Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easter TV, Part 3

When I was a kid I was obsessed with The King Family.The King Family was this humongous group of clean-cut, mostly-blond, well-dressed white folk who sang cover versions of songs made famous by other people. These were mostly showtunes, spirituals and patriotic songs like Climb Every Mountain, He's Got the Whole in His Hands and America the Beautiful. Sometimes they all dressed alike and sometimes they even dressed like royalty!
The King Sisters (Donna, Yvonne, Louise and Alyce) and their extended musical family had their own ABC prime-time variety series from 1965-66. It was sort of like THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW if Lawrence had fathered everyone.
In all, some thirty-seven members of the King family, ranging in age from seven months to 79 years, were featured on the show. I wanted to be one.
A short-lived 1969 revival, also on ABC, focused on the younger, hipper King Cousins. Don't they look cool?
This special, HAPPY EASTER WITH THE KING FAMILY may have just been a syndicated repeat of an Easter-themed episode of their weekly show, or it may have been an all-new hour-long King-fest. I'm not sure - and I can't find any evidence to prove either theory. Either way, I'd love to see some clips from it (or any clips of The Kings performing for that matter!). Sadly, there are none to be found, not even on YouTube! Am I the only person alive or remembers or cares about the King Family???
I hope not.


jim h. said...

Holy crap! I remember them! I think my Mom was a big fan. Yeah, they looked like the whole family had been cleaned and pressed before each show.

Angela said...

I remember watching the King Family when I was younger; I think they appeared alot of the Lawrence Welk show. Here's a trivia I bet you didn't know. Tina Cole, Katie Douglas of My 3 Sons TV show is a King Family member.

david d. said...

One of the King Family lived down the street from my cousins in Phoenix in the 70s. They had a real railroad caboose in their yard with its own air conditioner. It was the kids' playhouse. I thought that was very cool.

On Saturday nights my grandparents watched two shows: Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw. I can't remember the names of my relative's children but I remember Ganilla Hutton.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Vague memories of the King family, I think I mixed them in with Lawrence Welk and thought hey were the same thing! These folks seem so squeaky clean I just gotta see them perform, let us know if you find any clips!

doug said...

Gunilla Freeman Hutton (born May 15, 1944 in Gothenburg, Sweden) is a Swedish actress, perhaps most notable for her roles as the second Billie Jo Bradley on "Petticoat Junction" (1965-1966), and Miss Nurse Goodbody in the television series Hee Haw until 1992.

Hutton has also appeared in Perry Mason, The Love Boat, and Murder Can Hurt You (1980).
Hutton was the mistress of singer Nat King Cole (according to Natalie Cole in her autobiography), and was 21 when Cole died in 1965.

Hutton has three children, Erik, Christian, and Amber. Hutton has also appeared in such talk shows as The Nat King Cole show and Match Game 73.

doug said...

Yes - I am a big Tina Cole fan too.

Jeff said...

I think that a childhood obsession with the King Family can make you gay. Of course this is not based on any scientific data, just a hunch.

pup don said...

I've never seen the King Family before but there is a mention of them in this Carol Burnett takeoff of the Exorcist. I'm so glad you posted this because I always wondered who they were.



Anonymous said...

I loved the King Family as a kid and even have one of their albums from the TV show. I especially liked Alyce. This, of course, is what made me gay.

Maureen said...

The King Family was amazing.Watch for their PBS special on for the holidays.
Go to www.officialkingfamily.com for more info.
Also the DVDs of the shows and specials are available.Go to www.camclarke.com