Sandi Griffiths: Mormon Singer
Sandi Jensen Griffiths is a nationally known singer from The Lawrence Welk Show. She and Brigham Young University singing partner Sally Flynn Hart performed with Janie Thompson’s Program Bureau through BYU and later auditioned for Lawrence Welk at the only open audition he ever held. Sandi and Sally were selected to replace the departing Lennon Sisters. They sang together until Sally left the show in 1973 to pursue a solo career. Sandi then became part of a popular trio that featured Gail Farrell and Mary Lou Metzger. She continued to sing regularly on the show until 1978, and then sang occasionally until 1980. She appeared in both Welk Christmas Reunion specials (1984, 1985). By 1978 she and husband, Brent, were the parents of four children. They later added four more children to their family. Later they added two more individuals whom they consider their children. Most of their children sing and her daughters join her for performances.
Sandi was born on August 1, 1946, in Los Angeles. At age six she made her television debut on the Art Linkletter television program, House Party. At BYU, she met Sally Flynn, and the duet was also part of a USO group touring Vietnam. They sang for one summer at Disneyland and also sang as backup singers for Jack Jones at Harrah's in Lake Tahoe and the Sands in Las Vegas.
She recalls a favorite memory with the Welk show:
- "It was the early ’70s, and we were planning a Salt Palace show,” she explains. “I asked Lawrence Welk if I could sing a solo in Salt Lake City. He agreed, and I prepared a medley of Primary songs that included 'I Am a Child of God.'
- "I invited the audience to sing the last verse, and, upon finishing, the crowd erupted in an ovation. Afterward Mr. Welk stared at me strangely and asked, ‘Sandi, when was this a hit?’ He couldn’t believe he had somehow missed a popular song.”
While raising her family, she has taught Seminary, recorded a CD, done family history, trained as a master herbalist, completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and worked on her master’s degree. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband have served as temple workers in both the Los Angeles California Temple and the St. George Utah Temple.