Wayne King

Right: Wayne King and orchestra in studio A.
The Wayne King orchestra and chorus

Band leader Wayne King (billed the "Waltz King") was a 'Luded-out Lawrence Welk, a scaled-down Midwestern Fred Waring. His distinctive alto saxophone sound, wispy and heavy on the vibrato, had been known to millions since the 1930's, thanks to his radio broadcasts---like the Lady Esther Serenade---and his Victor recording contract (he was also a regular attraction at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom).

King's formula was schmaltz (in the form of waltzes), corn (in the form of "novelty" songs) and sentiment (in the form of syrupy underscorings for the poetic recitations of vereran Chicago broadcaster Franklyn MacCormick). This formula was so successful that it was virtually immune from evolutionary pressure over the span of King's career.

WNBQ fed the Wayne King Show to eleven Midwestern NBC affilliates from 1949 to 1951. The program was sponsored by Standard Oil of Indiana.

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