The King Sisters, Donna, Yvonne (Vonnie), Luise. Maxine and Alyce, were often featured on the first season of the Nick Vanoff and Bill Harbach produced ABC-TV Saturday night variety series "The Hollywood Palace." Prior to the second black and white broadcast season of the "Hollywood Palace" variety series, Vanoff and Harbach produced an hour "King Family Show" pilot special for ABC TV (during the month of August 1964). The pilot production staff was assembled from the "Hollywood Palace" creative team, directed by Grey Lockwood, production designer Jim Trittipo, art director Hub Braden, choreography and staging by the husband and wife team, Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, and with lighting designer Jack Denton. The "King Family" special-pilot, multiple (5) camera, was video taped at the Hollywood Palace studio facility with Mitchell Ayers and the HP orchestra. This "special" (pilot) aired on January 23, 1965, following the lead in of the "Hollywood Palace", introducing the mid-"black and white broadcast season" ABC-TV (January-June 1965) one-hour program; the television production was scheduled into the ABC Hollywood Palace Studio stage rehearsing and taping from Sunday-Tuesday, with the Hollywood Palace rehearsed and taped from Wednesday-Saturday. "The King Family" video-taped-series replaced ABC's Wednesday night film-series "The Outer Limits." A new production team was assembled for the new series by Executive Producer Nick Vanoff, with Saul Ilson functioning as Producer. Marc Breaux was the director, who worked with his wife Dee Dee Woods in staging, and choreographing the King Sisters' mob-and-family in all the production numbers. Romaine Johnston was the Production Designer, with Michael Baugh as his art director. Jack Denton was lighting designer. Mitchell Ayers and the HP orchestra served both the HP and the King Family shows. The series featured husbands Alvino Rey, Del Courtney, Alyce's husband, actor Robert Clarke, and her sons, Ric de Azevedo, Lex de Azevedo and Cam Clark. In all, some thirty seven members of the King Family, ranging in age from seven months to 79 years, were seen on the show. Tina Cole, later featured on "My Three Sons," regularly appeared. While successful in its initial B&W season, ABC network trimmed the show to a half-hour "color broadcast" on September 18, 1966, moving its start time from 7:30 to 8:pm (EST) enabling "Shindig" to appear before it. The show's ratings declined, up against Jackie Gleason on CBS and "I Dream of Jeannie" on NBC, but the show had an intense loyal following. The "King Family" show was canceled in January 1967. In March 1969, after the television program "Turn-On" was canceled after a single airing, ABC brought back a pared-down "King Family Show" that focused on a sub-group of the family "The Four King Cousins" - which consisted of family members Tina and sister Cathy Cole, and their cousins Candy Brand and Carolyn Cameron. The color format program occupied the ABC-TV Wednesday 8:30-9:00 pm time slot until September 1969. See more »
THE KING FAMILY SHOW ran 1/2 season in a one hour format on ABC. The following year it ran 30 minutes for 1/2 season also on ABC. It was then followed by about five years of 1 hour syndicated color Holiday Specials. Several of the shows and specials are available on DVD and VHS on Marilyn King's (one of the King Sisters) website. The reason the memories have lingered so many years after the shows aired, was the warmth...happiness...and great musical moments each show in the all too short series presented! Many of the King Family (Donna, Alyce, Luise, Alvino Rey, Robert Clarke, Jim Conkling, Don Driggs) are no longer alive, but their talents are still evident in this fantastic....and memorable...family program.
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