Charlotte Harris

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Charlotte Harris (died December 20, 2019) was an American cellist.


Born in Oak Park, Illinois, United States, Harris first took up the cello at age five,[1] she first played as part of a jazz combo throughout her childhood and teenage years.[no citations needed here] She graduated from Northwestern University in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music degree.[2]

She went on to play with numerous symphony orchestras across the country including both the Chicago and the San Antonio Symphony. According to her interview on an episode of The Lawrence Welk Show, she played for Welk because, at the time, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra did not allow women musicians.[no citations needed here]

In 1956, she appeared in the film Around the World in Eighty Days as a musician. By this time, she had moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked as a session musician and with various bands.[3] It was in early 1961 that she was hired by Lawrence Welk as the orchestra's new cellist where she performed both on his television show, and in their live concerts, whenever they went out on tour and at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday evenings.[4] She was the only female member of Welk's Orchestra.[5] She was featured on the album, "Lawrence Welk's Champagne Strings".[6]

Throughout her tenure on the show, she was featured many times with pianist Bob Ralston for instrumental numbers and has also performed with the Welk singers in many choral numbers.[no citations needed here]

Harris left the show in 1978 and was replaced by Ernie Ehrhardt. She lived and taught cello in Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County, California.

Personal life and death

Harris came from a family of six and was the second oldest. All of her siblings were also involved in music. She was married to Edwin R. Deveny (1930-2010),[7] a performer and music teacher, for nineteen years.[no citations needed here]

Harris died on December 20, 2019. She was survived by two daughters, Charlotte and Catherine.[no citations needed here]


  1. Welk, Lawrence; McGeehan, Bernice (1976-09-01) (in en). My America, your America. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-608414-3. 
  2. "Charlotte Perry Harris," 93rd Annual Commencement, Northwestern University, June 11, 1951, pg. 14
  3. Museum, Los Angeles County (1957) (in en). Quarterly. Museum Patrons' Association. 
  4. "Miss Harris Has Cello, Does Travel" (in en). The Troy Record from Troy, New York. April 18, 1964. p. 30. 
  5. DeCoster, Vicky (2011-08-11) (in en). From Diapers to Dorkville: Essays on Life, Love, and Why Growing up Is so Hard to Do. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1-4620-3395-9. 
  6. Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1970-10-31) (in en). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.. 
  7. "Edwin R. Deveny". Retrieved August 29, 2015. 

External links