(From the 1942 "Breakfast Club Family Album)
Petersen of "The Escorts and Betty" later became the producer of the
"Breakfast Club". He was of Norwegian descent. It bothered his mother
when when he assumed a Swedish dialect in "Swedehearts of Saint Paul"
numbers. Sam Cowling of "The Romeos" later became the principal "Breakfast
Club" comedian. Perhaps someone can tell me whether Al Stracke of "The
Cadets" was related to the great Chicago folk singer, Win Stracke.
There have been two changes in the personnel of this act who specialize in smart,
modern arrangements. The original Betty (Betty Olsen) has married and been replaced
by Helen (Betty) Nash. This vivacious songstress is escorted by Cliff Petersen,
Floyd Holm and Ted Clare, whose real name is Hansen. Doug Craig, pianist and arranger,
who joined the Navy, has been supplanted by Ken Thompson, who carries on in the
same capacity. Not too deep a military secret is the fact that the boys, who hail
from Duluth, Minnesota, also double as the "Swedehearts of St. Paul"---an
act which comes to them quite naturally.
Romeos: Until Uncle Sam called, it used to
be Sam, Gil, and Louie. The latter two unmarried members---Gil Jones and Louie
Perkins---are now in the Army, while Sam Cowling, complete with his wife and two
offsprings, continues with Carl (Larry) Chase and Boyce (Bill) Smith. The original
trio started in Jeffersonville, Ind., and the boys, under Sam's tutelage, still
specialize in Hill Billy Hammy Drammies and (usually) funny songs and sayings.
the greatest colored quartettes, the four boys who started in St. Louis specialize
in instrumental imitations, spirituals and jive. Robert O'Neal, Norval Taborn,
John Jordan and Ray Grant are the boys' right names---but they are more often
known as Lewishous, Cyclone, Security and Contagious. Ray, with his deep bass
voice has created a sensation on Breakfast Club as "Pappy" with his
"How-do gals" and crazy recipes.
Cadets: Originally it was Al, Cal, Sam and
Lonnie---with Reo Fletcher at the piano. Lonnie's unfortunate death several years
ago, and the fact that Sam is now Col. Sam Thompson of the U.S. Army, have resulted
in two new voices---that of Homer Allen (Snodgrass) of Arkansas and Ralph Nyland
of Boston---being added to those of Al Stracke and Carl Schiebe. Reo continues
at the piano and frequently raises his voice three octaves to become "Little
Oleetha." One of the finest legitimate quartettes in radio, listeners especially
enjoy them at "Hymn Time."
to the 1942 Breakfast Club Family Album index page
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Rich Samuels (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)