It's a little hard for me to not take sides in a divorce. Try as I will not to, I often find myself assigning guilt. In the case of Ralna English an GUY HOVIS, they really did a great job keeping their personal life out of the public domain. They each chose not to speak ill of the other, to their credit, whether for the sake of their only daughter, or for their public personnae, or their job as the ideal couple on Lawrence Welk's Show I couldn't decide. It doesn't really matter and it's none of my business.
Guy was born in Tupelo Mississippi in September of 1941. His father was one of the original Mississippi State Highway Patrol members and his mother was a secretary, mom, and according to Guy, "the best cook in the world." That's a nice tribute to be sure. He began, like so many successful musicians, singing in church at age five. And from then on he was asked to sing at weddings, parties, clubs and school productions. After high school he enrolled at Mississippi State University, choosing accounting for his career path. He also became a member of the R.O.T.C., making a commitment to serve a "hitch" eventually. But, with a degree in hand he went to work for a prestigious accounting firm until duty called.
With a rank of Lieutenant he served as an instructor in the Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Viet Nam war was heating up and Hovis was sent to paratrooper school at Fort Benning Georgia. At some point he entered a talent show and won, and as a result became a performer and officer in charge of a six-week tour of U.S. Army bases, an assignment he really enjoyed.
But, on mustering out, he re-entered college to study for his CPA exam. After one semester he left to reconsider his choice of career and headed for Hollywood. A friend told him to try to get into the nightclub "The Horn" where young aspiring musicians were known to get started. Guy got a real break when he was asked to appear on Art Linkletter's House Party. Although the time line is a little unclear to me, it was during this period that Guy and Ralna English met and married, and also that Guy and David Blaylock formed a duo called - not much imagination here - Guy and David.
Ralna became a regular on the Lawrence Welk Show and when Guy and David parted ways, she was instrumental in getting Guy into the Welk stable of vocalists. As a husband and wife team, I believe they became the darlings of the Welk fans. We all love a good romance.
WE ARE NOW UP TO THE '70s. In 1977 Julia Hovis was born to everyone's delight. In 1982 the
Welk Show was cancelled, but the cast continued to do live performances until 1988. I read the Hovis couple was in trouble, but Lawrence was against couple breaking up, so they continued together until 1984 when they officially divorced.
In 1989 Guy returned to Mississippi to work for his long time friend, Trent Lott as State Office Director. He remained in that post until 2007. In 2005 Guy sang "Let the Eagle Soar", for George W. Bush's second inaugural. The song was written by John Ashcroft, U. S,. Attorney General,
Guy married Sarah Lundy and they have three children and three grandchildren. They reside in Mississippi. He still performs at the Welk Resort in Branson, and he and Ralna still do live performances (recently at the University of New Hampshire).
Guy Hovis starred in "Mississippi Rising" a fund raising effort after hurricane Katrina. He has earned many awards for his charitable works for the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes and Childhelp, USA. His work with the veterans and their families in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have been widely acknowledged.
Ever the romantic I am among those who believe in forever after. But divorce happens. Much of America will always think of Guy when they hear Ralna; and Ralna when Guy's name comes up.
This blogger wishes all long and musical lives.
Offiicial Hovis website