Authentic Wisconsin.  Pee Wee King

Pee Wee King was born February 18, 1914 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Pee Wee King - Country bandleader, singer, muscian (accordion player/fiddle), songwriter; born Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski on February 18, 1914 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a Polish American family that moved to Abrams, Wisconsin (a small town north of Green Bay) where Julius lived during his youth.

He learned to play the accordion from his father, who was a professional polka musician. His musical debut occurred at age fifteen, when he played the accordion in his father's polka band and he changed his name to King (after the then popular polka performer Wayne King) and formed his own high school band, Frankie King & the King's Jesters. At the age of 19 in 1933, Frankie King joined the radio show, "The Badger State Barn Dance", and soon had his own radio show on WJRN in Racine.

In 1934, King met promoter J. L. Frank and moved to Louisville where he became the backup to Gene Autry's "Log Cabin Boys" band. It was Autry who gave King the nickname "Pee Wee" for his five foot six-inch height, and when Autry left for Hollywood in 1936, King took over the band and renamed it the "Golden West Cowboys".

King joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937 where he remained until 1947. King's band was a little controversal when they first appared on the Opry because of their flashy wardrobe and their showmanship that included the use of accordion, horns, drums and electric guitars, and for including polka and waltz rhythms within their songs.

In 1938, he made his film debut with Autry in Goldmine In The Sky and later appeared in other B-movie Westerns, not only with Autry, but other cowboy stars including Johnny Mack Brown and Charles Starrett.

King wrote or co-wrote more than 400 songs. In 1946, King along with his songwriting partner, Redd Stewart, composed his best-known tune "The Tennessee Waltz". Patti Page's 1950 version of "The Tennessee Waltz" was #1 on the pop charts and within six months sold almost 5 million copies. With Chilton Price, King wrote "Slow Poke" (a #1 pop hit for fourteen weeks in 1951). "Slow Poke", made King one of the first country musicians to successfully cross over into the pop field. King's other big hit included the 1952 romantic pop music ballad, "You Belong to Me", written by King, Redd Stewart and Chilton Price.

King was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974.

For more information on Pee Wee King, visit Wikipedia.

Buy Pee Wee King album/CD music at Amazon. (Click on image below to browse.)


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Pee Wee King in 1970.

Pee Wee King

Above: Pee Wee King playing The Tennessee Waltz

Above: Pee Wee King playing The Tennessee Waltz

Above: Pee Wee King playing You Belong To Me with Redd Stewart on Vocals.

Above: Download The Tennessee Waltz.

Above: Download We're Gonna Go Fishin'.

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