Wayne King (February 16, 1901 – July 16, 1985) was an American musician, songwriter, singer and orchestra 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.
Life and 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.
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.
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.
King died in July 1985 and his body was cremated after his death. His wife Dorothy Janis kept his urn with her for the rest of her life until her death from natural causes at age 98 on March 10, 2010. When she was laid to rest in the All Saints Episcopal Church Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona his urn was placed into her casket by request when she was interred in March 2010.
- "Goodnight, Sweetheart" (1931)
- "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (1931) a #1 hit
- "Maria Elena" (1941) a #2 hit
- "All Alone" (1946)
- "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes" (orchestral, 1952)
Wayne King wrote a great song called, "Corn Silk".
- On an episode of Ricky Gervais' XFM radio show a running joke was started due to King's name sounding like "Wanking".
- Morath, Max (2008). I Love You Truly: A Biographical Novel Based on the Life of Carrie Jacobs-Bond. New York: iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-53017-5., p. 19.
- Dorothy Janis at the Internet Movie Database
- AltFilmGuide entry
- Stevens Orchestra Project website
- Songwriters Hall of Fame
- Big Band Library: WAYNE KING "Melody of Love"
- US Billboard Charts placement
- Early RCA publicity photo of Wayne King and his band Enter "Wayne King" in "Find" function of browser; link to photo is near beginning of bio.
- Listen Wayne King, his life and music on Big Band Serenade #199, 49 minutes. Scroll down to show 199; direct download available.
- Wayne King at Find a Grave