Highlights from

The 1942 Breakfast Club Family Album

Curator's note: The Family Albums Don McNeill produced for a number of years were one of the factors in the success of the "Breakfast Club". They facilitated the bonding between the show and its audience. And they reinforced the element of "family" that the show projected. The 1942 yearbook, distributed during some of the darkest days of World War II, is especially interesting to read in these times of a much different war (or perhaps wars). Copious thanks to Steve Bluestein who provided me this document. (And don't forget to listen to the Breakfast Club broadcast of December 8th, 1941).

Don McNeill of the "Breakfast Club"

Above: The title photograph (featuring program host Don McNeill) for the 1942 "Breakfast Club Family Album"

You can access the following pages including the original text and photographs:

"America, Arise---the Breakfast Club is on the air!" Don McNeill tells readers what the "Breakfast Club" is all about. Features a photo of NBC staff musicians trying to deal with the early shift.

"Your Toastmaster". A brief biographical sketch of "Breakfast Club" host Don McNeill (from Galena to Sheboygan to Marquette University---eventually to NBC's Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago).

Breakfast Club alumni. They came and they went. And some of them came back. The curator can pretty much guarantee that you'll remember some of them.

Ten Years of Breakfast Club History (1933-1942). It culminated with Don receiving and honorary doctorate from Saint Bonaventure College in 1942 (how many honorary degrees has Howard Stern received?). And the Breakfast Club still had another fifteen years to go!

The Breakfast Club in Action. Behind the scenes photos of the show while it was still broadcast from the NBC Chicago studios in the Merchandise Mart.

The McNeill family. Don, his wife Kay and their three sons Tom, Don and Bob, photographed in the living room of their newly-built home in Winnetka in suburban Chicago.

Male vocalist Jack Baker.

Female vocalist Nancy Martin.

Female vocalist Marion Mann (who left Bob Crosby's band to join the "Breakfast Club").

Orchestra conductor Walter Blaufuss (who earlier had composed a number of successfull "parlor songs").

Vocal groups---including the Four Vagabonds, the Escorts and Betty, the Romeos and the Cadets.

Don't forget to check out the 1953 "Breakfast Club" year book

Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to rich@richsamuels.com)