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McBurney, Alvin (Rey, Alvino)

Born: 1908 AD
Died: 2004 AD, at 95 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Musicians


1911 - Born on July 1st in Oakland, California. Alvino Rey is best known as the father of the pedal steel guitar.

1927 - He made his professional debut with Ev Jones and a year later signed with Phil Spitalny.

1929 - He eventually switched to guitar and adopted the name Alvino Rey while performing in New York City, where Latin music was the rage.

1935 - He worked for Russ Morgan and Freddie Martin before joining Horace Heidt's outfit.

1937 - Married to his wife, King Sister Louise.

1941 - Rey's group substituted for an ailing Dinah Shore at New York's Paramount Theater, which led to more exposure, and soon they were one of the most popular acts in the country, garnering top ten hits and making appearances in Hollywood films.

1942 - Rey reorganized his orchestra, bringing in an enormous brass section.

1944 - Financial hardship caused by the strike forced Rey and his musicians to take night jobs at a war-plant before Rey officially dissolved the group and enlisted in the Navy, where he formed a service band.

1945-1950 - After his discharge, Rey formed a new orchestra, which produced a few hits before being disbanded.

1965 - ABC broadcast a special featuring the extended King Family. This special grew into a series which ran for five seasons, with Rey as musical director.

2004 - Alvino Rey passed away on February 2nd from pneumonia and congestive heart failure.


Page last updated: 4:35pm, 01st Jun '07