In secondary school, he studied music with Lili‘uokalani, then went on to further his schooling by studying to become a teacher himself. He taught in local schools, went into insurance, and was elected as a territorial senator all before becoming bandmaster. He was also a prolific writer, lecturer, publisher, and composer of the only opera in Hawaiian. He became bandmaster in 1932 until he accepted a position to host a Hawaiian music radio program.
Charles King returned to the position of bandmaster after the death of bandmaster Frank Vierra and stayed until the beginning of World War II - when he decided to move to the mainland U.S.