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Ava Barber
Birth name Ava Marlene Barber
Born (1954-06-28) June 28, 1954 (age 61)
Origin Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1974–present
Labels Ranwood Records
Associated acts Ralna English, Mary Lou Metzger, Gail Farrell
Website Ava Barber Official Site

Ava Barber (born June 28, 1954) is an American country music singer and performer. She is best remembered for having performed on The Lawrence Welk Show throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s.

She is also known as a recording artist, her best-known hit being the song, "Bucket to the South", which peaked at No. 13 on the Hot Country Songs list in 1978. She has done many reunion specials on PBS for The Lawrence Welk Show over the past number of years.

Early life and rise to fame[edit]

Ava Barber was born and reared in Knoxville, Tennessee. She grew up singing in her oldest brother's rock & roll band. Barber soon began listening to country music from listening to her father turning on the radio to a country music station every morning. Soon, every Saturday night, Barber would got to the radio station's "WNOX" auditorium, where the music show was performed. When she was 10 years old, Barber began singing professionally. By the time she was 14 she joined a country music television show, located in Knoxville. She soon began performing around the Knoxville area, and even recorded records for some local labels. Her mother was an avid fan of the popular television show at the time, The Lawrence Welk Show, and suggested that her daughter should write to him, because he always helped out young acts. Barber wrote to Welk in 1973, and he responded suggesting that if she ever was on the West Coast, she should perform on the show. About this same time, she married singer and musician Roger Sullivan.

Soon her husband made the call to the Lawrence Welk offices. Welk was actually in the office that day and suggested that they should meet him at a golf tournament. They met on the golf course, and in a small tent off the golf course Barber auditioned for his show (singing "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden", a hit by another Welk show alum, Lynn Anderson), and she was soon on the show by February 1974.

The Lawrence Welk Show and success as a country singer[edit]

Soon, Barber was hired as a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show, and found herself performing on his television series on the West Coast. At the same time, Barber was trying to get her country music career off the ground. Chart success didn't come initially, but she released her first charting single in 1977 with the song, "Waitin' At the End of Your Run", a truck-driving song. The song was only moderately successful, though, reaching only No. 70 on the country singles charts that year. Barber's 1978 release, "Bucket to the South", turned into a big country hit, peaking at No. 13 on the Hot Country Songs list in 1978, and reached No. 12 in Canada. Being a country singer brought her instant fame, and she soon appeared on many of its television shows, like Nashville Now, Crook & Chase, and made two appearances on the Grand Ole Opry as well.

Barber's success on the country charts tapered off after the success of "Bucket to the South"; she never had another Top 40 country hit. One song did come close though called "You're Gonna Love Love", which missed the Top 40, peaking at No. 44. She was soon off the country charts, until 1981, when she made a comeback with the single "I Think I Could Love You Better Than She Did". When The Lawrence Welk Show ended in 1982, Barber and her husband Roger returned to Knoxville, where they purchased their own bus and formed their own band, Sweet Apple. They toured the United States and Canada singing and performing.

Career in the 1990s and life today[edit]

In 1990, Barber and Sullivan went into business with Dick Dale and leased a theater located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which they operated until 1996.[1] From 1997-2000, Barber worked at the Welk Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Since 2000, she has toured with members of The Lawrence Welk Show and performed on her own. She does reunion specials with previous members of the show on PBS. She is working on a new show in Branson called The Grand Ladies of Country Music. Her husband acts as her agent.



Year Album
1977 Country as Grits
1978 You're Gonna Love Love


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1977 "Waitin' at the End of Your Run" 70 Country as Grits
"Your Love Is My Refuge" 92 You're Gonna Love Love
"Don't Take My Sunshine Away" 69
1978 "Bucket to the South" 13 12
"You're Gonna Love Love" 44
"Healin'" 75 singles only
1981 "I Think I Could Love You Better Than She Did" 70


  1. ^ "Ava Barber Biography". IMBd.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ava_Barber — Please support Wikipedia.
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18 news items

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 14:33:45 -0700

The Praise Senior Conference promises to be bigger and better than ever this year, with performances by Ava Barber of "The Lawrence Welk Show" fame and national Southern Gospel group Freedom Quartet, among others. The eighth annual senior ...
Knoxville News Sentinel
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:56:15 -0800

In addition to Macedonia musicians and choir, Ava Barber, former soloist with Lawrence Welk TV show, and other singers from the Pigeon Forge theatres are part of the musical. 4630 Holston Drive. Central United Methodist Church: December meeting of the ...

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 09:43:25 -0800

Ava Barber, who sang on “The Lawrence Welk Show” in the 1970s and 1980s, auditioned. “I thought I'd take a shot at it,” said Barber, who lives in Powell and is part owner of the Steamboat sandwich shop there. She still performs. “When I'm not singing ...


Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:44:51 -0800

Buy Photo. Cindy Crosby, Barry Gavel and Suzanne Gavel learn about primate researcher Jane Goodall, portrayed by Ava Barber. Bill Bresler | Staff Photographer. Buy Photo. Fullscreen. Scientist Jane Goodall, played by Ava Barber, is considered Buy Photo.

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Former "Lawrence Welk Show" performer Ava Barber is also a regular on the show and Knoxville Opera director Brian Salesky has brought members of the Knoxville Opera to perform. "A lot of people think you're gonna hear nothing but cowboy songs," says ...


Thu, 17 Oct 2013 13:10:45 -0700

Josh and Ava Barber Purchase photo reprints ». Rachel Broudy, Pia Wise Purchase photo reprints ». Foreground, from left, Josephine and Casey Hayman, Bodhi Sen. In background, Ariadne Hill, left, Artemis Roehrig Purchase photo reprints ». musical ...

The Republican - MassLive.com

The Republican - MassLive.com
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 00:00:00 -0800

Photo by David Molnar / The RepublicanThe doctors and staff at Ludlow Family Dentistry include, from left, Donna E. Maziarz, Alissa J. Chapin, Dr. R. Carl Szarlan, Claire M. Miemiec, Michelle L. LaValley, Alison Grey, Dr. Frank Mitera, Kathleen ...
Cassville Democrat
Fri, 28 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800

... Tinoco, Lonnie Smith, Craig White, Rick Inman, Randy Hardison, Dennis Parsons, Steve Tennehill, Kenny Walker, Kimberly Dawn, Dean Church, Shane Vorhaban, David Milligan, Greg Bailey, Jerry Dykes, David Houseman, Ava Barber and many others.

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