ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. (AP) – Myron Floren, an accordion player who entertained generations of television viewers on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” died Saturday. He was 85.

Floren died of cancer at his Rolling Hills Estates home in Los Angeles County, according to Margaret Heron, syndication manager for the show.

A consummate musician versed in everything from polka to Bach, he joined Lawrence Welk’s band in 1950 and stayed on until the television show ended in 1982.

The orchestra, which also included saxophonist Dick Dale and singer Jim Roberts, was famous for bouncing, effervescent dance music that Welk began playing as a young man in his native North Dakota.

Singer Bill Lennon, whose older sisters were regulars on Welk’s show and who occasionally also performed on the show, said Floren as a talented musician.

“A lot of folks in the orchestra said he conducted better with his elbows than many conductors do with the baton,” he said, referring to Floren’s ability to play the accordion and keep the band on tempo.

More recently, Floren performed at music festivals around the country.

Born on a farm outside Roslyn, S.D., in 1919, he took up the instrument after hearing an accordion player at a fair as a child.

Floren was survived by his wife, Berdyne, five daughters and seven grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending.


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