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Emil Breitenfeld Papers, 1952-1959
MSS 332  
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Papers consist of arrangements of popular songs for the O'Neill Sisters School of Dance (Helen & Peggy O'Neill) from the 1950's in San Francisco. Performances were most likely held at the Golden Gate Theater, State Fairs, San Francisco nightclubs, and Fireman/Policeman Balls.
Emil (pronounced Ay'-muhl) Aaron Breitenfeld (1888-1964) was a pianist, arranger, composer, and theater organist who accompanied silent films in movie theaters. He is the father of Paul Desmond, the jazz alto saxophonist of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was described as a “sarcastic, very smart, extraordinarily talented musical guy.” He enlisted in the army during World War I and exited the army in May 1919. By spring of 1920, he settled in San Francisco with his wife, Shirley King, playing for silent films and writing arrangements for stage shows.
1 linear foot
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Collection open for research.