|We know her as either Tanya Falan, Tanya Falan Welk, Tanya Welk or today Tanya Welk Roberts, but when she was on the show and even today in concerts, she is one terrific singer and a very lively lady with a terrfic sense of humor and fun.
But we also remember her as Lawrence Welk's "Italian Daughter In Law", who was once married to his son, Larry Welk Jr.
Tanya was born in Glendale, California on May 4, 1948....the daughter of Mr and Mrs Phillip Falappino. Her dad formed his own band in England while serving in World War II helped nurture her musical talents, which led her at age four began on stage at her uncle's famous restaurant in Los Angeles called 'Little Joe's'. A year later, she made her television debut on 'The Gene Norman Show' where she became a semi-regular. Throughout her teenage years, she developed her talents not just in singing, but by mastering several instruments such as the piano, harmonica, cello, bass, drums and the xylophone. She also signed an exclusive performing contract with the Walt Disney Studios where at Disneyland, she had her own rock and roll band, Tanya and The Mustangs.
In late 1967, Tanya drew the attention of Mary Lee Schaefer, president of Lawrence Welk's fan club and impressed by her talents, was recommened to the Maestro to appear on his show. She made her debut on the show that New Year's Eve and when 1968 came around, was made a regular thanks to the overwhelming positive response from the audience.
Later that year, she met Larry Jr. and romance blossomed, when they married in August; she would later become the mother of two sons, Lawrence the Third (Buns) and Kevin.
Tanya sang many solo numbers during her tenure on the show, plus on occasion would team up with fellow Italians Bob Lido and Charlie Parlato for many comedic musical numbers. She also released a solo album off Ranwood Records titled, "Let It Be Me" in 1969. When Anacani joined the show in 1973, Tanya would team up with her as a duo for many memorable numbers that also garnered praise from viewers. Off camera, she was an excellent cook, and her house was the site of numerous musical family gatherings like parties, showers and birthdays.
She also appeared on other television shows and specials as well, such as a guest starring role on the ABC soap opera General Hospital in 1971 where she played a tavern owner plus also appeared on Jerry Lewis' MDA Telethon on Labor Day.
Tanya left the show in 1977 to pursue a solo career, two years later, she and Larry Jr. divorced but shortly after, she met up with an old boyfriend from high school, Kenny Roberts whom she married in 1980. They are still together to this day and have three more children together.
Now living in La Tuna, California; she works as an interior designer and still returns to performing live, appearing on the PBS special "Milestones and Memories" and hosting wraparounds on many of the repeats for public television.
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