King's innovations included converting Carrie Jacobs-Bond's "I Love You Truly" from its original 2/4 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 via transcription discs. King's orchestra had a television show in Chicago from 1949 to 1952. The telecast was carried by most midwest NBC Television affiliate stations. In early 1958 he appeared as a guest challenger on the TV panel show To Tell The Truth.
He released a Christmas album on Decca Records, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, in 1963. 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. In later life he operated a black angus cattle farm and a car rental business. King died in July 1985 and his body was cremated.
His wife, silent film actress, Dorothy Jones King (stage name Janis) kept his urn with her for the rest of her life following their 53 years of marriage. She died on March 10, 2010 at the age of 98. King had two children, Wayne King II and Penelope King Pape. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Radio category. Read more on Last.fm.
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