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