Pete King

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A conductor/arranger for many artists and films, as well as his own records of pop and show hits.
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b. 8 August 1914, Greenville, Ohio, USA, d. 21 September 1982, Newport Beach, California, USA. King took an early interest in music, leading to studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the University of Michigan. He began working in radio in New York, including The Fred Allen Show, one of the most popular comedy shows of the period. In the mid-40s, he relocated to Los Angeles where he continued working in radio, now with artists such as Jackie Gleason and Bing Crosby. He became an in-demand orchestral leader and arranger on record albums for Billy Vaughn, Lawrence Welk, the Castaway Strings, the Ray Bloch Singers, among many. In particular, he worked ably with singers, contributing as either arranger and/or conductor on albums by Julie London (Calendar Girl and London By Night), Kay Starr (Blue Starr), Crosby (Gigi, Trust Your Destiny To A Star, The Second Time Around and Incurably Romantic), Fred Astaire (Now), Dean Martin (Sleep Warm), Jack Jones (Wives And Lovers and Where Love Has Gone), and Vic Damone (On The Street Where You Live).

King also worked in films, in various capacities, including conductor but mostly as orchestrator. Among his film credits in the latter capacity are April Love (1957), Kiss Them For Me (1957), An Affair To Remember (1957), South Pacific (1958), Bells Are Ringing (1960), Camelot (1967). He wrote the score for The Last Of The Secret Agents (1966). During his especially prolific early 60s, King earned five consecutive but unsuccessful Grammy nominations. Starting in 1960, the first three of these were for Best Performance By A Chorus (the Pete King Chorale), My Favorite Things, Hey, Look Me Over, Consider Yourself, followed by two for arrangements (the albums with Jones). Sadly, a stroke left him deaf and unable to pursue his career in music. Although little known to outsiders of the music industry, King was widely respected by his peers and in 1967 he was elected president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He made numerous albums, almost all with studio orchestras and choruses, featuring his arrangements of pop and show hits of the day on record labels that included Dot Records, Kapp Records, Liberty Records, and Warner Brothers Records.