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Guy & Ralna
Guy & Ralna of "The Lawrence Welk Show"
Guy Hovis has one of the more recognizable faces in America. He has been on national television for more than forty years beginning with the Art Linkletter’s House Party Show on CBS in 1967. He has recorded fourteen albums, has been nominated as artist and producer of the year by the Gospel Music Association, and is a member of the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Throughout his career Guy has appeared on many celebrity game shows, in numerous commercials and on national telethons for various charities. Hovis is best known, however, for the thirty-eight plus years he has been a regular member of the Lawrence Welk Television Show which is still aired on 280 public television stations with a weekly viewing audience of over 3 million.
Born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Guy Lee Hovis, Jr. is the son of one of the 50 original members of the Mississippi State Highway Patrol and a mother who was a secretary, housewife and the “best cook in the world.” Guy was singing in church at the age of five and, as he grew older, performed in school musical productions and sang at weddings and for local civic clubs.
After graduating from the University of Mississippi with a degree in accounting, Guy went to work for one of the top national accounting firms until a military commitment, made while in R.O.T.C. in college, sent Lt. Hovis off to the Army. He served as an instructor in the Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma during the Viet Nam buildup and also went through paratrooper school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. During his last few months in the Army, Guy entered and won a talent show. Consequently, he was chosen to serve as a performer and officer in charge for a six-week tour of the 4th Army bases. On this tour Guy got a full taste of show business and he liked it!
When his two-year army commitment ended, Guy went back to college for a master’s degree and to study for the CPA exam. One semester later, Guy decided he had to try to break into the music business in Hollywood. A friend told him about The Horn, a nightclub in Santa Monica where aspiring performers could showcase their talent. There Guy met and befriended another singer, David Blaylock, who eventually would become his singing partner. He was discovered at The Horn by the producer of the Art Linkletter House Party Show on CBS and he made a dozen appearances on House Party during 1967. When he was not able to get anything going from his appearances on the Linkletter Show, Guy teamed up with this friend, David to form the team of Guy & David. During the next two years, the duo recorded an album for ABC Records, appeared on television shows and in nightclubs throughout the country, and did a concert tour with Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66.
Guy also met another talented singer at The Horn, Texas native Ralna English, who would become his wife. Ralna was a regular on the Lawrence Welk Television Show by the late 1960’s, and when Guy & David split up, Ralna asked Mr. Welk to let Guy sing a duet with her on the annual Christmas show. Guy and Ralna were an instant hit, Guy was invited to join the Welk musical family and the husband and wife team became the most popular act to appear on The Lawrence Welk Show since the Lennon Sisters.
Although Guy and Ralna continue to perform together, their marriage ended in 1984. Guy moved to Mississippi in 1990 to become the director of state offices for his lifelong friend Senator Trent Lott. Now retired from his job with the U. S. Senate, Guy continues to record, participates in Lawrence Welk Show television specials for PBS, and keeps an active concert schedule, both solo and with Ralna. In 2005 Guy performed “Let The Eagle Soar”, from his “One Nation Under God” CD, at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Washington, DC. He was also one of the stars of “Mississippi Rising”, a nationwide television special that raised millions of dollars for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Mississippi. Guy has earned awards, through his charitable work, from The American Cancer Society, The March of Dimes, and Childhelp USA. He was once voted “Volunteer of the Year” for his work in the Jackson, Mississippi metro community. He has also received acclaim for his work with military veterans and their families during Operations Desert Shield/ Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
Guy is married to Sarah “Sis” Lundy, and they live in the Jackson, Mississippi area. His favorite pastimes are playing golf, fishing, and gardening. The couple has three children and three grandchildren.
Ralna English, one of the most dynamic performers to ever hit the stages of America, performs throughout the U.S. and Canada. She appears with Symphony Orchestras from Arizona to Florida, in showrooms from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, and on stages from San Diego to New York. Ralna’s great diversity of music includes jazz, blues, gospel, country, pop, patriotic and songs from the ‘30s and ‘40’s. Ralna’s been a favorite on television’s “The Lawrence Welk Show” since 1969 and more than 3 million people continue to watch her on TV each week. Ralna has appeared on the international broadcast of CNN’s “Larry King Live,” “The Today Show,” “ABC World News” and QVC, America’s largest retail home shopping network. Ralna’s website, (www.ralnaenglish.com) receives more than 200,000 hits per year, her Facebook page (Ralna English, Artist) was instantly popular with her fans when it premiered in 2014 and her CDs, released on her own independent label, sell throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Ralna is a singer for all ages.
Ralna English was raised in Spur, Texas, a "suburb" of Lubbock. She began her professional singing career with a junior high school rock ‘n roll band and appeared on local television shows and public events. While attending Texas Tech University, Ralna was chosen to perform at Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas. While there, she was spotted by a record company executive and for the next two-and-a-half-years, Ralna sang jingles during the day and performed six-nights-a-week in nightclubs.
Throughout her career, jazz music has always been Ralna’s favorite. She has performed in jazz festivals all over Texas and started her career singing with a jazz trio throughout Dallas. Ralna has sung in jazz festivals in recent years at the Presscott Jazz Festival and at Jazz in AZ.
By her mid 20s, Ralna’s career took her to Los Angeles where she performed at "The Horn" in Santa Monica with other regulars such as Jim Nabors, Jack Jones, Vikki Carr and Steve Martin. She also performed in Las Vegas and in Lake Tahoe. Her own U.S.O. tour took her to Japan, the Philippines, Okinawa, Taiwan and Thailand.
In 1969, Ralna became a national television star on The Lawrence Welk Show. She’s appeared on numerous TV game shows and telethons, the Disney Channel, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In 1987, The Lawrence Welk Show went from syndication to public television where it currently is celebrating 60+ years on national television and continues to be the #1 rated syndicated weekly series with more than 3 million weekly viewers.
Ralna has starred with other members from The Lawrence Welk Show in 13 national TV specials including Lawrence Welk: Milestones & Memories, one of the three most-successful fundraising specials ever aired on public television! In March 2003, Ralna starred in Lawrence Welk: God Bless America, which became the second most-successful Welk TV special on PBS. In March 2005, Ralna also starred in the PBS gospel and inspirational music hit, Lawrence Welk Precious Memories.
Ralna tours from coast-to-coast, performing with symphony orchestras, state fairs and in showrooms and casinos in Connecticut, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno and Lake Tahoe. She especially enjoyed being the opening act for “Mr. Warmth” Don Rickles, in Las Vegas, and at Merv Griffin’s Resorts International in Atlantic City. She has also performed with Doc Severinson at Phoenix Symphony Hall and with Doc and the Tonight Show Band at the Sun Dome. Ralna has also been a popular guest performer at The Champagne Theatre in Branson for many years!
Along with her former husband and singing partner Guy Hovis, Ralna was honored by the Gospel Music Association with a nomination for the prestigious Dove Award for her recording of "How Great Thou Art.” In recognition of her musical accomplishments, Ralna has an honored place on the “Buddy Holly Walk of Fame”, along with other west Texans, such as Mac Davis, Jimmy Dean, and Waylon Jennings.
Ralna's first solo recording, "Always," was released on her own independent label, as well as her second recording "Amazing Grace,” a collection of gospel and spiritual songs." Her CD, "My Favorite Love Songs" features big band hits from the ‘30s and ‘40s, and her latest CD, “My God, My Country” features patriotic and inspirational songs. Ralna’s music is sold through her website (www.ralnaenglish.com), on Amazon.com, in independent Christian bookstores in the U.S. and Canada, and through music catalogs distributed throughout the world.