Don McNeill's "Breakfast Club"


[From "Twenty Years of Corn"]

Chicago's Century of Progress was news when Don McNeill took over an ugly-duckling early morning radio show on June 23. He introduced a new format, four calls to breakfast, March Time and Memory Time, sprinkled it with corn and his personality, and called it Breakfast Club.

Starting with a few pages of notes which he laughingly called a script, Don handled the show "purely catch as catch can with 16 messers of ceremonies." These included: singer Dick Teela, Walter Blaufuss, 12 musicians and announcer Bill Kephart.

In the absence of an audience, Don invented characters like "Homer", the hero of his one-man, one-act plays, and "Juliet", the dumb dame. Listeners were also introduced to Bill Krenz, the tallest piano player in captivity, and "Elmer" (Bill Short), the man of many romances.

Right: Walter Blaufuss, composer ofpopular songs and a boy prodigy of Milwaukee, conducted the orchestra until 1942.

Left: Bill Krenz still captivates audiences with his original piano compositions. Eddie Ballentine, present conductor, is the only other 20 year veteran of Breakfast Club music.

Right: Dick Teela and The Originalities, a group of B.C. musiciansm presented in this picture in 1933. Left to right: Jean Cafarelli, Bill Giese, Dick Teela, Bill Short and Jack Rose.

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