Alvino Rey, Pedal Guitar (1959-1960)
Talented Pedal Guitarist Married One Of The King Sisters
Alvino Rey was a pedal steel guitar player on the Lawrence Welk Show in 1959. Rey was born in 1908 in Oakland, CA and moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of ten. At the age of 10, Rey began studying guitar and listening to the likes of Eddie Lang and Roy Smeck. At age 15, he invented an electrical amplifier for the guitar and went professional. He worked with a number of bands including Russ Morgan, Freddy Martin and Horace Heidt. In 1937, he met and married one of the King Sisters, Luise King. Heidt fired the King Sisters from a mutual engagement they were performing during an engagement in New York when a microphone fell down and hit a patron. Rey also quit and formed his own band with the King Sisters as vocalists. In 1942, they recorded the hit song with "Deep in the heart of Texas."
From 1944 to 1945, Rey served with the US navy as a radar technician, but after the war returned to the charts with the song, "Cement Mixer." His signature tune, Blue Rey, featured Luise's vocals fed through his guitar amplifier, a trick well ahead of its time. After leaving the Welk Show, he had his own show called "Alvino Rey And His Talking Guitar" on The King Family ABC-TV variety show (1965-71). In the 1980's he led an orchestra at Disneyland. Among some of the unknown future greats to perform in his band were Ray Conniff, Neal Hefti, Billy May, Al Cohn, Johnny Mandel and Zoot Sims.
Rey retired in Salt Lake City, Utah and passed away of congestive heart failure in 2004.