6 years ago183 views
Wayne (né Harold Wayne) King (1901-1985) was an American musician, songwriter, singer and orchestral leader. He was sometimes referred to as "the Waltz King" because much of his most popular music involved waltzes; "The Waltz You Saved For Me" was his standard set closing song in live performance and on numerous radio broadcasts at the height of his career. Born Harold Wayne King in Savanna, Illinois, King was an impressive athlete in high school, and briefly played professional football with the Canton Bulldogs. He also attended Valparaiso University in Indiana for two years, but left to begin a career in music. After playing saxophone for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, he created "Wayne King and Orchestra" in 1927. King's innovations included converting Carrie Jacobs-Bond's "I Love You Truly" from its original 2/4 time over to 3/4. The orchestra disbanded during World War II, and King joined the army, advancing to the rank of major. The orchestra was reestablished in 1946. King's orchestra had a television show in Chicago from 1949 to 1952. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Radio category. His wife of 53 years, the retired silent film actress Dorothy Janis, died on March 10, 2010 at the age of 98. In later years he operated a black angus cattle farm and a car rental business. He released a Christmas album on Decca Records, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, in 1963. King's orchestra played its last engagement in March 1983 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida. Wayne was honored in his hometown of Savanna, with a sign acknowledging that he was a resident of the town. This, however, is one of King's early recordings, made in 1930. Vocal by Ernie Birchill.