Pee Wee King
Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, known professionally as Pee Wee King, was an American country music songwriter and recording artist best known for co-writing “The Tennessee Waltz”.
He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a Polish American family and lived in Abrams during his youth. He learned to play the fiddle from his father, who was a professional polka musician. In the 1930s, he toured and made cowboy movies with Gene Autry. King joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937.
In 1946, while the bandleader of the Golden West Cowboys, King, together with the band’s vocalist, Redd Stewart, composed “The Tennessee Waltz”, inspired by “The Kentucky Waltz” by bluegrass musician Bill Monroe. King and Stewart first recorded “The Tennessee Waltz” in 1948, and it went on to become a country music standard.
King’s other songs included “Slow Poke” and “You Belong to Me”, both co-authored with Chilton Price and Redd Stewart. His songs introduced waltzes, polkas, and cowboy songs to country music.