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Pee Wee King
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Musician
    (February 18, 1914-March 7, 2000)
    Born in Abrams, Wisconsin
    Birth name was Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski
    Singer/Songwriter/Fiddler/Accordionist
    Led the Golden West Cowboys
    Wrote and recorded the songs 'Tennessee Waltz' (1948), 'Bonaparte's Retreat' (1950), 'Slow Poke' (1951) and 'You Belong To Me' (1952)
    Appeared in the movies 'Gold Mine in the Sky' (1938), 'Flame of the West' (1945), 'Ridin' the Outlaw Trail' (1951) and 'The Rough, Tough West' (1952)
    Hosted the musical-variety program 'The Pee Wee King Show' on ABC (1955-56)
    Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1974)
    It is unclear whether he was born in the northern Wisconsin town of Abrams and grew up in Milwaukee, or vice versa.
    He followed up the smash 'Tennessee Waltz' with the moderately successful 'Tennessee Polka' and then the complete flop 'Tennessee Tango.'
    Although he and singer Redd Stewart are credited as co-writers of 'Slow Poke' and 'You Belong To Me,' both songs were actually written by Chilton Price, who cut the other two in on the credits in exchange for publicizing the songs.
    For one of his last recordings, he cut 'Jingle Bells' for a Christmas album by the cast of the TV show 'In the Heat of the Night.' (1991)
    He was discovered by Gene Autry (1933) and served as his bandleader.
    Vocalists in his band included Eddy Arnold, Ernest Tubb and Cowboy Copas.
    His band was the first allowed to use amplified electric guitars at the Grand Ole Opry (1940).
    He and his band were the first to popularize the Nudie suits that became a country standard.
    'Tennessee Waltz' was named the state song of Tennessee (1965).

Credit: C. Fishel


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