Singer Norma Zimmer dies

“Champagne Lady” soprano Norma Zimmer of “The Lawrence Welk Show”, who recorded both under her own name and also as a studio singer who worked with Frank Sinatra and other pop stars, died peacefully at 87 on May 10th.

Zimmer was Lawrence Welk’s lead female singerfrom 1960 to 1982. She replaced Alice Lon, who left Welk after a longlasting mutual dispute. Zimmer often sang solos plus duets with tenor Jimmy Roberts and danced onscreen with Welk.

Since 1987 Zimmer appeared with the Welk orchestra on PBS specials and original repeats, and also took part in a tribute to Welk’s show in early 2011 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Norma Zimmer was born in July, 1923 in Larson, Idaho and grew up in Seattle. She sang with The Girlfriends quartet that performed with Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, including on Crosby’s “White Christmas”, one of her many uncredited recordings.

Zimmer’s film and TV appearances included the 1950 film “Mr. Music” with Bing Crosby and an episode of “I Love Lucy”. She was the voice of the White Rose in the 1951 Disney film, “Alice in Wonderland.”