|As Welk's Champagne Lady from since 1960, fans instantly recognize and appreciate Norma Zimmer's body of work, and her own personal warmth, talent, grace and charm.
Born on a dairy farm in Larson, Idaho on July 13, 1923....her childhood was a bit of a struggle as her family was poor. They moved to Seattle when she was five for a better life, her dad was a violin teacher who taught her the instrument, but soon learned that voice lessons would be more important as in high school, she sung with the church operatta group in the church choir.
Upon graduation, Norma decided against going to college on perhaps a music scholarship and try her instincts as a professional singer which led her to Hollywood. It didn't take long for her to find work as throughout the next several years, she sang with many choral groups, such as the Girl Friends Quartet, and worked with many fine actors such as Bing Crosby, whom she appeared with in the movie, "Mr. Music", provided background vocals for artists like Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole and with fine music arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins.
It was during this time around 1960 when Lawrence Welk was looking for a new Champagne Lady to replace the departed Alice Lon, she had guested on his show many times before until New Year's Eve of that year when she was offered and accepted the title of Champagne Lady, which she held for the remainer of the show's run on television.
During her years on the show, she sang many times as a soloist, or with Jimmy Roberts and in many of the group numbers. Norma has also made many personal apperances in both her sacred concerts or with the Rev. Billy Graham on many of his crusades. She also wrote the autobiography titled 'Norma' which was published in 1976.
Norma had been married to Randy Zimmer for more than sixty years, and were the proud parents of two grown sons, Ron (who with his wife have three children) and Mark. They made their home in La Habra, California where they owned a trailor court, and Park City, Utah and later in Brea, California.
She passed away on May 10, 2011 at the age of 87.
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