Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The King at Disneyland

No, not that King...I'm referring to Wayne King. In this June 1968 photo, Wayne is shown playing at the Carnation Plaza Gardens.

Taped to the back of this publicity shot was his obituary:

Big band leader Wayne King, called the "waltz king" of the late 1920s and early 1930s died Tuesday night. He was 84.

The alto saxophonist, a longtime Phoenix area resident, developed his fondness for the waltz during his dance group's regular engagement at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. His theme became The Waltz You Saved For Me.

In the early '30s, King's sound became widely associated with a cosmetics line manufactured at home by a brother and sister. The two hired King's band to play for a weekly radio show pushing their product and paid the group $500 per show.

The Lady Esther Serenade became one of the most popular shows on radio. Sales figures for the costmetic line soared and King was paid $15,000 a week.

The show was most popular with matrons who used makeup generously and responded with swoons to King's lush romantic music, interspersed with poetry readings.

Among the singers who appeared with King's band were Bob Eberly and Buddy Clark.

Besides Wayne King, the Carnation Plaza Gardens were a musical venue for Frank Sinatra, Jr.:

Bill Elliott:

The Osmonds:

Lionel Hampton:

Benny Goodman:

Stan Kenton:

Count Basie:

Who did you see play at The Gardens?

See more vintage Disneyland Plaza Gardens photos on my Plaza Gardens web page.


Anonymous said...

Harry James and Budddy Rich immediately come to mind. They were frequently at the Gardens. KS

thepicklebarrel said...

dave! i hate you!

i was hoping you had answered a question i've had for a long time. did elvis ever go to disneyland?

you tease!!!

Darryl said...

My other band members of the Paradise High School jazz band "All That Jazz" in 1976 and 1977!

Daveland said...

Jordan - Sorry about the bait & switch. I'm sure Elvis must have gone; he was a huge amusement park fan. But it's funny how I've never seen a photo; you'd think that would have been a huge media event.

Anonymous said...

I could swear I saw ads for Count Basie on one of my trips as a child, but I didn't get to hear him play. I barely knew who he was.