Sonny King (singer)

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Sonny King
Birth name Luigi Antonio Schiavone
Born (1922-04-01)April 1, 1922[1]
Brooklyn, New York
Died February 3, 2006(2006-02-03) (aged 83)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation(s) Lounge Singer, Actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1952-2006
Associated acts Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin

Sonny King (April 1, 1922 – February 3, 2006) was an American lounge singer of Italian descent.

He was born as Luigi Antonio Schiavone on April 1, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the sidekick of Jimmy Durante for 28 years until Durante's death in 1980. They appeared together on The Ed Sullivan Show five times in the 1960s. King shared a New York apartment with Dean Martin when the two were struggling entertainers, and is credited with introducing Martin to a young comedian Jerry Lewis. He was 6 foot 6, 250 pounds and only lost 1 fight to a 5-foot 9 man. Rumors were his voice never recovered after a shot to the mouth.

Although not an official Rat Pack member, he was close friends with many Rat Pack entertainers and appeared in movies such as Robin and the Seven Hoods and Sergeants 3. King moved to Las Vegas in the early 1950s and was a fixture on the strip and local clubs until his death on February 3, 2006 from cancer. He was 83 years old.

His Musical Director was well known Drummer and Singer, Gary Olds. They did one movie together, "Lost in Vegas", that has yet to be released.

Sonny left his wife, Peggy King, who still resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. King had five children; Craig Unger, Shannon Ward, Antoinette Schiavone, Louis Schiavone II and Christopher Schiavone.