Don McNeill's "Breakfast Club"


[From "Twenty Years of Corn"

More than 38,000 saw Breakfast Club in action on a two-week Southern trip which included January broadcasts from St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg and Miami. There were many examples of fans traveling 300 to 500 miles. A party from Memphis registered 1300 miles round-trip. Unable to get tickets in Nashville or Birmingham, they went on to Atlanta before seeing the show.

Biggest turnout was in St. Petersburg. When all 2700 Coliseum tickets were grabbed up in one day, Don and the gang agreed to make an extra appearance with the famous Kids and Kubs softball team. The game drew the largest crowd in the history of Al Lang Field, but the Breakfast Clubbers lost to the 75-year olds.

On its second trip of the year, Baltimore gave Breakfast Club a warm welcome in more ways than one. Six hours before air time, fire destroyed the stage curtain and all of Breakfast Club's broadcast equipment. Between the hours of 3 and 8 a.m., station WFBR and Breakfast Club did the impossible: rented a new theater and found enough engineering and stage equipment to put the show on as scheduled. An audience of 2,000 was treated to one of Breakfast Club's best performances. Another 12,000 saw the show in Boston, Hartford, Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

In October, the show moved permanently to the Morrison Hotel. After auditioningmore than 200 girl vocalists, Peggy Taylor of Alhambra, Calif., was selected in July to replace Patsy Lee. O-Cedar and Bobbi-White Rain replaced Jell-O as sponsors. Don began enrolling babies born during the Breakfast CLub hour into an exclusive Baby Club.

Left: Ourfitted with rebel caps, 22 Breakfast Clubbers toured the South in a chartered Delta plane.

Right: The boys welcome Peggy Taylor as Breakfast Club's newest singing sweetheart on July 28.

Return to the "Twenty Years of Corn" index

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
Audio and video downloads
About the Curator

Comments or suggestions? click here to send them to Rich Samuels

Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to