Don McNeill's "Breakfast Club"


[From "Twenty Years of Corn"]

While America was asking "what is swing music?". the Breakfast Club and Don McNeill were featuring world cruises and fantasy. The "rug dance" (when Don asked housewives to pick up a throw rug and dance to Walter Blaufuss' music) reached new heights of popularity.

These were the musicians of 1935: George Kayser, Carl Fasshauer, Al Spiegel and Bill Short (strings); Bill Krenz (piano); Harold Kooden, Bob Strong and Ted Wheeler (reeds); Eddie Ballantine, Ernesto Arrigoni and Carol Martin (brass); Jack Rose (guitar) and Sam Baum (drums).

Other familiar names were Gale Page, "Doctor" Pratt, The King's Jesters, Hollywood Hi-Hatters, Rangers, Mary Steele, Three Flats, Sylvia Clark and the Doring Sisters. Edna O'Dell became the first regular girl vocalist.

In December, Tommy McNeill made his radio debut at the age of 14 months.

Left: Gale Page and "Doctor" Russell Pratt were frequent Breakfast Club visitors in 1935. Here, they and Don McNeill are about to enjoy some pink cotton candy.

Right: Edna O'Dell, green-eyed beauty from Marion, Ind., was the first Breakfast Club songstress.

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