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August 13, 2013

Marilyn King, Last of Singing Sisters’ Group, Dies at 82

New York Times

Marilyn King, the last surviving member of the singing King Sisters, whose performing career began in the early 1930s and continued into the 1980s, died on Wednesday in Laguna Niguel, Calif. She was 82.

The King Sisters started as a trio and at one point included six members, all but one actual sisters. For most of their career, though, they were a quartet. Ms. King, the youngest of the sisters, began singing with them when she was about 13, as an occasional substitute when another sister was unavailable. She became a full-time member in 1951.

Formed in 1931 — coincidentally, the year Ms. King was born — the King Sisters rose to fame in the Swing Era, performing with the bands of Horace Heidt, Artie Shaw and Alvino Rey, the husband of one of the sisters, Luise.

Their popularity declined in the 1950s, though their 1958 album, “Imagination,” was nominated for a Grammy Award. But they experienced a career renaissance in 1964 when they appeared with their extended families, more than 40 people in all, on an episode of the ABC variety show “The Hollywood Palace.” That led to a weekly series, “The King Family Show,” which ran for a year on ABC, and later to a series of specials.

One of the King Sisters’ last performances was at President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration, in 1985. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at August 13, 2013 12:00 AM