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Monday, 16 February 2015

Wayne King born 18 February 1901

Wayne King (February 18, 1901* – July 16, 1985) was an American musician, songwriter, singer and orchestra leader with a long association with both NBC And CBS.

A popular 30s bandleader, Wayne King has been compared to Lawrence Welk and Fred Waring. Known as the "Waltz King," his repertoire was made up of waltzes, novelty songs and
sentimental recordings. The sound was copied by other musicians and made Wayne King famous. It was radio broadcasts, such as the Lady Esther Serenade, his Victor recording contracts and performances on Chicago's Aragon Ballroom that sold millions of recordings for Wayne King. Besides being a successful bandleader, Wayne King was also a saxophonist, often playing his instrument in the Wayne King Orchestra.

Born Harold Wayne King, he was raised in Illinois, studied music from an early age, and was a stand-out athlete in high school, briefly playing for the legendary Canton Bulldogs. He attended Indiana's Valpariso University, played saxophone for Paul Whiteman, then formed the Wayne King Orchestra in 1927.

A member of the big band generation, he was interested in such bandleaders as Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Glenn Miller. Some of his fellow musicians of the big band era had a big effect on the style and sound Wayne King used in his orchestra. Musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong influenced his work.

Wayne King began recording for RCA/Victor records in 1929. Most of his hits did not become popular until the mid-30s, early 40s. The songs had a slow, dreamy style, sounds that people could easily dance to. With vocalists Ernie Burchill, Bill Enger, Andy Hansen, Gordon Graham and King himself, the Orchestra had nearly 40 Billboard hits are the top ten
recordings of “The Waltz You Saved for Me” (#4, 1930), ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ (#1, 1931), ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ (#1, 1931), “Sweethearts Forever” (#3, 1932), “The Moon Song” (#3, 1933), “Emaline” (#3, 1937), “My Man” (#9, 1939), “The Man with the Mandolin” (#6, 1939), “Maria Elena” (#2, 1941) and “Intermezzo (Souvenir De Vienne)” (#5, 1941).

Although his hits became popular because of the orchestra's nightclub venues, many of the songs were featured on different radio shows. Wayne King chose "The Waltz You Saved for Me" to be the band's theme song, played frequently at the beginning or the end of a gig.

He recorded several albums and songs for the RCA label. In 
the album, The Best of Wayne King, was released and featured such waltz hits as "Melody of Love," "Embassy Waltz," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Goofus" and "Lazy River," a song with Hoagy Carmichael. He recorded also for the Brunswick label in the 30s with A Broken Melody with Buddy Clark. Some of Wayne King's hits appear on the album Best of Guy Lombardo.

The Big Band era was coming to an end in the late 40s and early 50s to make way for a new style of music. Many big bands and orchestras disbanded yet Wayne King's Orchestra continued playing and entertaining audiences well into the 1980s. His last engagement was in March 1983 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida.

King was married to silent screen starlet Dorothy Janis for over 50 years, and in retirement ran an Arizona cattle ranch and a car rental business. The "Waltz King" died at the age of 84 in Paradise Valley, Arizona, July 16, 1985. (Info edited mainly from All Music Guide & Songwriters Hall of Fame)

*(Many bio's give the wrong birth date of 16th February 1901, hence my "early post". 18th given by the King family and also by many other sources. See 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Wayne King - The Best of Wayne King & His Orchestra (1965) go here:

A1. Melody Of Love
A2. Josephine
A3. The Sound Of Music (From The Musical Production 'The Sound Of Music')
A4. True Love
A5. The Sweetest Sounds
A6. Now Is The Hour (Maori Farewell Song)
B1. Margie
B2. Deep Purple
B3. Together
B4. Whispering
B5. Lonesome - That's All
B6. Near You
C1. Goofus
C2. People (From The Muscal Production 'Funny Girl')
C3. Embassy Waltz
C4. Harbor Lights
C5. Dear Heart (From The Warner Brothers Film 'Dear Heart')
C6. Lazy River
D1. Kiss Me Again
D2. Cecilia
D3. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
D4. I Could Have Danced All Night
D5. Twelfth Street Rag
D6. The Waltz You Saved For Me

For Wayne King - Dream Time (1958) go here:

01 An Affair To Remember
02 Fascination
03 My Heart Reminds Me
04 Shadow Waltz
05 Theme From "Man Of A Thousand Faces"
06 Tammy
07 Around The World
08 Star Dust
09 Till
10 Dreamy Melody
11 Forgotten Dreams
12 Melodie D'Amour (Melody Of Love)

(Original posts and links found on Israbox)