|From 1974 until the show ended it's regular run in 1982, Ava Barber has been known to fans as Lawrence Welk's "Country Gal".
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 28, 1954; Ava has been in music since she was little, starting out singing in her brother's rock and roll band, but soon took to country music which proved to be her path to success. When she was fourteen, Ava who had already been singing professionally for four years, joined a country music television program out of Knoxville giving her a taste of television success, although it was on a regional level.
She continued to perform throughout high school, and it was there she met her future husband Roger Sullivan, who was a talented drummer. They married in the spring of 1972.
In early 1974, the young couple, with the help of Ava's mother, sent out audition tapes to Lawrence Welk with hopes of being invited on his show. The Maestro liked what he heard and arranged for Ava to make her debut on the show, which came on February 5, 1974 and soon afterwards became a permanent member of the Musical Family.
During her years on the show, and afterwards, Ava has had numerous success as a recording artist. She has had two Top 20 singles on the country music charts; 'Waiting At The End Of Your Run' and 'Bucket To The South' and her albums have sold millions worldwide. She has also been on many popular television shows such as "Nashville Now" and "Crook & Chase" and has owned and operated the Rainbow Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN with Welk alumnus Dick Dale from 1990 to 1996. She has also performed in Branson, Missouri at the Welk Theater and has toured with many of her Welk stars on the Live Lawrence Welk Show and the Four Wunnerful Women with Ralna English, Gail Farrell and Mary Lou Metzger.
Today, Ava and Roger make their home in Knoxville with their pet dogs Emory and Doodles. They, along with her sister, also own the popular Steamboat Sandwiches restaurant.
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