Donna Conkling, a King Sister, dies at 88

June 22, 2007 at 8:58 AM
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PLANO, Texas, June 22 (UPI) -- Donna King Conkling, one of the singing King Sisters who started performing in the 1930s and had a TV program in the '60s, died in Plano, Texas, at age 88.

Conking, who died Wednesday, was part of a four-part harmony quartet that sang with bands led by Artie Shaw, Horace Heidt and Alvino Rey, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

In 1938 the sisters -- Maxine, Luise, Alyce and Donna -- were working with Artie Shaw's orchestra when Rey left Heidt to start his own band. The sisters sang with Rey's band until 1943, scoring several hits, including a vocal version of Glenn Miller's classic "In the Mood," the Times said.

The sisters worked in films, mainly B pictures, including "Sing Your Worries Away" starring Buddy Ebsen; "Meet the People" with Lucille Ball and Dick Powell; and "Cuban Pete" featuring Desi Arnaz.

Donna King, who married James B. Conkling in 1943, left the group in the late 1940s. Conkling, who played a key role in the formation of Warner Bros. Records, died in 1998.

She returned to appear with her siblings and other family members on ABC's "The King Family Show" that aired during the mid- and late-1960s, the Times said.

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