Whitney Web Site
A start at my "Autobiography"
Selected stories by Dick Whitney

The King Family

When I was a teenager, I became a big fan of the King Family from the ABC television show that aired during the mid 1960's. My father had brought me up with big band music, and enjoyed their music. When I started watching the King Family show, I soon became one of their biggest fans. While Alvino Rey and the King Sisters were featured on the show,  the program also highlighted the talents of others in their family, and featured 30+ others. Their theme song was "Love at Home", which is a beautiful piece in both words and music. 

I was such a fan that I made audio recordings (on reel to reel from the TV) of almost every episode, including when the King Family / King Sisters / Cousins appeared on TV; I still have these tapes today.
 

As an aside, one of the "King Cousins" - Tina, became famous as Rob's wife on the Show "My Three Son's", Also,  Bob Clarke (Alice King's Husband) was a famous character actor on TV. I recall seeing him a number of times on Dragnet, for one.

Dad and Alvino Rey both were Ham Radio operators, and shortly after my becoming a big fan of the King Family, we began communicating via Ham Radio. As a result, we met with Alvino and Luise, as well as Alice and Bob Clarke on several of their tour dates through New England. The following schedule was sent to us from a fellow "Ham" who participated in contacts with Alvino and friends:


We also visited them when we traveled out to Los Angeles, where they were living at the time.

Looking back through my files, I found that I went to the following King Family concerts:

August 11, 1965 - Warwick RI
July 19, 1966 - Wallingford, CT
July 26, 1966 - Framingham, Ma
July 7 and 9, 1967 - Brockton, Ma
August 1969 - Saratoga Springs, NY



I have many more King Family items in my files. Here is one from 1967 of Cathy of the King Cousins /King Family
Download Cathy Cole's 1967 Wedding article from Fan Magazine


Album Covers from my King Family Collection

In Memory of Marilyn King (Aug 7, 2013)
http://www.nbcnews.com/entertainment/marilyn-king-last-king-sisters-group-dies-82-6C10883529

Official King Family site
(see image from first Color TV Appearance in 1966 at bottom of this page)


Cam Clarke emailed me his recollections of traveling with the King Family in the 1960's.
Here is his contribution written in the Spring of 2011:

Hey Dick,

I have so many great memories of spending time in the fairgrounds. especially because of my age. To be a little kid and have free access to all the rides and such was like a fantasy! I remember being on a double bill w/ Judy the Chimp and Larry, I think it was, 'the crossed eyed lion' hows that for a match up?

Living in Southern California, state fairs and carnivals were not very present. I think because we had so much going on w/ disneyland etc, that there never was much room. So you get out to middle Avalmerica and you get to play those carni games where you would spend ten bucks and if you were lucky you would win a stuffed animal that was worth about $1.95! Of course, my personal favorite, SPIN ART. I've gone on ebay and have found people selling their old spin art. what a hoot!!! To this day, I still can even remember the names of some of the rides. the TILT-A-WHIRL, the ZIPPER, SPIN OUT, where you stuck to the walls as the floor dropped out. ( magic!) The smaller roller coasters in many areas were called 'THE WILD MOUSE'. Nowadays I can not seem to remember a phone # or where I put my keys, but those fairground days are permanently etched in my mind.

Again,thanks for sharing those  potos. whats really cool, speaking of these questions you had for me was that in the distance in someof the nite shots you can see the neon lites coming from what to me appears to be none other than THE ZIPPER!!

Cheers,

Cam


Xan from the King Family, Mom and I at the Brockton Fairgrounds in 1967


King Cousins and King Sisters perform Red River Valley

The King Sisters - Yvonne, Alice, Louise, and Marilyn (The King Sisters) singing at the Brockton Fair in July, 1967 -
Dick Whitney photo
 


 
A clippings from the TV Guide - 1965?



July 1966 photo of the King Cousins in the Round; below a photo I took of the King Cousins on
the John Davidson show in the summer of 1966


1966 Photo of the 5 King Counsins on the John Davidson Show -
Photos taken of TV Screen by Dick Whitney




August 1969 King Family performance at Saratoga Springs, NY - Don Whitney Photo

 


Alvino Rey - August 1969
 



Sent: Mon, December 14, 2009 2:15:29 AM

Sadly, aunt vonnie passed away this afernoon around 5pm in santa barbara. a
handful of us were on call to say our goodbyes and sing some xmas carols....it is indeed the passing of an era.
thanks for checking in,
Cam

Dear family and friends,

On Friday, we finally got mom to Cottage hospital in Santa Barbara so we could be closer to our loved ones.We were told that her condition was not good and that we should be prepared.  On Sunday afternoon we decorated her room with pictures of her life - had King Sisters music playing - She had made Tina promise she would never let her go without her make-up, so Heather and Tina did her make-up and hair - we put a blue silk nightgown on her and covered her with her elegant fur coat and as many family members and good  friends that could make it, came to the hospital around 2:00 PM. She was surrounded by 16 loved ones. We sang Christmas carols, "Side by Side" (with the King Family hand jive), "Nighty Night" (including all of us doing the soft shoe around her bed), and finally "Love at Home". We then said a family prayer and one by one, we  told her what she meant to us and let her know it was O.K. to go. And she did just that. Within one hour she slipped peacefully away at 5:40 PM. It was as perfect as if she had produced it herself, and we all believe she did.

We want to thank you for your love, support and prayers.

With much love to you all,

Tina , Cathy, Cilla and families
 
 

Link to King Family Autographs Page

Check this out to learn more about the King Sisters:
http://www.coolandstrange.com/KingSisters/BioPageTwo/Bio2.html

My Collection of Autographs

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