This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
Click here to return to the index of selected articles.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
by Bill Jacobson
(From Radio Recall, December 2004; originally from November 1998)
The final broadcast of Don McNeill’s “Breakfast Club” was December 27, 1968. For over 35 years, this program was heard every weekday morning, usually originating in Chicago.
In 1947 while on tour, “The Breakfast Club” broadcast its show from Constitution Hall in Washington, DC and the place was packed. The guest star that day was the “Incomparable Hildegarde.” Being in the audience was thrilling for me, seeing a live show which I had listened to for years on the radio.
During the 1950s, the program experimented with radio and TV simulcasts, but when it was not successful, the show again became solely a radio series. While attending a convention in Chicago in 1964, I had the opportunity again to be in the audience for a “Breakfast Club” program; it was originating from the Hotel Allerton.
Each audience member was asked to fill out cards, indicating what you would say on the radio if you were interviewed by McNeill. My wife, Barbara, wrote the following:
“ I thought I was moving to a big town when I married a man from Washington, DC, but I moved from Withee, Wisconsin, population 320, to Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, population unknown.”
McNeill liked he comment and he interviewed her on the show. Of course, by 1964 “The Breakfast Club” was taped one day prior to the actual broadcast. We telephoned all our relatives to be sure to listen to Barbara on the radio show the next morning.