Wayland learned music from his father and played in high school bands. He moved to New York City in 1926, where he played in theater orchestras and in the studios. His credits in the 1930s include time with Benny Goodman (1934), Red Norvo (1934), Artie Shaw (1936), Bunny Berigan (1937–39), and Larry Clinton (1939–41). He played with Bob Chester in 1941-42, then moved to California the following year, there he played with Eddie Miller and Wingy Manone in addition to more work as a studio musician. He faded from the scene after the 1950s.