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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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KING, Wayne

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KING, Harold Wayne. (Savanna, IL, Feb. 16, 1901--Paradise Valley, AZ, July 16, 1985). Known in the 1930s as the 'Waltz King,' Wayne King and his parents lived in Dubuque from shortly after his birth until the time he was about to enter school. His father, who worked for the railroad, had been transferred here. His mother died when he was seven and is buried in Dubuque. (1)

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.

From 1939 to 1941 the Wayne King Orchestra was featured on a national radio program sponsored by Lady Esther.

The orchestra disbanded during WORLD WAR II, and King joined the army, advancing to the rank of major. The orchestra was reestablished in 1946. In 1948, the half-hour Wayne King Show was syndicated on radio.

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. (2)



1. "Dubuque Boyhood Home of 'Waltz King,' Telegraph Herald, October 10, 1960, p. 3

2. "Wayne King," Wikipedia