheering him, Rockwell was hired by Welk. He wore a crew cut and sang "Sunny Side of the Street." In his eleven years with Welk, both before and in the early years of the television program, his signature song was "I Love Girls," which he repeated several times thereafter during the run of the series. Rockwell appeared for the last time on the program in 1961 and the next year struck out on his own. He played in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, then back to St. Joseph, on cruise ships, at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park in Maricopa County, Arizona, and with Steve Cooper's band in Chicago. He was featured on the Public Broadcasting Service special Lawrence Welk's TV Treasures.
Rockwell and his wife, who died in 2000, had two children, a daughter Wynoma, and a son, Jeffrey, who is deceased. Rockwell died in Sun City, Arizona, at the age of ninety. He is interred in St. Joseph.